William A. Weimer: America has right to go ‘bang’ on the 4th

William A. Weimer

The laws in Massachusetts that govern the use of consumer fireworks are out-of-date and out-of-touch with the demands and rights of Massachusetts citizens. The time has come for Massachusetts to be brought into the mainstream of American life and for the state Legislature to allow its citizens to enjoy the celebration of freedom with consumer fireworks.

The spirit of the Massachusetts signers of the Declaration of Independence – John Adams, John Hancock, Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Adams and Robert Treat Paine – should rise once again and break the chains of anti-fireworks servitude in the Bay State.

The imperative for the Legislature to “protect” its citizens from the dangers of consumer fireworks is long gone.

The consumer fireworks today are the safest ever, and the injuries associated with the use of consumer fireworks is at an all-time low – there simply is no longer any need for the antiquated laws in this state that prevent citizens from enjoying the family celebrations associated with a home fireworks display.

The fireworks-related injuries in America have dropped dramatically, and the use of consumer fireworks has gone up severalfold.

From 1992 to 2006, the actual number of fireworks-related injuries has dropped more than 26 percent, while during the same period the use of fireworks measured by imports from China has increased from 87.1 million pounds to 278.2 million pounds or almost 220 percent.

Based on injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks used, injuries have dropped an amazing 76 percent since 1992. This is based on information published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Massachusetts is now one of only five states that totally outlaws the use of all consumer fireworks.

Former President John Adams predicted in 1776 in a letter to his wife, Abigail, that Independence Day “ought to be solemnized” with pomp and parade bonfires and illumination (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore.”

Fireworks provide the citizens of this state and this nation a means to celebrate their freedoms.

Countless Americans, past and present, have fought for this freedom; but in Massachusetts, they are still not able to celebrate this cherished right with fireworks. The outdated Massachusetts law that makes fireworks illegal is a violation of every citizen’s right to celebrate Independence Day as John Adams predicted it ought to be celebrated.

Celebrating Independence Day without fireworks would be like celebrating Thanksgiving without turkeys or New Year’s without the ball-dropping.

The tradition of celebrating Independence Day and freedom with fireworks is ingrained in the very soul of our country.

Write to your state legislators, and let them know that you want the right to celebrate your freedom with fireworks in the spirit of John Adams.

Please enjoy the Independence Day holiday with your family and celebrate safely.

William A. Weimer is vice president of Phantom Fireworks in Youngstown, Ohio.