Monday, June 11, 2012

Here Come The Fireworks Grabbers

Here we go again, the regular hype associated with Independence Day from those who hate seeing people enjoy themselves with fireworks. To be sure, fireworks are loud and can be dangerous, if improperly handled and we have seen no shortage of pinheads over the years acting irresponsibly.

Fortunately, the pinheads have been decreasing as noted in past Columbian articles Fireworks posed fewer problems for officials in 2010 and Fourth of July fallout fairly minimal in 2011.

But that isn’t good enough as there are those who want a total and complete ban on any sort of fireworks, even the so-called “Safe and Sane” fireworks which, let’s face it, are boring as all hell and not enjoyable.

I find it quite odd that there are those who stand strongly on personal freedoms and the second amendment rights of all Americans, yet they join in the call to ban those same people from enjoying their long held freedom to celebrate our 4th of July Independence Day with fireworks, if they so choose.

How they go from “my cold, dead hands” when it comes to their gun ownership to telling others they must not celebrate our Independence Day as it was intended is beyond me.

John Adams, who was to become our second President of the newly formed Republic, wrote to his wifeon July 3, 1776, “The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations (fireworks) from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

Even the first stanza of our National Anthem, the Star Spangled banner says,
“Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Therein lies the basis for our use of fireworks in the 4th of July celebrations, commemorating the battles that were fought hard and where some 50,000 Patriots died or were wounded to bring a new land forth, based upon freedom and liberty.

Is it a commemoration of the costs of our freedom for a few people to use a few examples of irresponsible people to now deny others their use of fireworks, especially since the overall majority uses them responsibly?

Is it proper that they drag in Veterans, who have fought in every war since to protect people’s freedom and liberty, to now deny people their freedom and liberty as the noise might disturb the Veteran?

These same people balk when they see politicians using Veterans for photo ops in order to gain a few more votes. Yet, they now use us too to further their desire to limit other people’s freedoms?

As I laid out previously in the post 4th of July and Fireworks: Patriots, Fun Seekers and Pinheads, I had no understanding that my service meant others would have to give up freedoms to accommodate me when I returned.

We now hear of claims of toxic gases released, harmful after effects and those gases remaining in the ground for years, just lying in wait to poison a small child.

We also have heard how cow farts cause global climate change.

Studies have surfaced making such claims and signed off by some doctor of something. But let’s face it, if you look long enough on the internet you can find a study to make claims supporting your view on anything.

We hear from some council members words to the effect of, we are the 4th largest city in the state and we don’t have a fireworks ban as the others do.

I look at words like that and think, so what? Why do our city leaders constantly strive to make us carbon copies of other cities instead of striving to be Vancouver, a city unique for our own reasons, among those the preservation of our historical freedoms?

What also makes no sense is whatever ban the city council may make is unenforceable! If they cannot enforce current restrictions, how will they enforce further restrictions, even a ban?

The county has shown no desire to also ban fireworks sales and use on the 4th, so what stops Vancouver residents from driving north into the county, buying fireworks and setting them off as they please?

Another problem if they ban fireworks completely, as some opponents of any compromise now demand, is the short selling period for fireworks results in thousands of dollars of revenue received in an already revenue strapped community.

Again, these same people frequently speak out against further tax increases. Yet they are prepared to deny the city a current revenue source that the city has long depended on and is only paid by those desiring to celebrate our Independence with fireworks.

Non-profits rely on fireworks sales to fund their institutions. Where will they obtain funding once denied their main funding source and with the city not receiving revenues that could be used as well?

It just makes no sense to me that otherwise freedom supporting patriots would want to ban fireworks that have long commemorated winning our freedoms from Great Britain long before they migrated to this community.

I understand the noise may bother them, it bothers me too, but I can handle the noise and make it through the days we hear of them just fine.

Will these same people begin complaining when Air Force F-16’s take off from Portland Airbase with the roar of after burners lit? Just as with fireworks, the jet roar of the F-16’s occasionally reminds me of freedom, that our freedom came at a high price as well as how many paid that price for our freedoms.

If the noise really does both you that much, feel free to contact me and I will guide you to where inexpensive ear plugs are available for sale to the public.

But let people keep hold of their freedoms.

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