Why at least some fireworks should be legal

Check out this column from the San Francisco Chronicle, arguing in favor of keeping at least some fireworks legal. Good stuff.

An excerpt:

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?

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ninefingers6 years ago
I don't think the fines should be so stiff. I never saw a fireworks-related "fire" (I think it's hard to prove What caused a fire.) Biut most wildfires are caused by Lightning, even in CA (sorry, smokey...) I can't see a $1,000 fine plus a criminal record for a firecracker when Richard Doghmler (sp?) canjust walk up to a Wal-Mart and buy ammo to blow away Gabby Giffords....makes no sense....
Brennn1010 years ago
Meh, PA allows us to have pretty wimpy fireworks. I have a firework outlet near my Ski home, but sadly, we need an out of sate license to see the "good stuff" if you may call it.
westfw10 years ago
Here's another one. "Haunted Mansion", the 2006 winner.

Wow,those are pretty amazing.
westfw10 years ago

This is the winning "class C unlimited" display at this years PGII convention.
That means that all the fireworks you see are legal for consumers to purchase, at least at the federal level (most states have additional restrictions.) Of course, you're probably looking at a relative ferocious dollar/second burn rate here!
westfw westfw10 years ago
Some data on the display:
Setup was about 2 full days with a team of about 5 people.The show was scripted using SmartShow and fired using a Pyromate SmartFiresystem with 20 modules.366 cues and over 400 ematches.  I don't know exactly how many effects.  IfI had to guess, I would say about 1000 total tubes.Shows like that take an experienced choreographer about 5 hours on thecomputer.  This was the first time Ron scripted his own show with my help.I think it took him about 14 hours.
70% + 30%10 years ago
just because they are illegal does not mean you cant get them. there are sites all over the net that sell the supplies to make them. the down side is that they are "illegal" and that most of the sites will not sell what they call "KITS" or "A collection of chemicals, fuse, tubes, or other items which are most likely going to be used to make illegal exploding devices" i live in Kentucky and i always say if it's legal in Kentucky it sucks. my grandparents live on a very large farm in Paris, Ky where you cant see anybody for miles. so this is the perfect place for "things that go BOOM!" i do not think that it is smart to make anything like an m-80 but if you can find a good supply of "Indian Blackhead Aluminum Powder" "the Cadillac of ALL aluminum powders" and some potassium perchlorate and can get the right mix (A.K.A look at my name to see the proper mixture)(the first % is the potassium perchlorate) (only measure by weight) you can make a firecracker with a very loud report, the loudest report available. most of this is very dangerous about the only thing that isnt is compressing the Bentonite Clay for the bottom of the firecracker. i had at one time filled a 1inch by 4inch tube with compressed flash powder and i can say it was such a big explosion i have yet to even try it again. it was so big that it caused my friend to go def in one ear for the rest of the day. i also got yelled at because i scared the crap out of the horses and my grandmother. so have fun but dont be stupid, in the case of homemade pyrotechnics bigger isnt better it usually ends up damaging something.
ll.1310 years ago
Are fireworks really illegal in America! :0 what about July 5th?
LasVegas ll.1310 years ago
Most states allow "safe" fireworks without a license. That includes Class C fireworks such as sparklers, snakes and ground pyrotechnics (No flying or reports). Outside of Clark county here, just about anything is legal (Class B). Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that leave the county to buy the dangerous fireworks and bring them back to the city. Only a small amount are caught and dozens of fires occur on July 4th as a result.
Yeah thats how it is in Michigan, buuuuut not in Ohio or Indiana (about 3 hours away) so about ever 6 months we drive down to an Amish town to get the best meats and cheeses on earth (plus there cheaper than the local deli!) we usually stop at some firework shops when were down there. This is how alot of people get there hands on the good stuff.
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