Why at least some fireworks should be legal
This country was founded on blowing stuff up, and 231 years later it continues to be the thing that we do best. And yet in the past few decades, almost every Bay Area municipality has banned the use of fireworks within city limits. It's like we don't even want to be Americans anymore.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger can build secret execution chambers at San Quentin. He can certainly declare some kind of statewide emergency to legalize fireworks. Think about that for a second. We're the most badass state in the most badass nation on the planet. Our governor once removed his own retina with a scalpel, then drove his car into a police precinct and gunned down all the cops inside. (Technically, it was a role he was playing. But still ... .) You're telling me I can't light up one measly sparkler on my backyard patio without receiving a $1,000 fine?
To be completely fair, I don't have a ton of actual facts to contribute to the debate. I only did 15 minutes of research for this column -- and approximately two-thirds of that time was spent watching some dude on YouTube blow up a sand castle with an M-80.
But I grew up in the Bay Area when fireworks were legal almost everywhere, and I don't remember any rogue ground flowers causing four-alarm structure fires. We enjoyed setting off our own Safe and Sane fireworks, and my high school classmates didn't all have molten claws for hands. Is it possible that the chances of serious property damage or injury with responsible fireworks use are actually quite remote?