Saturday May 18, 2019
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday May 18, 2019
It’s time to dump cold water on backyard fireworks
This weekend, and again in a little more than a month, it will be firecracker season in our neighbourhoods.
Yes, there will be the community gatherings. But if you don’t choose to go to those events, you won’t hear the fireworks set off there.
You will, however, hear the ones you don’t choose to hear. The ones in your neighbour’s backyard. Or down the street. Or in community parks. Or anyplace where fireworks fans — often, but not always, young people — gather to make big noise.
Your pets, especially dogs, will hear them. In many cases, they’ll be traumatized.
If you’re in a dense urban neighbourhood, they’ll sound like they are right outside your window.
Why do we continue to put up with this? The traumatized pets? The interrupted sleep? The risk of personal injury or property damage?
Does setting off fireworks in residential neighbourhoods represent some greater value — like freedom and liberty? Is lighting off a cherry bomb some cherished human right?
How about this — just don’t. If you feel compelled to explode fireworks, take them to a place well removed from residential neighbourhoods. If loud noises and sparks are your thing, at least don’t impose them on neighbours and others — including little children and pets who have no choice in the matter.
Fireworks are not intrinsically bad at appropriate times and places, with adequate safety and supervision in place. But they don’t belong in residential neighbourhoods where we share air space and, hopefully, a sense of civility and mutual respect. (Hamilton Spectator Editorial)