The Killjoy Fireworks Fun Police

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - January 13, 2010

There is, yet again, another attempt afoot to ban all fireworks in Hawaii.

The fun police are out in full force and will do anything humanly possible to convince a majority of automaton lawmakers to put the kill back in joy.

Let me make this point perfectly clear before we go any further.

Yes, illegal aerials should be eliminated. You do not have the right to endanger another individual’s property with an airborne, wayward flaming device.


Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. If you want to blow up your own home, fine. But you can’t be allowed to torch your neighbor’s house.

Memo to all you Rambo wannabes: Unless you are professionally trained in explosives or are a direct descendant of Alfred Nobel, stop making homemade explosives. Are you too cheap to buy safe and stable consumer grade, or do you get off on being the bad boy on the block by blowing up beer-can bombs? Your blasts are giving those who fire legal fireworks a bad name. Enough already.

As for me, I am not a big firework-setting-off kind of guy. I hadn’t purchase any novelty fireworks in more than 20 years until this past Fourth of July, when I forked over $20 for one of those prepackaged fireworks. I did go hog wild and spent almost $50 at Don Quijote for New Year’s Eve. This included a couple of $4 boxes of “cracklers” or fake firecrackers. When midnight struck, we had a blast (along with most of our neighbors), and the sheer enjoyment on the faces of our kids was wellworth the cost.

We are sticklers for safety while popping fireworks. More than a couple adults are always present, and kids can play only if we are by their side. We never use anything homemade and we only use consumer-grade novelties. Sure, something could go awry, but you can slip and fall in the bathtub, too. That doesn’t mean you don’t take a shower. “Safety first” is our mantra every day, and it’s even more applicable with fireworks.

Are we being selfish by using fireworks a couple of times a year? Am I bothering somebody next door who may not like the noise or the light?

Oh, you mean like when the weed whackers get fired up first thing Saturday morning? The incessant whining that sounds like amplified fingernails on a chalkboard comes around like a regularly scheduled train.

Tell you what. You put a muzzle on the whacker and I’ll squelch the crackers. Deal?

There are some tragic stories of people being injured by fireworks. Honestly, it’s their fault. You have to take care of yourself. If someone was hurt by someone else popping fireworks, it’s still your responsibility. Don’t be around fireworks if it appears dangerous. The story of the children from Waiehu getting seriously wounded by fireworks exploding in the back of the family truck is saddening. But the parents are to blame, not the fireworks. Their carelessness facilitated this tragic event.

Increase enforcement of existing fireworks laws. Step up inspections to prevent illegal fireworks from entering Hawaii. Educate users of the devastating effects of misused legal and illegal fireworks. That’s fine. But don’t support a complete ban of consumer-grade novelties.

The vast majority of users do so safely and responsibly. We shouldn’t be punished for the actions of a relative few.

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