And The Rockets’ Red Glare, The Bombs Bursting In Air

by lewwaters

Photo by Steve Shepard

With the Fourth of July celebration behind us, here comes the annual onslaught of those who persist in banning fireworks in our community. It never fails, before the celebration is even over, just barely begun, the Columbian’s Letter to the Editor fills up with those accusing people who enjoy setting off fireworks of illegal activities, exploding bombs, terrorizing neighborhoods, children, pets and anything else they can conjure up.

For the record, as a Vietnam Veteran who went through a sapper attack in An Khe where 17 helicopters were blown up one evening, one being less than half of a football field length away from me, who witnessed an ammunition bunker going up in flames and secondary explosions and underwent other sorts of mortar and rocket attacks on occasion, I don’t care much for fireworks. In fact, some of them really make my skin crawl.

Still, why should the community have to cater to my whims? I fully understand people enjoy the fireworks and most are responsible with them.

Yes, they make noise and if handled improperly cause damage. But, as was published in the Columbian article on July 5, 2011, Fourth of July fallout fairly minimal, the celebration went off without much a hitch, other than a record number of 911 calls complaining about the noise.

Yes, some fools did act inappropriately and cause some damage, but by and large, hospitals saw no increase in injuries. But, fools exist everywhere and foolish acts happen every day in several areas. It is simply impossible to regulate fools, although they can be fined and dealt with individually.

Why should the entire community suffer because of a handful of fools?

If some fool cuts his hand off with a power saw, do we clamor for rules banning power saws? If your neighbor loses control of his lawnmower and chops up your prized roses, do you clamor for banning of lawnmowers? No, you work out a deal with the neighbor to repay you in some manner for his mis-actions.

Yet every year, we hear and read of those people within the community demanding a total ban on all fireworks because Tabby or Rover might be bothered.

Amazingly, many of these same people heavily oppose infractions on second amendment rights or gun ownership in spite of fools misusing a gun on occasion too.

What I question the most is reading that based upon agreeable comments from neighbors and Letters to the Editor, the “majority in the community want fireworks banned.”

Is that why fireworks stands do so well in the short time they have to sell them each year and why so many within the community are setting them off all day and into the evening of the 4th of July?

It sounds to me that if the complaint is that so many are being set off up to the legal time limit of midnight, the majority just might not agree with banning them. After all, if the majority wants them banned, how is it so many are sold and set off every year?

Whiners have successfully gained a scheduled city council review of fireworks ordinances even though they have been tightened up 3 times in recent years.

From the sounds of it, Pat Campbell and Jeanne Harris favor banning them while Larry Smith is favoring a review of ordinances only at this time. I have to agree with Mayor Leavitt on this one, though as he says,

“It’s prudent for the council to have reasonable laws, limits and restrictions on fireworks. You cannot create and enforce laws that eliminate all stupidity in their usage. You can’t legislate intelligence.”

I submit that our community already has “reasonable laws, limits and restrictions on fireworks.”

With county commissioners indicating no desire to join in with any further restrictions on fireworks, do these people who yearly demand fireworks be banned in the city not realize that those who enjoy them will just go out into the county and buy them and still set them off?

If Police aren’t there to witness it, what can they do?

You want to tape your neighbor once a year to satisfy your viewpoint? That too will keep you from going to bed early, will it not?

And, if these people succeed in forcing a ban on other people’s choice of celebrating the holiday of our Independence from Britain through the Revolutionary War, how soon before they are marching on the county commission?

The last half of the first stanza of our National Anthem goes,

“And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

I wake up every morning on the 5th of July proud to be an American who is free to decide for myself whether or not I choose to enjoy fireworks and all of our other freedoms we have left.

No, I personally don’t care for fireworks all that much, but I do care about nanny state infringements on our freedoms and liberties.

For all of you who get so worked up over this every year, may I suggest you go down to the Dollar Store and buy yourself a set of earplugs.

Enjoy that you and those neighbors distressing you one or two evenings a year are free to do so.

Who knows, you might end up needing their support when one of your freedoms is being threatened by the ever encroaching nanny state.

7 Comments to “And The Rockets’ Red Glare, The Bombs Bursting In Air”

  1. I always believe that you don’t harm or bother a neighbor unless they cross a line of general common sense in our community. That is how I feel about this subject. Unless someone is firing off huge bombs or major illegal fireworks, leave people alone.

    In the city, you only have about three to four days days a year you can properly light off this stuff. And if people buy it from one of the local charitable stands, it helps out their community cause and the person buying gets some simple fireworks.

    Now goes to a indian reservation off I-5 and brings back home a bunch of fireworks that are not classed to be lit off in Clark County, some one is going to get nailed.

    But to have to listen every year of people continually whining and their distress continues to get worse every year without good reason and they continually write letters to the editor and local officials and trying to manipulate the situation to their advantage at a cost to the law abiding people and families, some thing sound wrong with this?

    One thing that I have a personal dog in this fight is I have four Gulf War 1 and 2 and Afghanistan vets who go off into the hinterlands during the fourth of july weekend because the fireworks set off their PTSD and they go into kill mode as I call it. Now there might be ONE reason I could understand when a soldier from our military has to relive all of that trauma.

    But my friends have all told me in their own form said they did not want to impinge on others right to enjoy the holiday, so they go off on Vacations to places where they don’t have the holiday or go out to the woods.

    I applaud them for taking the higher road instead of impinging on some elses right to enjoy that 4th of July freedom that they so fought for.


  2. Again, it’s been said of Democracy that there will always be something that everybody doesn’t like, and if a Democracy plays out to it’s logical conclusion, everything willl eventually be banned or heavily regulated.


  3. Maybe that is why our founders gave us a Republic instead of a Democracy.

    With everybody crying about their rights today, it’s a wonder we are allowed to do anything.


  4. The problem with a Representative Republic that our founders apparently didn’t anticipate is today’s “trend” of politicians lying and deceiving just to get elected, then once elected, doing an about-face and and legislating directly against the will of the people.

    I guess our founders had more faith in human nature than to forsee that we would have so many lying, arrogant, selfish bastards in office.

    Maybe that’s where the part about “removing a tyrannical government” comes in.

    Keep your guns oiled.


  5. You guys are whiners. This is a description of REAL tyranny:

    “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”


  6. Are you sure you want to go there, Pat?

    What with how you and others on city council ignore 3 votes declining light rail and the efforts now to circumvent another citizen vote on it and bring it over anyway?

    Or, the recent effort at a new ethics policy where there will be no stated code of conduct for council members, only citizens coming before you of the “RULING CLASS?”

    As for Leavitt being responsible for maintaining order and decorum, he didn’t do too well last September, did he?

    While not on par with how King George was acting towards the Colonies back then, do you really believe you are representing the people by basically declaring that you winning an election gives you cause to just do as you please, being voted in is citizen approval of whatever you choose to do?


  7. Thanks Pat, for providing an arrogant example of what I was talking about. You obviously deserve to have your sorry butt thrown out.


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