Try to refrain from fireworks | Editorial
June 29, 2012 · Updated 2:16 PM
It’s around midnight, there’s a loud boom, your house shakes and your dog starts howling in terror. Welcome to Afghanistan, U.S.A., better known as Whidbey Island.
It’s impossible for state or local governments to ban fireworks due to the nearby Indian reservations that enjoy a federal right to sell them, but efforts are made to regulate their use. Unfortunately, unless a house catches fire or a kid blows off a finger, emergency responders are stretched too thinly to respond to most noise complaints.
Useless as it may be, this is another call for the safe and sane use of fireworks over this Independence Day holiday. If you must use them, think of your own house, family, friends and pets, and think of your neighbors. Would you want someone next door blasting mortars into the wee hours of the night?
The explosive devices used out there far exceed the legal limit for state-approved fireworks, and even outguns anything sold on the reservations. We can only assume some creative folks are making their own boom devices, perhaps using black powder or bundled sparklers. Then there are those darned bottle rockets that leave their launch pads in one yard with the rocket coming to a flaming rest on someone else’s roof. For a lot of people, that’s their idea of fun.
This year may be even worse than prior years. The wise people of Washington passed an initiative that not only makes hard liquor more expensive, but it makes it widely available. No more special trips to the liquor store or whining that no liquor is available on Sunday or holidays. Just load the trunk with fireworks, stop at the friendly neighborhood grocery store for a few bottles of 90 proof Kickapoo Joy Juice, and head to the beach for a night of revelry.
Don’t worry, dozens of people will be out on the beaches July 5 cleaning up your mess, and firefighters will still be hosing down a few hot spots. You won’t even notice, thanks to the lingering effects of the Joy Juice.
Forget about shooting off fireworks this year. It’s dangerous, it’s unneighborly and it’s extremely expensive.
If you feel that you must be shooting off mortars and other high explosives, there’s a U.S. Army recruiting station in Oak Harbor that would love to have you.