Fireworks, not really a question, more of a rant

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MrPahoehoe | 10:58 Fri 20th Oct 2006 | News
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Sorry, I'm not really sure where to post this, but since it is sort of current events:

I thought the answerbank crew were generally a fairly sensible group of people, not infected with the PC miasma that seems to be gripping the world now-a-days. But the results of the Firework poll on the homepage are ridiculous. How can so many people be in favour of only selling fireworks for licenced shows, etc.

Some of my fondest memories of childhood are my dad putting on an, admittedly comparably lame, firework display in our back garden. I can't believe you all want to take that away from the younger generation.

Yeah sure, make selling regulations much tougher to stop stupid kids from injuring themselves, or even worse, them injuring some innocent party. But once you start legislating against items that people can use to hurt themselves then it won't be long before we're having to chop up our dinner with blunt spoons & taking aloe vera, or something like that, for headaches.


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The age of responsibility is moving over for the age of litigation... we need protecting from ourselves at every turn it would seem.
I love fireworks, and seeing a display is nothing like as much fun as doing it for yourself
I agree that we shouldn't need to be protected against every minor posibility of injury. I do things that many people would regard as quite dangerous, and I cherish my right to do so. But when I was young, fireworks and their users were relatively harmless. There were cases of people being blinded etc., but they were extremely rare. They were not thrown at people, used in crowded market halls, pushed through letter boxes etc. There are now horrific cases of injury from the modern, powerful devices. Bonfire night did not extend from September until August and firework parties did not begin at midnight. The emergency services dread firework events, as do the carers of animals which are often terrified.

in our area we've been living with firework "displays" since the end of august, often until 3am or 4am, with the result that the cats have sometimes been missing for days. there have also been instances of lit fireworks being dropped into letter boxes and other places calculated to cause damage. the perpetrators are not kids, unless the minimum age for drinking in pubs is suddenly a lot lower that it was recently.

I too have fond memories of backyard fireworks parties. but unless users are prepared to show a little more responsibility in the use of fireworks, I'm with the killjoys on this one.
The firework displays go on for months round our way. They seem to be used for Diwali (which last I heard was a festival of light rather than noise), Halloween, November the 5th, Christmas, New Year and any other excuse.

I've been woken up in the middle of the night before an important exam by a drunken firework display in next door's garden, and overall, I do find fireworks a bit of a nuisance in residential areas. I see what admarlow's saying about the fun of doing it yourself, but I personally would prefer the DIY displays to be somewhere more appropriate than next door's back garden as well, so that it's an inclusive social, rather than exclusive anti-social event.
It's rare I know but I'm with admarlow on this.

The firework season has lengthened but Diwali is particularly appropriate for fireworks -festival of light-fireworks? - what bit are you having trouble with?

The breakdown of last years firework injuries are here: orks/injuries_GB2005.htm

Note the about a third (the highest category) were "no further treatment required".

Whilst you do get some really nasty injuries less than 100 were bad enough to be detained over the whole country and that is for the entire month.

By comparison 200 people will have been killed on the roads during that time!

Todays fireworks are not like the ones we had years ago, piddling little rockets, 'bangers' spinning wheels, sparklers etc. quite harmless now I look back. Nowadays they sound like small explosions, they are dangerous in the wrong hands, so I don't think they should be on sale to the general public. Another killjoy !
I know it would be a saftey officers nightmare but there is nothing better on a cold november night to get a few mates around have a few beers and let off some rockets. The only people who want it banned are lefty guardian reading islingtonites, who are just jealous that their flat in islington has no garden. Isnt Guy Fawlks night part of our heritage anyway?
Yes, that's right admarlow. It's only them.

Oh and anyone who has a pet that develops a nervous tick over the weeks and weeks that fireworks go off, anyone with small children that wake up because of selfish knuckle-dragging halfwits orchestrating recreations of the blitz at 11 o'clock at night, the old (ditto), anyone who has had a rocket fired at their car/house...

