I can't believe I agree with John Kerry. John Kerry said, and I quote, "Americans have a right to be stupid!" He was defending our right to burn an American flag. I'm not going into that issue here - at the moment - but I'll quote Kerry here - as it pertains to an Americans right to shoot fireworks.
I live in a city that has essentially banned all fireworks. Fireworks of any kind - including smoke bombs, sparklers and those black snake things you set on the driveway. For the last several years my city required you apply for a display permit and register proof of a One Million Dollar insurance policy - if you intended to shoot off fireworks in your backyard. Some people actually did this - many didn't - and shot them anyway. On the 4th of July, in any neighborhood, you could hear firecrackers & bottlerockets. On the 5th of July my yard is typically scattered with the remnants of burned rockets and flying gadgets.
Here in Illinois, we border Missouri - which apparently has legalized explosives of any size. There are bombs equal to a quarter stick of dynamite for sale at roadside stands. Often, Illinoisians buy these contraband fireworks and smuggle them into the state. Make no mistake, I agree these fireworks are dangerous. Fingers are blown off every year. Fires are started. People lose their lives - but - "Americans have a right to be stupid!"
The days of an uncle lighting a trunkload of fireworks from a dangling cigarette - and screaming - RUN!!!!! - are over. Those were the days. My uncle was stupid, my parents were too. The cops were stupid to allow it. The city officials were out of their minds allowing the ruckus.
Each of them "Had the right to be stupid!" When will lawmakers realize they can't legislate brains?