Regulating fireworks: "Not having the freedom to celebrate freedom"
Americans will celebrate their freedom on Independence Day with a certain irony tomorrow. Not all Americans have the freedom to celebrate the holiday with the traditional festive bang. That's because many places ban fireworks.
Although about 94 million of us live in states that allow all sorts of fireworks and firecracker use, 43 million Americans live in six states - including New York and New Jersey - where you need a permit to even light a sparkler. California bans some types of fireworks and allows cities to expand what is prohibited. Safety is supposedly the major concern of those who ban our celebratory backyard light-and-noise shows, but their fears are overblown.
Banning personal use of fireworks may actually result in more accidental fires because some of those who try to avoid getting caught set them off in remote fields, causing fires that take longer to discover.
This issue is badly distorted by the media. . . . .