This Fourth of July, I’d like to propose that we ban over the counter fireworks in the United States.
My reasons are thus:
From an environmental standpoint, over the counter fireworks are wasteful. Most are not disposed of properly and can be seen littering the streets and sidewalks for days after they’ve been used.
Environmental standpoint II: This is fire season. Fireworks pose a risk of setting fires. And fires can be deadly and devastating.
From a pet owner’s standpoint, over the counter fireworks cause a great deal of unnecessary alarm. The kittens do not understand what these loud noises are, just that they are loud. I’ve written articles about pet safety for the Fourth, and dogs and horses are also at risk for running away or harming themselves as they attempt to flee the noise.
From a mother’s standpoint, getting a kid to bed when the neighbors are shooting off fireworks at midnight? Yeah, impossible.
I know that there will be those who disagree. Over the counter fireworks are fun, the booths provide fundraiser opportunities and it’s a once a year treat.
My answers to these arguments: There are city-funded fireworks on the evening of the Fourth (that could most likely benefit from a donation of whatever you would have spent on over the counter fireworks — I know our city would — and are more satisfying to watch then tiny sprays of fire), my favorite fundraisers are those where I give you money and you give me nothing, and it’s never once a year — it’s the week before and the week after, and then you have to deal with the noise again for some reason on New Year’s.
In conclusion, over the counter fireworks are an environmental hazard and can potentially cause unnecessary harm to children and pets. If the U.S. won’t ban them, then I’d settle for Oregon. Hell, I’d settle for just my city.
*Unlike my buddy Jonathan Swift, I am serious.