Fireworks and Personal Responsibility

It doesn’t take much thought to realize that a hot, dry summer does not mix well with fireworks. Governor Hunstman called on cities to ban personal fireworks because of our conditions this year. The Deseret News Editorial on the idea notes that legal fireworks seldom create problems. The fact that we make laws which we don’t enforce encourages unlawful behavior. We should not be waiting for the government to tell us what is smart.

This situation, and my personal feelings leave me in a bind. Tomorrow all the cousins are getting together to celebrate and the families decided that we would purchase fireworks jointly instead of individually. None of us take the time to purchase illegal fireworks (which are expensive and pale in comparison to the professional displays anyway) but with the extreme fire season we are having this year I believe that it is irresponsible to act as if personal fireworks are some inalienable right. If it were not for the fact that our family has already agreed to do fireworks together I would choose not to do any personal fireworks this year – I’d just stick to the professional displays.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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2 Responses to Fireworks and Personal Responsibility

  1. Jason Black says:

    I don’t know what’s legal or not in your area, but I don’t take much issue with personal fireworks. However, I do think users ought to have a fire extinguisher on hand, as well as a hose and nozzle ready to douse any flare-up. If a consumer of personal (legal) fireworks does accidentally start a blaze, they should be held financially and, if necessary, criminally responsible.

    Have fun, but be careful and plan ahead – that ought to be enough to avoid most dangers.

  2. David says:

    Legal in Utah can broadly be described as anything that does not fire over 15 feet in the air (my youth would suggest that this should make all fireworks illegal in the hands of teenage boys).

    Your suggestions should be taken very seriously by anyone using fireworks, and the police should enforce the laws we have in place. On the other hand, the real point of my post was that I fear that too many people never think about the dangers of personal fireworks. I don’t think the laws should change, but I do think that we should step back individually and make an informed choice from year to year on what constitutes responsible citizenship based on current conditions.

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