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    Richard Eber, California Political News and Views

    With the 4th of July fast approaching local and state governments are putting out dire warnings about the dangers of illegal fireworks.  They are especially concerned about personal injury and property damage. From Santa Maria to San Jose law enforcement agencies have been planning their strategies on handling the annual pyrotechnic epidemic as Independence Day approaches.

    In San Jose a web site has been set up so citizens can inform on their neighbors who are setting off fire crackers, bottle rockets, and other items that do not adhere to local laws.  Such tactics bothers me.  Turning in citizens in anonymously reminds one of the Secret Police in the Soviet Union and other totalitarian regimes who have used similar strategies to keep the population in check.

    Such actions by the Progressive Left indicate how far out of touch they are with history. They have no understanding of the consequences of using secret police tactics of creating fear to modify the behavior of citizens 

    While there are legitimate safety concerns with fireworks, is this once a year American tradition such a big deal that it deserves so much attention?  Perhaps I have a soft spot for pyromania going back to when I was a kid. At that time my buddies in the neighborhood would score several packs of fire crackers and if we’re lucky, a few cherry bombs to detonate in sewers

    Right after the 4th of July with our supplies exhausted, we went back into wait until next year mode to satisfy our infatuation with creating mini- explosions. 

    We have to ask are unsanctioned fireworks displays around the 4th such a big deal that merits Draconian measures to eliminate their use?  Part of the problem is that overzealous government officials have gone to far to try to modify what might be termed “normal behavior,” In doing so they encourage breaking the law which often causes more problems than previously existed.

    This is yet another example of governments over reach on several levels taking themselves too seriously to save the world.  Sure, the noise of fireworks is annoying and scares mostly animals.  Accidents occur as well but are they of the volume that justifies mobilizing law enforcement  to deal with celebrating the 4th of July like it’s a level 4 terrorist attack.

     Instead these fireworks bans remind me of the “get off of my lawn” threats given to little children coming to fruition.

    To make a comparison between fireworks and those riding skate boards, scooters, and even bicycles, these hobbies cause far more injuries than shooting off a few sparklers and Roman Candles.   While there is a risk in partaking in all of these activities, does it justify a fireworks Gestapo?

    Such overreaction reminds me of warnings given about razor blades being hidden in Halloween candies.  How many times did that happen?

    What concerns me far beyond is that local, State, and even the Federal Government thinks it OK to inform on local citizens  by “dropping a dime”, as it was known, when I was a child.

    All of this because of illegal fireworks that almost everyone  calling themselves Americans have played with at some time in their lives.  Ironically the issue of turning citizens in for partaking in this traditional activity around Independence Day comes at a time that we celebrate the Father’s of our Country and the wonderful system of government that they bestowed upon us.

    I doubt seriously if the framers of our constitution were thinking of Nanny Laws that plague us today. Instead of the Boston Tea Party which resulted from what the colonists considered to be an unfair tax, we now have new laws to make it more expensive to purchase soda pop. Rather than King George taking in revenue to support his Red Coat Army, we are now using similar powers to prevent citizens from partaking in pleasures the government tells us is harmful to our health.

    San Francisco is in the process of banning e-cigarettes being sold even though they do not pose a health threat to anyone but those who use them.  Historically, this policy has led to back markets and smuggling as what occurred during prohibition when alcohol was banned.  It is not coincidental that Fireworks sales today have followed the same path.

    Similar strategies are being utilized to prevent law abiding citizens from owning firearms protected under the second amendment of our Constitution.  Again, Progressives in Sacramento believe crime rates will be lowered if they pass more comprehensive restrictions, even if innocent collectors are mostly affected.

    Ironically, the criminals whose behavior they want to modify don’t obey the law. They have no problems procuring weapon s on the black market.  If more jail time is added to sentences where guns are used in a felony, the same liberals will be saying too many people are being unjustly incarcerated. Go Figure!

    Meanwhile, the government especially in California, continues its mission to save us from ourselves. Captain Obvious has gone well beyond telling us to wear white at night.

    Quite frankly these value judgments puzzle me. Why is the State government in such a perpetual state of vaccination frenzy telling families what is best for their children?  How come it is easier in San Francisco to score a hypodermic needle to shoot up heroin than being dispensed a straw that is perceived to cause chaos in cluttering landfills?

    Why are we so worried that prisoners are given the right to vote even when they are doing time for serious crimes?  What are Progressives thinking when they compare Donald Trump with a former German Dictator who exterminated 13 million Jews during World War II?  In this vein why are undocumented residents of California who commit serious crimes exempt from the legal system because a conviction would mean deportation?

    It seems government has gone mad and lost its focus in the Golden State.

    These are all good questions that are much more important than going on a rant about fireworks enforcement. In the end our local, state, and Federal governments need to take a collective deep breath to ponder what their actual mission should be.

    In the interim, hopefully they can give a well earned furlough to American families on Independence Day and let us enjoy our fireworks celebrations in peace. 

    The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

    Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.

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    c e voigtsberger
    c e voigtsberger
    3 years ago

    Hear, hear! Well said!

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