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Fireworks need to end

This Fourth of July was brutal in our neighborhood. Incredibly loud and downright nasty for hours on end. Why do we celebrate bombs bursting in air?  Can’t we think of a more civilized achievement to be proud of than violence?

The National Anthem is about our flag of course, not violence. It’s about survival, perseverance and holding on to a vision despite the chaos surrounding it.

This Fourth of July has been punctuated by explosions and fear in our neighborhood.  Fireworks set off on July second and third fill the air with tension and smoke.  It is annoying and sometimes downright scary. The sounds are so similar to gunshots we can’t tell the difference. 

A home nearby has a sign asking people to respect the PTSD-suffering veteran who lives there and not create loud noises nearby. City laws, police departments and fire departments ask citizens to use personal fireworks only on July 4 or better yet, skip them and enjoy the city-paid exhibition at Fullerton High School. 

Yet they persist. Our dogs are scared to the point of hiding under my arms all day. To keep them sane I have to stay home to calm them. I’ve lost my freedom to the people celebrating it. That sucks. 

In 2012, when then city council member Travis Kiger requested lifting the ban on fireworks in Fullerton, he said he wanted to share with his kids the joy of setting off their own. He thought rules against their use were an unnecessary trampling on his rights to celebrate how he pleases. (He didn’t mention how his campaign manager also worked for a fireworks company, but that’s a different story). 

The council went for it and now Kiger’s rights trump mine. Kiger has a no-cost-to-him alternative of watching the city show; we have none, other than to be startled by his actions (he lives only a few houses away). 

Proponents cite fireworks sales as tremendous fundraisers for non-profit organizations, and make money they do. Last year Fullerton Cares raised over $11,000 each year with their proceeds. That’s impressive, but I’ll pass on buying any next year or in the future.   

In fact, I’ll stop giving money to any non-profit who uses fireworks as a financial asset. We need not accept actual bombs in the air and rockets red glare as the best proof through the night that our flag is still there. 

Oh say can you see it, by the dawns early light?  I can, and I like it that way.  Let’s not light the flag with unnecessary explosives and violence.  

-- Opinion by Davis Barber, editor and publisher of FullertonStories.com.  Please share your thoughts with us by commenting via the facebook link below or by sending an email to editor@fullertonstories.com. 

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