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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Fireworks are fun, risky, legally iffy

Laws don’t affect supply and demand

Even fireworks can malfunction as this bottle rocket placed in a spent Roman candle tube did when it burned and exploded.  The person holding the tube was not hurt. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.]

Even fireworks can malfunction as this bottle rocket placed in a spent Roman candle tube did when it burned and exploded. The person holding the tube was not hurt. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.]

The Times addressed the patchwork of (practically unenforceable) laws banning most fireworks along with some related injury statistics, but offered nothing suggesting any effort to eliminate the major source of the problem: reservation sales. [“Fireworks: fun, risk and a mess of laws,” NW Wednesday, July 3.]

As long as the availability and sales of such fireworks on nearby Indian reservations goes unchallenged (something the federal or state government could do but lacks the political will to) and people wish to buy the stuff, the proliferation of illegal fireworks will continue unabated.

The situation is much like historical Prohibition laws against alcohol and the current marijuana mania. No matter how illegal a product is declared by various laws, so long as the product is easily and readily available and “the people” want it, laws intended to curb usage are essentially meaningless.

Just as untaxed tobacco products and liquor are typically transported by truck on Washington highways, so too are large quantities of “illegal” fireworks destined for tribal reservations. If the state so desired, such shipments could be intercepted en route and confiscated.

Bruce Elliot, La Conner

Illegality and irresponsibility

Illegality and irresponsibility seem to go together when people buy fireworks. [“North Lake Union boatyard fire destroys 14 boats,” seattletimes.com, July 4.]

Not only were 14 boats burned by careless fireworks antics, but explosions were heard into the wee hours of a workday.

It seems that the never-do-wells who get pleasure out of making other people’s lives miserable cannot tell time. Those of us living near Lake Union are special victims of these irresponsible people.

William McPherson, Seattle

Fireworks upset neighbor

I am writing to express my extreme disappointment and dismay with many of my neighbors in West Seattle who deployed fireworks on and around the property I rent on the Fourth of July.

Several of them justified their activities as being part of the “freedom” the holiday commemorates. Folks, your specious “freedom” to deploy flammable materials illegally is not what your ancestors sacrificed their lives to achieve, and to suggest so is disrespectful to the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for true freedom.

Your right to celebrate does not trump your responsibility to obey the law, or your neighbors’ right to not have their houses set on fire and not be disturbed by loud noises well into the early hours of the morning.

You need to refine your concept of “freedom” and add some other words to your vocabulary, such as “respect,” “consideration,” and “common sense.”

Cynthia Lewis, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Seattle | Topics: fire, fireworks, illegal

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