Editorials

Support voiced for fireworks ban

Thursday, July 31, 2014

We recently heard from an Amherst resident regarding our editorial favoring a ban on fireworks. This resident seems to have it pretty bad, with people in his area of town setting off kabooms constantly.

“Firecrackers are totally out of control,” he told us.

He and others have told us that some folks in southern New Hampshire are lighting off the heavier artillery that so concerned state Fire Marshal Bill Degnan to the point where he wants to ban the big boys right away and, eventually ban all fireworks.

We support both ideas. The complaints we’ve heard convince us that Degnan and the state should move ahead.

Fireworks, as we said in our previous editorial, have no value whatsoever unless one counts the “joy” of blowing something up and making a loud noise. Well, kaboom.

We don’t understand why making loud noises simply by setting a match to something that was made by someone else is such a joyful enterprise. It isn’t as if the person setting it off had built it himself. There is nothing creative, nothing hands-on in this, except for striking a match.

And fireworks are dangerous.

According to the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, a group of health and safety organizations coordinated by the National Fire Protection Association, in 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks related injuries; 55 percent of these injuries were to the extremities and 31 were to the head.

And according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers “who sustained injuries related to fireworks.”

Yet people continue to play with them and it seems play with them with increasing intensity. Most of us understand the idea of setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July. It’s an occasion celebrated in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” if one can actually “celebrate” the shelling of an American fort by the army of his majesty George III.

But there’s a difference between “our flag was still there” and “Let’s have another brewski and set off some more!”

We hope Fire Marshal Degnan will continue with this push to get these silly, useless and often dangerous devices banned from New Hampshire.

Leave the fireworks to the professionals.

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