It's the same old story in the UK coming up to Guy Fawkes Night - an elderly woman in a small town near to my village has sustained serious eye injuries after a firework was thrown at her while she stood at a bus stop! She is in the local hospital and it's still not clear whether or not her sight will be permanently affected.
Has the time come once and for all to put a ban on people buying fireworks? One proposal recently was that, unless people get a licence from their local police then they will not be able to buy fireworks. I can't see this making any difference - there will always be someone selling them illegally and how would the police actually ensure that all fireworks being set off are under licence? Further more the organised displays of fireworks are not the problem. It's youngsters running about with them through the streets throwing them at people!
Another proposal is to ban them outright and class them as dangerous weapons. Thereafter fireworks would only be set off at an organised display. This would certainly make things safer for people and animals around this time of year. But unfortunately the majority of people who are safe with fireworks will be penalised along with the callous nutters whose sole joy at this time of the year is maiming and frightening people!
Does anyone have their own views on this topic - not just from the UK but any country?
So you want to prohibit adults the opportunity to buy a product made for adults and not children.
What's next? Are you going to ban soda? Are you going to ban manufacturers from making unhealthy snacks?
When will it stop?
Scissors, do you know how easy it is to run with scissors in your hand. Not only is it a threat to yourself it is also a threat to others.
Then lollipops, darn kids run with them in their mouth....banned for the safety of the children.
Oh yeah, a boatload of other banning would proceed onward. It would get so ridiculous, that tyranny would then become full blown. Some people don't think before speaking.
Do you always have to play devil's advocate? The world is full of idiot adults who buy fireworks then let their 10 year old sons fill their (adults) empty beer bottles with firecrackers and watch them blow up. Maybe a little glass in your kids eye would wake you up to the fine line between what's necessary and what's pure entertainment. IMO, only trained professionals should use pyrotechnics not Bubba and Billy Bob. I don't want fireworks landing on my roof, my car, or my people.
Oh for heaven's sake get real! We're talking about people who have been set on fire, had eyes burned out and god knows what else! Who the hell mentioned anything about sodas or snacks!!! And where does the children come in about?!!!
So you want to limit other people because other people are foolish. Oh, I get it. Just because some people are accident prone or just acting ignorant, you want to ban products that millions of other people use responsibly. WOW!
If you take the time to read my original post you will see that I have made the point about 'responsible people being penalised' and I asked for viewpoints. So no, I'm not stating categorically or dogmatically that millions should be banned because of the few thugs going around. I'm asking if this is they way forward or not to make the issue of fireworks safer.
I gotta tell ya, I have never seen anyone, well any man, use fireworks responsibly. They may think they're using them responsibly but they don't wear gloves or goggles, they don't stand at a distance, they don't concern themselves with the neighborhood surrounding their childish, immature dangerous toys. Sometimes men and their stupidity make me sick.
That's the situation currently in Australia. It's sad because I have fond memories of my Dad's fireworks displays in our back garden in Scotland, and Australian kids don't get to experience the fun of that.
On the other hand, as someone else said, it's something I only miss once a year so is it really that big a deal?
I would guess that a significant percentage of all laws is society's attempt to deal with the moronic 10% of our populations. I have no solution to this.
I have to agree with you on this. The 10% are always the problem but the law often doesn't affect them to any degree, simply because they don't give a toss about anything or anyone except themselves!
It's hard to know what to do... unfortunately there will always be accidents and stupid people... 30,000 - 40,000 people die every year in car accidents, and most of them are preventable... should we ban cars? 600,000 people die of heart disease and 70,000 of diabetes... should we ban candy and fast food?
I take your point and it's a good one. But at the end of the day cars and other forms of transport do have important functions - although, yes people also abuse these and use them as lethal weapons. Food is also an essential, even if it isn't the best of food. Fireworks have no use for anyone except looking pretty and making a noise - and being used by thugs of course.
You can also argue that, in the US for instance, something like 500 million to 1 billion dollars are spent on fireworks each year... what impact would banning them have on an economy?
