Let me start by saying that I realize this would have been a lot more appropriate a week and a half ago.
Long before I was ever interested in politics, or before Id ever heard the term "nanny state," I chafed against the governments (in this case, the State of Pennsylvanias) ban on fireworks. Okay, we could have sparklers, but that was about it. But occasionally one of my friends or I would go on a family trip that would take us through one of the "free states" (South Carolina, Wyoming, and Indiana were particularly good) to load up on bottle rockets, roman candles and M-80s. Then wed go out to the backyard, break out the police radio (does anyone have those anymore?) and indulged our fire-loving ids (hey, those model airplanes werent going to blow themselves up). As soon as we heard something on the police radio about fireworks, of course, wed gather up our contraband and rush inside until the heat was off. But I couldnt help but think, whats more American than fireworks (okay, okay, nearly all of them are made in China, but thats not the point)? How dare the government interfere with our rights?
Now Im an Ohioan, of course, and we have some pretty strange rules here. Sure, I can drive north about a half-hour to West Salem, and buy just about anything my little heart desires (including mortars--you know, smaller versions of the fireworks you see in professional displays). The only catch is, then I have to sign a document in which I promise not only that I wont shoot them off in Ohio, but that Ill remove them from the state within 48 hours. I suppose thats so the state can enjoy the sales tax income while still avoiding lawsuits from the parents of some kid who blows his finger off with an M-80.
Anyway, I saw this article at ReasonOnline, so I thought Id call attention to it. I was especially amused to see that one is four times as likely to be injured from an ordinary household cooking range than by a firework.