Happy Birthday America. It is a turbulent time in our country. The people have never been so under the thumb of the government Leviathan. Political and media manipulation is encouraging the people to turn on each other. I could list dozens of ways I feel that our country has departed from our founding ideals, but that is not what we should be dwelling on today. Today is about remembering those ideals, and instilling them in the next generation.
Part of this is celebrating tradition. One tradition of the holidays I grew up without was setting off my own fireworks. I grew up in Ohio where we were limited to smoke bombs and sparklers. There were a couple of times in my childhood where we were scofflaws, once when we got busted by the Shaker Hts. PD for setting off some noisemaking fireworks, and another time at a friend’s cabin in a rural area. I thought that the extra large bottle rockets we set off were something spectacular. I had no idea what I was missing.
My first adult experience with real consumer fireworks came at Lake Chautauqua in New York. One interesting facet of that experience was buying them at a small store on I-90 in PA. When I made a comment that I was traveling to NY, a clerk said “Oh, you can go to our other room where the good ones are”. I blew a lot of money that day. It was wonderful.
Fast forward to living in TN. I can buy pretty much anything consumer grade now, as long as I buy them across county lines in Sevier or Blount County. Like countless neighbors, I might possibly violate the laws of Knox County where I live, and participate in a little “Irish Democracy“. The Sheriff’s Office does not to my knowledge attempt to enforce the law on Independence Day, so long as someone is not creating problems. The Knoxville Police are more strict.
Bringing this back to knives, it is reminiscent of the situation in New York with regards to “gravity knives”. Both the definition thereof and the enforcement of the law is subjective depending on location. There is no knife law preemption, and there is a patchwork of laws and enforcement that is impossible to keep track of. While no one would argue that a firework is a tool under most circumstances (behive removal excepted), free people should be able to engage in whatever recreation they wish so long as they are not a risk to others; body or property.
I got the idea for tonight’s post from this Popular Mechanics link from Instapundit: Here are the fireworks Laws in Every State. Unfortunately, since there is no state level “fireworks-law preemption”, some local restrictions may apply.