An outright ban on fireworks by county is long overdue

Let’s dispel a few myths about Independence Day.

First, The out-of-control custom of detonating explosives on July 4 is not about celebrating the anniversary of our nation’s independence. It’s about satisfying the perverse need of some people to blow things up.

Second, the concussive effect of a detonated explosive does not recognize municipal boundaries. It does not stop the at city limits or the border of an unincorporated area. The concussive force and the loud “boom” associated with it can travel for miles in all directions.

It seems a majority of the County Council members believe the citizens of Snohomish County have a constitutional right to detonate explosives on the Fourth of July.

What about my rights and those of people like me? How is it OK for a minority of the population to infringe on my rights?

What about my right to enjoy the day outside? Instead, I have to shut myself in the house with the windows closed and TV, stereo and fans all turned up high to try and drown out the noise.

What about my right to enjoy the day with my dogs? Instead I have to spend the day trying to calm terrified creatures. This year I medicated them into a stupor and as I write this they are still recovering from the after-effects.

What about my right to go to bed at a decent hour and enjoy a good night’s sleep? Whether I want to or not, I have to take July 5 off from work because I can’t get to sleep until 3 a.m.

I’ve heard some people argue that selling explosives is a profitable fundraiser for their organizations. The types of fundraisers organizations conduct reflect on their group. What does it say about an organization that sells things to people that are illegal in many of the communities where they live? And if your organization is a youth group, what lesson are you conveying to the young members of your group? Perhaps you might consider selling crack as an alternative.

Half-baked solutions like those now being discussed by the County Council will do nothing. It is time for the council members to recognize the impact on tens of thousands of people in this county like me and ban the sale, possession and distribution of so-called fireworks, throughout all of the county.

I didn’t even get around to discussing the impact on people afflicted with PTSD. My god, I can’t imagine what a nightmare the day is for them.

Nick Matras


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