Fast Focus: 'Should personal fireworks be banned?' Be smart

July 13, 2014 

People seem to be evenly divided on how to celebrate. Just about every year I have read letters pleading for a ban on fireworks sales and in the same columns noted fervent patriotism linking God, mom, apple pie and the inalienable right to puncture the hell out of the night sky. No doubt arguments pro and con will carry forward into the future for many more years.

Concessions have been made on this matter: Restrictions govern when fireworks go on sale and only "safe" forms can be publicly sold. In this era of economic anxiety, I cannot understand why anyone would wish to let their precious dollars be traded for a bang. Patriotism can be expressed in a cheaper fashion than expensive aerial flowers culminating in a blast.

Personally I find it ironic that in this country where everything under retail roofs has a "Made in China" tag, that the issue on Independence Day boils down to a Chinese invention, gunpowder, in its mildest form. Independence? Sounds like the holiday should be rechristened "Dependence Day" for all of the pervasive Asian influences.

No doubt every Fido and Rover under the couch on the 4th would love less boom. Sorry, pooches, for the racket, and your weak bladders.

The morning of the 5th of July I asked my neighbor's four children why we celebrate the 4th. They looked askance, twisted expressions for a dumb question. Then one proudly announced for my benefit: "It's 'Fireworks Day.' "

Instead of Roman candles, how about banning ignorance?

-- BINK OWEN, Walla Walla

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