Fireworks on the 4th

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on July 3, 2007

Peter Hartlaub, the editor of The Mustang Daily when I was doing my two quarters as a reporter on the paper, has a great column in today's San Francisco Chronicle on the dwindling right to set off small explosives to celebrate the 4th of July.

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.

I see two choices: Either we all start learning to speak French, or we bring the Bay Area back to the stocked-with-fireworks glory that we all enjoyed in the 1970s and 1980s. Not next week. Not after a bunch of politicians have a chance to assemble focus groups and hear public comment for three years. Right. Freaking. Now.

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.

Unfortunately, a link to the M-80/sand castle video was unavailable.


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July 2007



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