Well money just has to come into it somewhere doesn't it! I think if you ask the people who have been badly injured and maimed for life because of firework thugs then money/the economy just wouldn't come into the equation. But you've still made a very valid point. I think the organised firework displays - in total - would still generate enough not to impact the economy that much. Also if individuals were banned from using fireworks then there's a good chance that most people would go to orgnanised events. In the UK there certainly seems to be more people attending the organised events anyway rather than buying fireworks for personal use.
While I don't have any data to support my claim, I'd venture to guess that WAAAAAY more fireworks are purchased by private individuals than organizations. I live in a smaller town - maybe 20,000 in the city and on the outskirts. There are a whopping 2 public displays. Every store in the area carries fireworks leading to July and 3 vendors open up large fireworks stores each year, selling to individuals - not organizations.
Money isn't the only concern by any means. People are hurt by various things daily. I take my kids to firework displays and set them off in my driveway knowing there is a possiblity of injury. I also know the neighbors setting them off down the road pose a potential threat. I assume that risk.
I assume a similar risk if the kids cross the street. We are all just desensitized to that and accept that risk.
You, sir, assume risk which is not yours to assume.
I hate fireworks. My dogs are petrified by them. I accept that for one night a year we have to lock ourselves indoors with loud music and drugged up dogs - after all that's a long standing tradition.
But on other nights such as the weeks leading up to Nov 5th and the weeks after. No. Ban them. Jail the offenders.
Alternatively if we believe if personal freedom then I would like to retain the freedom to go round their house and shit on their kitchen floor - that's what locked in, terrified pets can do.
Hi Mark, one of my Rough Collies, Megan, was like that - she was petrified of the noise. It got so bad that, although I hated doing it, we had to use sedation tablets for her. It's not nice, but It was perferable to seeing her scampering about trying to find a hiding place away from the noise, crying and shaking like a leaf. She wouldn't eat or drink either and just wanted to sit behind you all the time. It was awful. Even when she heard fireworks on the TV it could start her off as she thought they were coming from outside. Normally she was a very bouncy, friendly and happy dog, until she heard fireworks and she changed completely.
I see no reason to ban fireworks. They are substantially less dangerous than plenty of fully legal things.
Some of my friends from childhood are still my friends today. We loved fireworks as kids and all went to the lake together to watch the 4th of July display. We lit plenty off, even though we weren't supposed to and I actually got a substantial burn from them. Today, I see no reason to ban them, while several of my childhood friends right there with me lighting them off are outraged they are legal. "Those damn kids" as many of them state. What changed? We got old and some of us forgot how we used to get drunk in the 8th grade, stole stuff from local stores (not proud, just sayin'), smoked cigs and "other" things. Today, the kids doing the same stuff are "out of control" according to the people I did all the same stuff with.
I fully get the noise part of it, which is why most areas limit the timeframes they can be lit off. I get that areas facing severe drought may decide not to set them off. I get that. I just don't get what makes them any worse today than they were when we were kids.
So essentially what you're saying is that your friends grew up and learned from their mistakes and you didn't.
In our effort to ban everything that could potentially put anyone in harm's way, we forget that risk and danger are a part of everyday life. I do what I can to keep my children from making some of the same mistakes, but I refuse to shelter them from every possible danger and miss out on life. Choosing to ban fireworks is not a part of "growing up."
Hi jcmayer, But just because you did all this stuff as a youngster doesn't mean to say that every youngster in the future has to follow the same path. Things do change and move on.
I totally agree. My points about the things other than fireworks were simply as an illustration of the prevailing reason the people I know want to ban fireworks - a bunch of damn kids causing trouble.
Of course I don't want my kids to smoke pot, drink in 8th grade etc. I don't want them to light fireworks without me present. That said, I also don't want to deny them seeing and setting off the fireworks in presence, at the lake, etc.
I don't feel fireworks are a threat/risk not worth taking. I go boating, four wheeling, etc with my kids. I would venture to guess more kids are injured or killed with both of those than fireworks. That doesn't mean all these things must be banned.
