Well, it's that time of year again. The 4th of July. For most Americans, it's a time for hot dogs and hamburgers, parades and parties -- beer and fireworks!
Are we sure those two go so well together?!
See, the thing is... they don't!
So, cards on the table, I don't celebrate the 4th. Or any holiday, actually. I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and that means full fledged political neutrality, so we don't engage in any red, white, and blue festivities.
Now, that doesn't mean I don't like parades, or hot dogs, or beer... I mean C'mon! And I've loved fireworks since I was a kid and saw the massive fireworks display at Disney World. Now THAT was one breathtaking display! You know, for a massive release of toxins into the atmosphere... but nobody cares about that anyway, right?!
So, yeah. I love fireworks, and if I can catch a glimpse of them out my window on one of the three or four days of the year that they go up, I'll enjoy it...
Or at least, I'd like to be able to...
But I can't.
Why? You ask...
Well, it would be right now that I would like to don my best hand-on-the-hip, finger-waggling, clap out each word, full judgment mode Diva self and say it simply for you...
I don't understand why this concept is so hard for so many to understand. And if you're one of those people who does this,I get it... You're just trying to entertain the family. Enjoy the moment. Live for today. Celebrate your country. YOLO and Etc.
**** Okay, cool. But please remember this next time you're celebrating:
SHOOTING OFF FIREWORKS WITHIN CITY LIMITS IS ILLEGAL (in most places)
and more than this...
I'm sorry, but for real. I can't just ignore this like every year. Every year that my dogs are freaking terrified and hiding under the tables. Every year that I repeatedly stand on my front or back lawn to double check that those fireworks you're releasing OVER MY HOUSE have not nestled themselves onto my roof, waiting for the right moment to go POOF!
See, this is why alcohol and fireworks don't mix!
At least not the operator.
I know. I know. I'm that nervous nellie mom that goes around the neighborhood barbecue double-checking every glass has a coaster, cigarette has an ashtray, child has an inch of sunscreen.
But where would we be without those ladies?
Furniture rotting. Yards and houses charred and burning. Sunburned all over miserable people! That's where.
So, if my rant and pleas and vaguely rude, insulting, guilt-shaming words don't convince you, than maybe... just maybe... a couple statistics will.
So, here goes:
Here's a nice article that calls out three reasons not to set off fireworks on your property:
- It's likely illegal.
- It causes air pollution.
- It could start a fire.
Not enough to convince you, how about this one from the National Fire Protection Association:
Over 19,500 Firework related fires reported in the US in 2018.
- Five "civilian deaths" (how many non-civilian deaths, I wonder...)
- Forty-six "civilian injuries" (same question here again...)
- Over $105 MILLION in property damages!
Still not enough to convince you?
Tough cookie, eh!?
How about a real story of real people in your own backyard? (More or less)
Maybe you don't care about property damage, human injury, or jail time... Okay, cool. Do you love your four-legged friends?
IT'S CRUEL TO MAN'S BEST FRIEND!
How about this article from the ASPCA about four ways that fireworks negatively impact dogs' physically?
That's right. It's physically DANGEROUS to our dogs... (I hope you don't think this is limited to dogs, right? Cats, deer, horses, etc.)
Still not convinced? Try this on for size:
More dogs and cats (and birds) go missing on the Fourth of July than ANY other day of the year!
And think about these numbers:
- A whopping 50% average of the pets that go into shelters end up being put down. FIFTY PERCENT!
- Each Fourth of July weekend, the number of lost pets increases to a (here's that word again) whopping 30-60%!!!
- And Only about 14% of the heartbroken humans ever find their pets again...
So, which statistic do you want your dog or cat to be?
Think it's just the dogs and cats that are affected by firework fun?
IT DAMAGES THE ENVIRONMENT AND BASICALLY... THE WHOLE WORLD!
The following article shows that even Owls, Eagles, and others will prematurely leave their nests to avoid the sounds... Seriously... it literally endangers species. Just sayin'!
And this article shows how they PERMANENTLY damage our dogs' sense of well-being, giving them lifelong PTSD!
And speaking of PTSD...
IT TERRORIZES PEOPLE, TOO!
Did you know that fireworks cause AND trigger PTSD in humans, too!? Think about it.
I live in a military town, and it's rife with veterans and fireworks every year... but how many of those same vets have PTSD that's triggered by those fireworks?
And what about non-vets? There are plenty of us who have PTSD from non-war experiences. And trust me, Fireworks popping off over my head for hours on end... Does Not Help!
So, really, it should be enough that it's illegal to pop off fireworks in city limts.
It should be enough that common sense says it's stupid to shoot fireworks off over your own or your neighbor's house.
It should appeal to your humanity that you're scaring dogs, cats, birds, owls, humans... the list goes on...
But if none of this does the trick, I'd like to invite you to read the next two questions and REALLY meditate on your answers...
- *** Do you REALLY want to be the idiot that gets the living tar beat out of him/her by the neighbor who just lost their dog or house to your drunken stupidity?
- ***** Or do you REALLY want to be one of those statistics of the idiots who gets burned and injured on the Fourth of July?
I'm not trying to be as petty as this may sound. Have your fun. Drink and be merry! Shoot your fireworks off... Knock yourself out!
JUST. DON'T. SHOOT. THEM. OFF. OVER. MY. HOUSE!
About the Creator
Alaskan Grown Freelance Writer 🤍 Lover of Prose
Former Deckhand & Barista 🤍 Always a Pleaser & Eggshell-Walker
Lifelong Animal Lover & Whisperer 🤍 Ever the Student & Seeker
Traveler 🤍 Dreamer 🤍 Wanderer
Happily Lost 🤍 Luckily in Love