Fireworks: Keep the neighbors in mind 2012.07.04

Written by David Green.

Don’t use up all of your firecrackers on the Fourth of July. Save a few for Veterans Day and Christmas.

We don’t understand the logic of the state government’s decision to allow fireworks on 10 holidays, including Thanksgiving. Actually, fireworks are now allowed on the day before, the day of and the day after each of these holidays.

Do people have a pent-up need to set off M-80s every Presidents Day? Is it a vital right of American citizens to shoot off fireworks on the eve of Columbus Day? What was it that moved the 10-holiday legislation to the table? It seems like a real head-scratcher of a law.

While some communities are adding restrictions to fireworks use—not within 30 feet of a building, not after 10:30 p.m., not on public property—Morenci city council followed its prerogative to alter the law by adding more allowable days. Council members first voted 2-5 against a motion to stretch the allowable days from three per holiday to nine, and even 16 days if the holiday fell on a weekend.

Instead, they voted to give extra fireworks days only the Fourth of July week—five days before and after the holiday, plus the three days of the town festival.

People will argue that it’s no different than in the past in that people shot them off whenever they felt like it, but there is a difference: Now it’s legal. You have the opportunity to listen to your neighbor “celebrate” day after day every July.

Don’t get started with your newfound freedom yet because the city ordinance doesn’t take effect until it’s been published in the newspaper. For this holiday, July 5 is the only bonus day available.

One thing that won’t change from the past is the timing of fireworks. They look best in the dark when neighbors might be trying to get a good night’s sleep before going to work in the morning.

Police urge fireworks users to have consideration for other residents, especially on week nights. That’s the way they would like people to celebrate rather than receiving a complaint about someone disturbing the peace.

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