June 21, 2011

WINNING THE WAR ON FIREWORKS: I’ve mentioned Henry Reed’s Journey before, in the context of nannyists trying to crack down on fireworks. But as Michael Graham notes, it’s still going on:

If you’re too dumb to handle a bottle rocket, then you’re too dumb to handle a ballot.

And brother, does state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan think you’re dumb.

Coan opposes a bill by Rep. Rich Bastien (R-Gardner) that would let Bay Staters do what people in 46 other states take for granted: Buy fireworks. Last year our fellow Americans bought 214 million pounds of fireworks — nearly $1 billion in revenue, according to the American Pyrotechnic Association — but not one in Massachusetts.

Well, given that Massachusetts has selected three felonious House Speakers in a row, he might have a point. . . But there’s some good news here:

Americans are using 700 percent more fireworks than in 1976, according to the APA. Meanwhile the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that, during that same period, the number of fireworks-related injuries fell by 90 percent. . . . In the mid-1990s, about 30 states had total fireworks bans. Now it’s down to four, and the citizens of those states just grab them on their summer road trips. Our so-called “ban” accomplishes nothing, except to annoy rational adults who hate being treated like children.

Massachusetts: Another anti-science, reactionary Blue State?