Fast Focus: 'Should personal fireworks be banned?' Make someone accountable

July 13, 2014 

To me, fireworks are more of a liability than an asset. Given that free or low-cost professional fireworks are available, why do some people want to waste money on incendiary devices that historically have triggered wildfires, endangered homes and businesses, resulted in personal injuries, created havoc for victims of PTSD and spooked wildlife and domestic pets? The benefit to some organizations through the sale of fireworks certainly can be replaced by safer fundraising ventures. While there is some revenue generated for cities and counties, it pales when compared with the added cost of fire and police protection needed to respond to illegal fireworks, not to mention the property damage for which the offenders usually escape responsibility. We grew up in the northeastern U.S. where fireworks have been prohibited for decades because of the harm to individuals, property and communities. Why are they legal here?

Much like the business of serving alcohol, if the retailers were held financially responsible for potential damages caused by their fireworks, that could change the balance. This could be done through some ID device in the fireworks or taxing sales to produce a community fund that would be used to reimburse the victims, be they individuals or communities.

What do you think?

-- JOSEPH CAGGIANO, Richland

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