Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Freedom to Be Safe and Sane

Op-Ed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

At the last City Council meeting on July 3 Council Man Travis Kiger in my hometown of Fullerton proposed the idea of allowing "Safe and Sane" fireworks back in the City of Fullerton.

The idea was scheduled to be discussed last night with the hope of putting it to the vote of the people in the November election.

I fundamentally agree with Councilman Kiger.  We should have the freedom to celebrate the Fourth of July as we used to in this city and as celebrated across this country in many cities.  Not to mention the revenue that is generated from legal and safe fireworks for our various schools, youth sports and other organizations in our town.  I hope we get an opportunity to vote on this in the Fall.

This brought back a lot of great memories as a kid growing up in Fullerton.

Every fourth of July, after purchasing fireworks at the Freedom or Red Devil Firwork Stand we would wait (and sometimes not wait) for the fourth to come.

The fourth of July on Rosslyn Street was a fun day. Sometimes many of the neighbors would get together for barbecues or a block party and us kids, with the smell of barbecue steak, burgers and hotdogs swirling in the air, would play games like hide and seek or home run derby waiting for dusk when many of us would get together to fire off our assorted collection of fireworks.

The sparklers were fun but my favorite was the Picolo Pete which would emit this high pitch whistling noise before exploding with a bang.

I miss those days and I realize that there are a couple of generations that have now missed out on all the fun.

Funny, I don't remember any fires or people getting hurt from safe fireworks on our street.  I just remember a haze over the city from all the fireworks on July 5.

But of course, freedom is a tricky thing to legislate sometimes.  Freedoms are fine as long as your freedom does not encroach upon my enjoyment or quality of life.

For instance I believe you should do whatever makes you happy within the confines of your own home.  That includes drinking alcohol till intoxication or taking recreational drugs to get high.... in your own home.  Just don't get in your car after you are Under the Influence and try to drive.  Then it becomes my problem.

The thing with legalizing safe and sane fireworks is that you just know that there are going to be some people that are going to ruin it for the rest of us.  They will try to push the envelope and sneak in their M80s and other illegal fireworks.  And all  that is going to need to happen is have one house get burned down or one person have his arm blown off.  And then the ban of safe fireworks will go back into effect.

But the reality is that illegal fireworks are still happening even after the ban of fireworks. As in, "if you criminalize fireworks only criminals will use fireworks"

It would be interesting to see a study on the effect the Fullerton ban has had on destruction of property and limbs.

My guess is none.  Because the use of illegal fireworks is still happening whether there is a ban or not.

No comments: