Massachusetts, Bring Back Fireworks

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If King George III had banned fireworks in America, Thomas Jefferson would have mentioned it in the Declaration of Independence.

Instead, our own Massachusetts Legislature banned them, back in 1943.

After 76 years, it’s past time to make them legal again.

On this Fourth of July, we renew our call to make fireworks legal in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts is now the only state in the country that (theoretically) bans all sales and use of fireworks, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.

Three of those state allow only sparklers — which hardly count — but the other 46 allow some forms of so-called “consumer fireworks.”

Yes, we know they’re dangerous. But statistically speaking, they’re nowhere near as dangerous as driving a car.

Handled properly, fireworks are safe enough.

While the risk isn’t zero, the reward is high.

Fireworks are exuberant. They enthrall us. They lift us up. And they connect us to our glorious fight for independence.

Yes, we know people can go to community fireworks displays in various towns and watch from a distance while experts set them off. But watching experts do something from afar is not freedom.

Everyone should have the thrill of lighting off a Roman candle – and it should be legal to do it.

It’s like declaring your own independence.