On fireworks and the City of Kennett

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Fireworks caused a firestorm in Kennett during the July 4th holiday period. I noted several social media posts urging the City to ban fireworks altogether. Usually the reasons were pets and booms into the wee hours.

I decided to place a poll on the the paperís website this week and was a bit surprised that as of this writing, the split was 53/47 percent in favor of banning fireworks within Kennettís city limits. Of course, thereís nothing scientific about our poll, but it does gauge readersí opinions.

Is it just me or were there more problems associated with fireworks this year? Iíve slept since July 4, 2016, so itís hard to remember for sure.

I do know several fires to which KFD was called during the long holiday period were caused by fireworks. The fires are a problem.

I heard of kids putting fireworks in their backpacks and strolling down streets, shooting at each other. Thatís a problem.

KPD had to confiscate fireworks when they were called to a location where kids were shooting them without parental/adult supervision. Thatís a problem.

According to city ordinance, fireworks cannot be shot in the city limits until four days before the holiday. They were going off long before then. Thatís a problem.

Fireworks are not supposed to be shot after 10 p.m. on the days they are legal. Well we all know they were shot long after quitting time. Thatís a problem.

Friends of mine told me they thought a world war had started in their neighborhoods. For them at least, that was a problem. It was ďboom boomĒ until very late on Independence Day in my neck of the woods, too.

The Kennett City Council meets Tuesday, and if social media is any indication (and we all know there is never exaggeration on Facebook right?), there might be someone(s) asking the Council to look at the fireworks ordinance. Weíll see if anyone shows up, but I wouldnít be surprised if council members have received a few phone calls, emails, texts, etc.

If you read this column, even once in a while, you know I try to find some sort of balance, using good old Bootheel common sense that my parents and their parents taught me. Here goes my attempt to deal with fireworks.

First, I hope we never see a ban on fireworks in Kennett. Iíve been thinking about the kids who were shooting fireworks in my neighborhood just prior to the 4th. The kids were having a great time and were properly supervised by two adults, parents of the some of the kids. They cleaned up the yard and the street after they were finished.

I thought of kids all over town who enjoy their sparklers, firecrackers and bottle rockets. They donít hurt anyone; they are supervised by parents and/or other adults, and the memories of such times last forever. I have no problems with any of that.

Although I donít want to see an all-out ban on fireworks, perhaps we can narrow the window a bit more to help all the doggies and others who are annoyed by them. There are towns who limit fireworks in their city limits to July 3 and 4. Two days might be better than the four or five we have now.

Also, it makes no sense to me that fireworks can be bought inside the city limits but canít be shot until several days later. If we limited fireworks to July 3-4, letís allow the purchase of them to begin on July 1. Of course, I know that as soon as people buy them, they are going to shoot them. I get that. No system is perfect. Beginning sales two days before makes more sense to me, however, than selling them 10 days or so before they can be shot. As it stands now, the temptation to start shooting fireworks is just too great, starting on June 20.

You canít legislate everything. If kids are walking down the street shooting fireworks at one another, that is a parental problem. Parents must oversee the family fireworks display. If they donít, something bad is going to happen. Weíre fortunate there were no serious injuries with some of the stuff I heard was going on.

Now one last thing Ė during the lawful times of fireworks, the rest of us need to show some patience. Iíve never spent much money on fireworks, believing I was seeing my hard earned pay literally go up in smoke (or not if it were a dud). However, if someone is shooting fireworks during the lawful times, and if adults are watching the kids, then letís allow everyone to have a good time. After all, fireworks on the 4th of July is as American as apple pie.

Until next week . . .

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