Guest Author - Kathie LoMonaco
What's on your agenda for the 4th? Barbecuing at your house? At Grandma's? Perhaps you're going away for a much-needed vacation...
The state that I recently moved from - had outlawed fireworks years ago; however, the state I have now relocated to, displays them prominently all over town for sale. It is initially shocking to see the fireworks for sale in bona fide stores, i.e., shopping at Sam's Club and voila! huge boxes of fireworks on display - it really unnerved me - probably because it is so foreign to someone who is not used to seeing these items due to them being outlawed in the state you have lived in for years. As I drove down major streets, there were bikini-clad girls selling fireworks on corners! Holy Moly! is all I can say! I'm at a loss for words over this - don't know what to think --- what do YOU think - is it right? is it wrong? Because I come from a state where it is illegal, I FEEL like it is wrong; my instincts do tell me using fireworks is not a good thing to do -- the risk that you take far outweighs any little fun and excitement it might bring with it. I will give you a for instance.
Years back, when I was growing up, my brother and I used to be allowed, under my father's supervision, to light a firecracker and throw it; however, one year, without my brother and I knowing it - my Father had gone behind a fence near where we were standing, and we had stuck the firecracker in the fence and ran --- we heard my Father scream! We were so afraid we hurt him - God forbid, even possibly blinded him - we had no idea he was standing on the other side of the fence - there was so much shrubbery around, he was hidden! Thank God he was not seriously injured. After that, I never touched another piece of fireworks. I was cured of the itch.
Mistakes happen - therefore, accidents happen.......that is my feeling as I toss this issue around in my head........okay, so, yes, it's legal - but that doesn't mean you have to partake of fireworks, does it? Fortunately for me, back at the time I was growing up - I had a best friend who was an only child and she was banned by her parents from going out on the 4th of July -- too dangerous. So, like a good friend, I would go and stay overnight at her house and we would have our own little pals' party. That certainly decreased if not altogether eliminated my chances of getting hurt by a firecracker or fireworks. So, that was a good thing.
Going to a fireworks display - where it is all organized and displayed in a safe and orderly fashion, of course, would be your best bet. You don't have to miss a trick - you can watch it all on TV - they televise some of those special, dazzling fireworks displays. This just made me have a flashback of my Father when he was alive, at Christmas time, sitting in his favorite chair staring at the TV while they showed the burning yule log (as you can guess we didn't have a fireplace) and listening to the Christmas music, like it was a show on TV. I have a clear mental picture of that as if it were last Christmas. But, I digress...
In our western states fireworks have now been banned because of the dryness and along with that the potential for serious problems with brushfires. In Cedar City, Utah, fireworks are only being allowed in the parking lot of a park and two high schools, according to the www.usatoday.com website and Associated Press. Santa Fe, NM banned the sale of fireworks and has asked stores in their community to 'voluntarily' stop selling them - all have complied, according to the site.
It will cost you $5,000 and six months in jail if you are caught bringing fireworks into a national forest. Many western states have had to ban fireworks from their states due to the excessive dryness and the fear of brushfires being sparked by fireworks. And, I would imagine, campers and fireworks in the same sentence, just isn't a good thing.
Las Vegas is allowing only the 'safe' kind of fireworks - meaning, none of the big 'guns' of fireworks - rockets, roman candles and fireworks.
According to kidsource.com, the following states ban all types of fireworks:
Again, according to www.kidsource.com, states that allow ONLY sparklers:
Illinois - Iowa - Maine - Maryland - Ohio - Pennsylvania
Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what your thoughts are on this subject of fireworks - I would be interested in hearing from you!
Stay safe -- celebrate, of course - but do it wisely - you'll never regret it!