Thursday, June 28, 2012

Common Sense

In this place where I live now, there is a short list of things that are legal here that weren't in California.

At the top of that list, and by far the most important to my husband, fireworks.

Now, before you get all excited about it, there are limits.  Nothing is supposed to leave the ground.  All the stands in town sell the legal ones.  The sparklers, the fountains, the spinners.  You aren't supposed to blow anything else up.

I say supposed to because there are plenty of very-much-so-airborne fireworks around here every year.

You aren't supposed to cross state lines to get the illegal fireworks, but there are thousands of men (of course they are men, I mean c'mon) who drive to Wyoming to get the good stuff.

Bottle rockets.  M-80s.  The big ones that go boom in the sky.

The things sold at the giant warehouses just on the other side of the state line.  The things sold by the stores that mail out an annual firework porn catalog to everything with a Y chromosome in the state of Colorado.

It should be illegal.  

This year, we don't just have to worry about people blowing off hands or setting their houses on fire (like happened not too far from here last year), we have to worry about setting the state on fire.

It seems like half the state is already on fire.

A few weeks ago, well into the unseasonably warm and dry year we are having, the tents started going up.  After the huge fire to the North of us had been torching homes and hillsides, they set up shop.  The roll off containers, the bright banners, all of it.  This week, as new fires sprung up every day, the stands opened.

Fireworks sales haven't been halted here.  The city, as of today, is still going forward with the annual display, though others locally have pulled the plug.  I came home this evening to find a flyer hanging on the door, warning residents of the high level of enforcement planned this year regarding illegal fireworks.

The legal ones, though, still fine.


If something is legal, it must be okay...right?

Maybe I'm just jaded and cynical.  Maybe I spent most of my life living in a place where fires were just a part of life.  Maybe I see the writing on the wall for the remainder of the fire season here. Maybe I scan the horizon more often because of my little girl's lungs.  Maybe I realize that living within city limits does nothing to protect a house from a fire. Maybe I know that most people lighting fireworks are neither sober or as careful as they should be.  Maybe I feel the crunch of the grass beneath my feet and know that it's a recipe for disaster.  

The cities aren't willing to implement bans.  I get it.  They don't want the backlash from people, angry about how their freedoms are being taken away from them.  They don't want fireworks companies pissed off at them.  They know it won't work anyway.  All the bans in the world won't mean anything if people can still sneak them over state lines and blow shit up anyway.  

Instead, we have to rely on the notion that people have common sense.  That they will be safe and responsible.  

The problem is that, as Voltaire said all those years ago, common sense is not so common.

Wish us luck.  Wish us all luck.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh. I have been keeping you and your state in my thoughts. Truly hoping that fireworks don't make things worse.


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