As I am sure you’ve noticed, Friday is the Fourth of July, which means that for several nights before and afterwards, many of our neighborhoods will sound after dark like a free-fire zone.
In other words, kids, some of them long past voting age, will be setting off fireworks. A few will hurt themselves, mainly burning their hands or losing a finger. Some may lose an eye.
If the grass is dry enough or a bottle rocket goes out of control, we may have some serious fires. Six years ago, a bottle rocket landed on the roof of a rather nice apartment complex in Toledo, starting a blaze that completely destroyed the buildings.
Nobody died, but a hundred people were left homeless. Over the years, I’ve noticed that the staunchest advocates for gun control haven’t been so-called Ann Arbor liberals, but the police.
Cops are not always known to be liberal on social issues, but they see on a firsthand basis what guns in the wrong hands can do. By the same token, firefighters tend to be the most anti-firecracker.
Firemen, and city officials. When I was young, Ohio had far more liberal fireworks policies than Michigan. But that has changed. Ohio has outlawed almost all consumer fireworks.
But three years ago, our Legislature made them far easier to get and blow up for three days around any national holiday.