Letters to the Editor

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FIREWORKS: This is how we celebrate freedom?

Letter by Kathy A. Walling, La Center on July 6, 2012 at 9:24 am with 47 Comments »
July 6, 2012 11:29 am

Our freedom comes with the high cost of blood and treasure; must our celebration of freedom also come with the cost of suffering? Must we blow things up to celebrate freedom? Must explosions of fireworks, as in war, frighten masses of people and animals and in some cases kill?

Do we not have the right to maintain the safety of our homes and property? It seems not. It appears the lighting of fireworks takes precedence over the safety of property, homes, health, pets, livestock and wildlife.

To those who feel they can’t celebrate freedom without blowing things up, save that money and donate to the USO and give a soldier minutes on a calling card to call loved ones. Put your money towards the freedom fighters. Celebrate freedom by voting. Volunteer at a veterans hospital. Use your freedom of speech to read to a student or your child. Get involved in local government.

And to charities: Make money with a conscience. Good deeds will not balance out your charity sheet from the sales of a product that causes so much harm.

To those lighting fireworks, who say they have the right to do so, I say they do not have the right to endanger property and the lives of others. It’s time to ban personal fireworks.

Leave a comment Comments → 47
  1. Kathy, I agree with you. The problem is that the kind of person who is out there all hours of night and day blowing these things up do not even know why they are doing it. I would venture a guess that many of them do not even know what the 4th of July means. Until those of us who hate this craziness join together and start forcing our weak kneed politicians to do something about it, nothing will change. They are in the pockets of the tribes who profit from the sale of fireworks. I am contacting my county and state representatives and start attending meetings and force them to take a stand on this for their election campaign. I would ask anyone who has had enough to get involved and get some common sense back into these “celebrations, New Years and the 4th of July.

  2. LiberalPower says:

    Believe it or not, we have the right to be able to sit on our back porch and enjoy the lovely weather in early July. I understand that the public has a right to shoot off fireworks on the night of the 4th and for those that can’t stand it, head to the national forest, OK. But a whole week from 7 AM until 2 AM??? At least our political leaders and sheriff in Pierce County could try to protect our rights. If people are going to break the law, they can be reported, so the problem isn’t about what can be “enforced”- it is about establishing the rule and then going from there, so we feel like our commissioners are at least trying to protect our rights as Pierce County citizens… These are the people responsible for this last week of hell, our commissioners. Consider voting for somebody else this fall and why not send them a phone call to let them know how angry you are at them. You will be surprised how powerful your call will be.
    Craig S. Adams, Commissioner 253-798-6697

    Mary E. Dicke, Commissioner 253-798-6697

    Meagan M. Foley, Commissioner 253-798-6697

    Mark L. Gelman, Commissioner 253-798-6697

    Clinton Johnson, Commissioner 253-798-6697

    Diana L. Kiesel, Commissioner 253-798-6697

    Robyn A. Lindsay, Commissioner 253-798-6697

    Wendy Zicht, Commissioner 253-798-6697

  3. Kevindot1 says:

    Yes, it was sad that horse died. But, that was a freak thing and should not be indicative of fireworks. Fireworks are a part of how we celebrate our independence. You you can write letters every year to the editors, and it will never change. We will never be the country who silently sits and sips our tea to celebrate this All-American holiday. Considering how large our population is; this was a pretty tame year.

  4. Kevindot1 says:

    Wow, frosty, slippery slope you are going down. Way to just profile everyone who lit off fireworks. Guess what; I lit off fireworks. Let me know when you want to have that history lesson.

  5. Kevindot1 says:

    And, yes Kathy, this is how we celebrate our Independence Day. You ask the question as though you didn’t know already. I bet you write this letter to the paper every year.

  6. SwordofPerseus says:

    I feel no July 4th would be complete without fire works. It is still one of my favorite holidays. I used to participate in the home fireworks, fire crackers, bottle rockets,M-80’s, motors, and all. I am getting a little old for that, but I don’t begrudge the younger “kids” from having their fun. It is a rite of passage for most teenagers(and older “kids”) to set off fireworks on independence day. The clowns blowing things up all hours of the day and night should be fined, fireworks confiscated. Repeat offenders jailed. We should have regular hours where families or individuals could safely discharge fireworks from say 5:00PM to 10:30PM July 3, 4 & 5. Then pressure for enforcement of the time rules. Violators see above.

    I feel badly for people with dogs who are sensitive to the noise. But there are only a few days and they will have all gone up in sparks and smoke. Don’t let irresponsible individuals ruin fireworks for those who are, and use them wisely. It’s only freedom when you don’t have big brother watching, and telling us everything we can and cannot do.

