Very few things infuriate me more than the talk of banning fireworks. A ban is not the answer to a social problem. Tacoma has had a ban on fireworks for 15 years, yet those who want fireworks are still purchasing them, now from illegal sources, and setting them off. Having lived in Tacoma, the only ones affected were the gathering of families having their barbeques, who now must travel to a limited number of displays. I gues s the only ones who can enjoy fireworks are the wealthy who can afford water front property.
If we are going to ban something, make it worthwhile. Alcohol related fatalities claimed 16,885 lives in 2005, and nationwide, there were 1.4 million DUI arrests. You want to ban fireworks? Cigarette related fires cause 400 million dollars in property damage nationwide and are attributed to 1 out of every 4 fire related deaths. You want to ban fireworks? And on average, 177 deaths nationwide are attributed to animal related causes (snakes etc.). You want to ban fireworks?
While the improper use of and failure to properly supervise those utilizing fireworks is a problem, banning the activity from all is not the answer. On average, only 8 fire works related deaths occur nationally with Washington State reporting no fatalities and 856 firework related injuries. I for one will have my barbeque this Independence Day, will have my garden hose at the ready, and will invite my neighbors to watch a few cones and sparklers with my family. Freedom, what a concept!
Paul F. Nimmo
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