• 52°

Fireworks can take fun out of holidays

Well, here we go again. During the Fourth of July holiday concerned citizens

from Strawberry Street came before the city council to express their concerns about the use of fireworks in their neighborhoods.

When they came to voice their displeasure with some of the local pyrotechnic experts they carried a long list. Naturally,

noise was at the top. Several families had their peaceful summer nights interrupted by the tapping of firecrackers and bottle rockets. This also took away the pleasurable experience of sitting on the front porch swing.

The second major complaint was trash. Many people headed out to work each morning only to find shrapnel scattered across their yard. Guess who had the pleasure of cleaning up the mess.

Five months later, the city is facing the same situation. A few inconsiderate people seem determined to ruin the fun fireworks can bring to a holiday for everyone.

Several cities across the state have banned fireworks within city limits altogether because of similar problems.

It would be a shame for those who follow the rules if the same action were taken in Demopolis.

The truth is, the people who cause the biggest problems are a small percentage of the number who shoot fireworks on New Years and the Fourth of July. Most people are willing to follow the rules and practice courtesy toward their neighbors.

The problem with those who don’t follow the rules is they don’t realize what a huge problem the cause. Here is a brief summary of people that suffer from your negligence.

First, there is law enforcement.

Every

night there are complaints, these people get the call. They have to come to the scene, file reports and complete paperwork on the incident. Any officer will tell you there is nothing fun about paperwork, especially unnecessary paperwork. The end result from spending a night responding to these incidents is angry officers who should be enjoying the holidays like everyone else.

Of course, when the police apprehend the people responsible they are accused of “picking on kids who are just trying to have fun.” This makes it a no-win situation for policemen. If they side with aggravated citizens, they are picking on helpless citizens. If they let it slide, they are not doing their job. The life of a Demopolis police officer can be simplified if people just grow up and follow the rules.

City officials are not immune to the same complaints. It is not uncommon for the mayor or council members to get angry phone calls demanding some kind of action. The result is council meetings discussing what to do about fireworks instead of more important city business.

Of course, the people who suffer most are the homeowners who just want peace and quiet. They also don’t want to walk through their yards and find your mess. This is not too much to ask.

Fireworks can be fun, there is no doubt about it. But if you don’t play by the rules a lot of people suffer needlessly. This holiday season,

either make plans to attend a fireworks show and leave it to the experts or play by the rules.