    “From Every Mountain Side Let Freedom Ring!”

  7. JillB1204 says:

    I have to agree with Kathy. So many are injured and terrified by fireworks. My dog and cat crawled under the bed because they were so frightened. I felt my dog wouldn’t stop barking, and running up and down steps. I’ve worked in ER on the 4th and spent my whole night caring for people who show their stupidity when using fireworks. The injuries to kids are the saddest, because they have irresponsible parents. We have veterans who fought for our rights in this country, who are unable to enjoy the 4th, because they have to leave their homes to get away from the noise and fear this triggers for them. Don’t our veterans deserve so much more? Please think beyond your selfish desire to “blow stuff up”. It’s stupid and childish.

  8. Wow, lighten up people.

  9. Theefrinker says:

    I don’t care about the safety concern; to me it’s just a weird concept (even though I enjoy it). For the rest of the year, igniting what is essentially a bomb (of various proportions) is illegal so it seems like an odd exception. I would hate to outlaw them because it would certainly create negativity on somebody’s revenue stream, but I also wouldn’t mind it because the professionals are much better at it and have crews to clean up when completed anyway–and I wouldn’t be tempted to waste my money on mediocre fireworks.

  10. Maybe it’s just me. Having grown up in the 40’s and 50’s in Ohio, fireworks were a rare thing on the 4th and News Years Eve. Maybe it’s because people here in the Northwest are more patriotic than people from states where we celebrated the holiday with family picnics and all of our relatives who were WWII nad Korean War vets. Kevindot says ” this is how we celebrate our independence”. Really? Since when? I’ll bet I’ve been around a lot longer than he has and have served my time in the military and in combat. How about you Kevin? What’s your experience?

  11. “and” Korean War vets. (sounds better).

  12. SwordofPerseus says:

    Wikipedia ~ “Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.”

    First thing, fireworks, I am sorry for those who are terrified of and/or who simply dislike fireworks. Come on people it’s only a few days a year. You don’t hear me complaining about the two months of insufferable Christmas Carols now do you?

    Frosty-thank you for your service. That said also realize that you served your country and that does not entitle you to any special benefits, opinions or privileges that any other citizen might enjoy. Also in the 40’s and 50’s in Ohio around the 4th of July might pose a fire hazard to all the corn fields(Just a guess). I grew up here in the 60’s and 70’s and fireworks were as common as crows on the 4th of July. As fire was not much of a problem since it often rained on the 4th and most days before. Summer as you may be aware usually starts here on the 5th… I don’t recall so much on New Years though. Unless you were in China town…

  13. SwordofPerseus says:

    SoP said – “Frosty-thank you for your service. That said also realize that you served your country and that does not entitle you to any special benefits”

    Correction; Excluding veterans benefits to which you are entitled of course…Sword of Perseus

  14. wadsbrau says:

    I’m with Kathy.

  15. SoP, My experience with the 4th of July preceeds wikipedia. Of course now they would include fireworks since fireworks seems to have taken center-stage since the 70’s. BTW, all of Ohio is not covered with corn fields. My first experience with this craziness was here in Tacoma in 1975. It’s only gotten worse and will continue to do so until we elect some politicians who are not in it for the money.

  16. IntentionalVolition says:

    As usual our neighbors on all sides spent thousands of dollars on obviously illegal fireworks and shot them off for at least six hours Wednesday night. Last night they were at it again and again tonight. I agree, it’s time to ban “personal” fireworks.

  17. beerBoy says:

    Here in S.E. Idaho there was a big brush fire that destroyed 66 homes so the local communities banned personal use of fireworks.

    But then the Mayor of my little burg decided to lift the ban on the 4th. Apparently he felt that the celebration of the holiday was worth the risk of burning down the entire town.

  18. Did it burn down?

  19. LeePHill says:

    “frosty says:
    July 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm SoP, My experience with the 4th of July preceeds wikipedia.”

    OH NO!!! He didn’t say that, did he???????

    Hint: Everything published in Wikipedia isn’t about that which took place since Al Gore invented the Internets

  20. LeePHill says:

    “CT7 says:
    July 7, 2012 at 8:14 am Did it burn down?”

    Luckily, they probably had a municiple fire department (as opposed to a private company) who worked on the holiday and put out the fires.

  21. LeePHill says:

    Using CT7’s logic, we don’t need a military force unless the country is attacked.

    Hey, I like that concept. Think of the tax savings…..