If fireworks were banned, what else would I throw at my annoying neighbors?
They're banned in the state where I live. People do smuggle them in from other places, but even though I'm not a big fan of a lot of the overbearing laws in Massachusetts, this is one that I think makes sense (if it there will always be parents who let their kids use them, and making blow their fingers off with them).
As it is, people get them and do things like set them off where fires get started. They do things like set them off near pine needles and dry trees, etc. The way I see, it doesn't hurt anyone to ban all but those used in public displays; and it may at least reduce some of the "problems" they can cause. For every adult who really wouldn't let their kid set them off, who would be careful about where they used them, and who should have the right to have their eyes blown off if they want to risk that; there are a bunch of irresponsible parents who will let their kids be the one whose fingers will get blown off (or who lights them in the woods and starts a fire that burns the elderly neighbor's house down and kills her).
Yes. Without a shadow of a doubt. They are stupid little toys, for stupid little boys. They are pointless, dangerous and potentially deadly. Oooohhh...let's go to a fireworks display!!! Personally, I would rather go to a paint drying display...
You are a hundred percent correct in that they are mostly used by the dirty little scumbags who populate our streets for immoral, dangerous and illegal purposes - after they have simply walked in and stolen them from the shop where they are so freely displayed...
I like the displays, and where I live it's pretty much the parents (or the neighbor-kids' parents) who give them to kids. I had an aunt-by-marriage who thought my father (who worried about the hazards of them) was "an old poop". She'd smuggle "tons" of fireworks in from Canada. Once she gave a couple of loads of them to my brother who was six at the time. Of course, my "old poop" father didn't want to take them away from him, so my father was the one who ended up setting them off while my brother watched. I wouldn't have let my kids have them, but then the father of of their neighborhood friends let his kid have them - and guess who's kid was with that kid when he setting them off. The aunt thought she was doing a great thing for my brother. My little brother was happy, of course. So, my father "got to" be out there until they were all used up, setting off firecrackers and not being all thrilled about it.
At least making them illegal may make some people think twice. Then again, certainly not everyone. At least, though, if you can tell your kid you won't let him have them because they're illegal, at least some kids can understand that much - and does keep them out of stores.
I understand that it varies by location, Lisa, but where I live it is pretty much young boys stealing them from shops and firing them at animals and windows. There is the odd responsible parent setting them off for their child at Guy Fawkes but that it the miniscule exception. I am sick to death of these little vermin wandering the streets and scaring animals with (as has become the norm in the UK) the Police powerless to do anything. I couldn't believe how scared my dogs were this Guy Fawkes and it was nothing to do with celebration. It was simply, "Steal fireworks and set them off all night," from the local shop by the ...whatever you choose to call thems.
It may seem petty to some but when you have dogs cringing in fear because these little baskets are setting fireworks off for no reason other than to scare them, it really does make you want to insert the fireworks in alternative locations...
No, I don't think so. I know where I live it's banned, but I think it's fairly ridiculous. I think fireworks shouldn't be banned, as it's part of our culture. Besides, who'd want to imagine the fourth of july without fireworks and whatnot? However, I do think there should be an age limit though, so kids won't buy them to use irresponsibly. Maybe 18 perhaps?
I think many of us are at cross purposes in this thread, Stevennix2001. You make a good point about age restrictions. I don't know about the USA but in the UK you are "Supposed" to have to be 18 to buy them but when they are displayed right next to the doors of supermarkets and 5 year olds can run in and steal them, there's not much point on having an age restriction on sales...
In India,fireworks are part of a festival called Diwali,wherein people of all age groups burst firecrackers of all types. Each year,in spite of warnings issued in public interest to be careful and that kids are to be accompanied by adults while lighting crackers, several children find themselves losing one or both eyes and lie in hospitals recuperating. These are reported in local newspapers too, but the majority do not heed warnings. And there is always a tendency to show off while lighting the crackers. The government has now banned the use of loud sounding crackers in order to minimize noise pollution. Also, the educated community has taken a stand that they will not waste money on crackers as they are contribute to air pollution.
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