Sorry to write about fireworks again, but today's story on the kids almost torching the zoo seems to have re-ignited the issue. I hope nobody missed the ambivalence I expressed in yesterday's post. I wasn't trying to act like a holier-than-thou prig. I admitted having been a serial lawbreaker myself.
This morning, when talk in the newsroom turned to fireworks, I noticed quickly that A) the discussion was confined almost entirely to male persons, and B) the only thing more fun than committing dangerous indiscretions with fireworks as a child is reminiscing about them as an adult. I agree with all the commenters who say that stepped-up enforcement by the cops is basically a hopeless proposition. I only wished them luck out consideration for my dog, who forced this change of habit on me.
One other point: It's funny how many people argue that fireworks laws shouldn't be enforced because they are unenforceable and because people just want to have fun. How about our immigration laws? For years, we let it be known that sneaking into our country was an extremely minor offense, but now that we suddenly consider illegal immigration a serious problem, people are calling for harsh punishment of these "lawbreakers." And they weren't coming here for fun. They were coming here to feed themselves and their families. The next time someone says, "The law is the law, and these people need to be punished," ask them: "How you ever possessed or detonated fireworks within the city limits of Billings?"
UPDATE: Justin posted some strong comments under the post below this one, but they're nothing compared to what he says on his own blog.