  22. pops1111 says:

    This is how a minority of Americans celebrate the 4th. They could not care less that they are trampling on other citizens rights. Illegal is still illegal. Use of the so called safe and sane, apparantly isn’t thrillimg enough. These folks who willing break the law by buying the rockets, mortors, small bombs cab rightly be considered criminals. I wonder just what crimes against them they would tolerate. Let us make the 4th a safe and sane holiday by using the safe and sane fireworks only on the fourth of July. I don’t understand why they are celebrating the 28th, 29th,30th of June and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 72th of July. Are these some national holidayd that I am not aware of. Also how about an 11PM stop time on the 4th. Let’s just stop the fun of the minority at the expense of the rest of us.

  23. ct7 – explain how the Holiday makes an extreme fire hazard less hazardous than the day before or the day after….

  24. sumyungboi says:

    I’m sure that the letter writer does stuff that offends me. In fact, this letter is offensive to me. People should not write letters that are offensive to me. The letter writer, Kathy Walling, is an extremely offensive person, and next time she feels the need to tell people how they should live their lives, she ought to stick a sock in it.

  25. sumyungboi says:

    bb, unlike Idaho, it rained heavily here on the 3rd.

  26. beerBoy says:

    yung – I wasn’t commenting upon the Puget Sound – just using my situation to demonstrate how much setting off small explosions is valued as a celebration of the 4th.

    the BIG difference between Waling’s letter being “offensive” to you and fireworks is that you have a choice not to read it whereas none of us get that choice when it comes to the sounds of fireworks.

  27. sumyungboi says:

    Too bad, bb, some people like to have fun, some people are dicks who hate other people having fun. Most people are the former. Some people are the latter. Who are you?

  28. beerBoy says:

    I’m someone who likes to have fun without imposing it on anyone else unlike the dickless wonders who think that their fun is more important than anyone else.

    If you get drunk don’t puke on me or force me to deal with your bad behavior.

    If you smoke don’t exhale anywhere where I am forced to breathe your foul odors.

    If you walk your dog, make sure it is under control.

    If you take your children out in public, make sure they are under control.

    If you want to blow stuff up, stick it somewhere where I don’t have to hear it or be put at risk of fire.

  29. beerBoy says:

    I’m someone who likes to have fun without imposing it on anyone else unlike the selfish jerks who think that their fun is more important than anyone else.

    If you get drunk don’t puke on me or force me to deal with your bad behavior.

    If you smoke don’t exhale anywhere where I am forced to breathe your foul odors.

    If you walk your dog, make sure it is under control.

    If you take your children out in public, make sure they are under control.

    If you want to blow stuff up, stick it somewhere where I don’t have to hear it or be put at risk of fire.

    Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2012/07/06/freedom-celebration/#comment-227458#storylink=cpy

  30. sumyungboi says:

    In other words, bb, people are dicks if they don’t follow your specific list of conduct. Gotcha. There’s this thing called “freedom”, though, that the rest of us enjoy. You may not like it, most progressives don’t, but it’s still the way we live.

  31. Frosty – more fireworks – I think it has more to do with it being wetter in the Northwest.

    July 4th Facts: Fireworks, Founding Fathers, and More

    Fireworks, were first authorized by Congress for Fourth of July, 1777, are another legacy.


    Lee – actually the Founding Fathers also believed in having a Standing Army only when there was a war to fight.

  32. citizendoe says:

    This is boring. Folks get over it. It isn’t ever going to change so why bother complaining. Adapt or partake. But please stop your whinnnnnnnning. Its just plain boring.

  33. MililaniJag says:

    Are Sparklers OK? But then again they cause a lot of burns each year. I know lets try popping Bubble wrap? Well, As long as it’s RECYCLED bubble wrap!! Paper bags!! That’s the ticket. Pop paper bags. As long as they’re RECYCLED paper bags!!! You anti-fireworks types should visit Hawaii on the 4th or New Years. 100,000 string fire crackers. So SMOKEY you can hardly drive. And yet they live another day. Loved it!!

  34. beerBoy says:

    There’s this thing called “freedom”, though, that the rest of us enjoy.

    There’s this thing called “responsibility”, that you don’t seem to understand.

    Do what you want to(freedom) but don’t impose your “fun” onto others(responsibility/maturity).

  35. charliebucket says:

    sum: you seem oddly unable to think about anyone but yourself and seem (among other things) to not understand that freedom does NOT mean doing whatever you want, whenever you want. my 9 year old has a better grasp. it is called being civilized and considerate.

    are you an adult?