I've no objections whatever to it on November the 5th and or the nearest weekends, but I do resent it going on for weeks and weeks and weeks either side as do a great many other people.
Waldo I agree with you 100% but just because people get stabbed nobody is going to ban knives. Maybe you should have to be over 21 to buy them?
I too think it's ridiculous and a very big step backwards socially to ban firework sales. I like fireworks and we are the sort of family that, when we get woken up at 3.00am think "oh great fireworks", so I appreciate we are probably in the minority to start with but I also think that over legislation about ANYTHING is a social disaster.
I appreciate that some people abuse fireworks, but to take everybody's rights to them away, what you are in effect doing is undermining all those people's personal repsonsibility, which long term leads to a moronic society incapable of acting on their own initiatives and thinking for themselves. I think there is quite enough of that about as it is and I certainly don't want anymore of it.
We also have animals ( horses, cats, dogs, etc etc) all of whom we rigourously desensitise to fireworks. My dogs are always in the garden with us during firework's displays so chilled out are they about them, so panic stricken animals are only the norm where their owners either can't be bothered to desensitise them, don't understand that it can be done or in the case of older animals where they have already an established fear of them, but again that goes back to lack of appropriate training ( difficult with rescue dogs I know before anyone launches into me).
It's only fireworks. They are supposed to be fun and just as an anti-social firework display can upset those having to listen to it, banning at home firework displays will upset lots of people too. You have to have an even balance or it becomes unfair in whole other areas.
For the record I am a Guardian reading Leftie who likes fireworks and can't stand killjoys.
I'm another killjoy I'm afraid .I have no objection to them on or around the day but I am fed up with being bombarded with them from around now until the New Year .Dangerous things in the wrong hands .
lol nox.....
I would rather they were only at displays. Nothing to do with people getting injured but I'm getting sick of the numpties setting them off at 3am in the field next to where I live!

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Well thanks for all your replies; much appreciated. Thanks Jake-the-peg for those figures...under 100 serious injuries! For people suggesting banning fireworks on health grounds then we might as well say goodbye to alcohol, smoking (anywhere, not just public places), knives (or any tool/kitchen implement) fatty foods, salt & cars (well, all road based travel), etc. Some of you might say some of those would be good to get rid of, but it won't be long before you're not allowed to exceed your junk food quota or some nonsense.

Seems to me that the majority of the people who want it banned is because they get woken up at stupid-o�clock a few too many times. Whilst I'll concede that that is annoying, I'm pretty sure that making that sort of disturbance late at night is against the law anyway, regardless of if its fireworks or not.

As for people�s pets (sorry, but I'm not going to be endearing myself here), but to be brutally honest I really don't care. I honestly do feel genuinely sorry for the dogs, but humans take precedence in my opinion. Besides, how much in this life is a compromise between safety and convenience (e.g. 70 mph speed limit, which in safeties terms ought to be much lower, but in my opinion is already too low), to get rid of the firework enjoyment in order to not scare some dogs occasionally would be ludicrous.
China Doll - My point exactly, word for word.

The nearest I can get to not wanting to ban them is organised displays only.
mr pahoehoe, will you feel the same when your local neds start firing rockets at your car?
I couldn't give a sh1t about the safety issues. Frankly if someone is stupid enough to treat fireworks like toys then they deserve all they get.
However, I like my sleep and I resent being woken up and kept awake in the weeks leading up to November 5th and beyond by little turds that think they're doing something rebellious and original.

Bah humbug.
The answerbank crew as you call us ARE generally a fairly sensible group of people, so the percentage of them who want fireworks limited to displays must count for something. Interesting that so few of us actually want ALL fireworks banned, but to be let off when and where we can know about it beforehand.

As for your comments about not scaring dogs, then you obviously have never had to content with an animal that is so petrified that it has escaped and been killed, or injured itself so badly in trying to get away from them that it has to be put to sleep. And all just so you can enjoy youself.
Question Author
Some fair comments there again, as I expect I would feel differently if people were firing fireworks at my car. But thats not really the fault of the fireworks, more the idiots who misuse them. I agree with all these reasons for people disliking them, but a ban on fireworks would only punish the rest of us. If people are setting fireworks off repeatedly & at 3am, or some such time, then surely that�s a breach of some sort of anti-noise law? And as for people firing fireworks at other people (albeit in cars) that�s tantamount to shooting at them with a gun & they should be treated accordingly

I said I really do feel sorry for animals, but I don�t think it�s enough of a reason to change the law. As I said, life is all about compromise. When something like road safety, which is much more important issue, is balanced against convenience of high speed limits then it would be mad to balance something as innocuous as fireworks against some pets convenience. As I said though, if they are going off repeatedly at stupid o�clock throughout the year then that should be addressed for breaching other laws, but I�ve heard people complain about fireworks on November 5th because of their pets, which is ridiculous. I may sound callous, but I really do feel sorry for the animals. Even with organised shows, some animals & people nearby would still be forced to suffer, its just a case of �not in my back yard�. The only way to be completely fair to pets would be to make all firework displays illegal and that would only be a matter of time after it was illegal to have private displays. Its not ideal, but I don�t think the law should be changed. Anyway, didn�t Noxlumos say that pets can be desensitised to fireworks?

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