    I am hoping you are simply portraying a sarcastic caricature of a human being on this blog for kicks and grins. otherwise: seriously, have you considered professional help?

    regarding fireworks: I am all for fireworks set off within the rule of law and the rule of common sense. if you have PTSD or scared pets (like me) I feel bad for you, but, being part of society there are some things that we all have to put up with that we don’t like. but I have no problem calling the police to report illegal fireworks and fireworks set off outside the lawful hours. just as I tell my kids….where would society be if we all just did whatever we want whenever we want or ignored laws and rules? there would be chaos and anarchy. freedom comes with responsibility.

  36. Lynnwoodfats says:

    “where would society be if we all just did whatever we want whenever we want or ignored laws and rules? there would be chaos and anarchy”

    Works for me…

  37. sumyungboi says:

    Charlie, fireworks are legal here, not legal there, it’s like that all over, so think about it next time you want to lecture people about how bad those unlawful fireworks are as you’re smoking a bowl. You’re just a kid, and it’s a shame that you’re teaching your your own kid how to be a subject.

  38. Lynnwoodfats, so if I decide to take my 30/30 out and make a little noise of my own by hunting down some idiot who doesn’t respect other people’s rights to peace, would that work for you as well? Believe me, I’ve been tempted to do just that. I’m not sure if my war-time experiences would be enough to justify eliminating public nuisances, perhaps it would be worth a try.

  39. charliebucket says:

    sum, do yourself, your possible offspring, and society a favor and please get some professional help. good luck to you.

  40. sumyungboy, I normally agree with you but on this topic we part company. I happen to have a small dog which I consider to be a part of my family. It troubles me to see her hiding behind a toilet all day and night so that some dude can get his kicks making noise. Last night, 7 July at 9:30, there were people in my neighborhood still shooting off bottle rockets. Not being a shy person, I confronted them and told them I’ve had enough and to knock it off which they promptly did. All it takes is for the law-abiding people to stop cowering in their houses and go out and confront these thoughtless fools. I’m sure that somewhere in the myriad volumes of laws, there’s something called “Disturbing the peace”. It may be legal to disturb other people’s lives, but laws can be changed and that’s exactly what needs to be done. Those of us who dislike the idiosy of uncontrolled mayhem need to shake up the politicians and stop this nonsense.

  41. Lynnwoodfats says:

    You are not the only one with a 30-30.

  42. charliebucket says:

    frosty I disagree with you about 99% of the time, but on this topic we mostly agree. however I would not outlaw fireworks in total. just ask that the idiots obey the current law. but I guess that’s what makes idiots, idiots…they don’t care about the law or about other people. well, if respecting law and others makes me a ‘subject’ or makes the people call me a (gasp) liberal, I proudly wear that label.

    love, compassion and respect for others and for the common good above the self is the foundation of civilization. how it got to be ‘dirty words’ is nothing but political spin that some people are swallowing hook line and sinker.

  43. lynnwoodfats, sounds good to me, I’m up to it.

  44. mcgintey says:

    I wrote to our local council members and mayor. We all need to pressure those in power. There is a disturbing the peace law on the books. Supposedly the police “have to see someone ignite the fireworks” to fine them. Speak up in numbers. Our representatives will have to listen and quit pussy-footing around the tribes who donate to community services and event. The tribes have to salve their consciences for raking in dough at our expense. The time has come. It’s gotten out of control. Adolescent males, who aren’t property owners don’t give a hoot and they are the major offenders. Hit it at the source, the tribes amd the import tariffs.

  45. Lynnwoodfats says:

    Frosty- I didn’t mean it as a threat, (not suprised you took it that way). You kill me, my brothher kills you, your brother kills mine, where does it stop?

    I just find it ironic that when talking about freedom on the 4th “we’re the freest country in the world”, “Land of the free”, “land of liberty”, etc. Then to hear somebody say, ““where would society be if we all just did whatever we want whenever we want”

    I sympathize with your dog, mine didn’t like the 4th either, but your comment as much as says that people have to adjust their behaviour because of your pet.

    However, that being said, when people are being idiots, constituting a threat….30-30 time?
    Let’s ask Ted Nugent

  46. charliebucket says:

    hey fats, next time you and I are at an intersection, is it OK with you if I run the red light and hit your car and kill your whole family in the name of freedom?

    that is and example of the principle of what I meant by “where would society be if we all just did whatever we want whenever we want”: we all respect laws and others out of common decency and common sense and for an orderly society. freedom comes with responsibility. life liberty and the pursuit of happiness also applies to my neighbor.


  47. I have contacted my representatives. I did it last year and I’ll do it again this year. I would like to ask each of them to take a public stand on their views of current fireworks use. We also need to attend some council meetings and have them take a stand. If I lived in Lakewood, I’d definitel vote for Dick Muri. he is the only one who has the spine to take a stand against the uncontrolled use of firworks.

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