Letter: Many fireworks users are doing it wrong

Here are some observations on the now-closed Juneau Community Collective fireworks poll ON Facebook.

It is now very apparent that residents are disturbed by fireworks in their neighborhoods, for a variety of good reasons.

A significant number of residents are so upset they want fireworks banned altogether in residential zones and parks (20 percent of poll, 122 people)

The majority of residents recognize the traditional use of fireworks on holidays such as the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. (60 percent of poll, 401 people)

Some interpret this majority attitude as a “compromise” with those who want fireworks banned — the “compromise” being that fireworks are banned on the majority of days of the year, thus supposedly ending the random occasions of fireworks disturbances on any day and at any time into wee hours of the morning.

However, the “compromise” that fireworks users actually want is to be able to continue to set off fireworks in their driveways just as they have been doing, disturbing the peace for hours on end on holidays. Those who complain that this is not fair to those who would like to celebrate a holiday in their yard without enduring such unwanted noise are told to get ear plugs, drug their pets, move out of town, and are sneered at as unpatriotic, whiners, mentally disturbed and idiots who like government regulations.

In other words, fireworks users expect everyone else to “compromise” while they have their fun as usual, disturbing other residents and preventing them from celebrating holidays in peace. Fireworks users don’t want to have to leave their own yards and drive somewhere away from residential areas.

We suggest a more realistic compromise: no aerial fireworks in neighborhoods and parks. No booming mortars, shells or big bottle rockets. Fountains, roman candles and novelty toys only. This was the situation for as long as anyone alive can remember — small fireworks in neighborhoods, with a big professional show. Not until fire code changes were adopted five years ago were consumers even able to purchase the large aerial mortar fireworks now disturbing the peace in neighborhoods.

If you want to use loud, booming aerial fireworks, common sense says you should do it away from residential neighborhoods and parks. Disturbing your neighbors’ peace is not OK.

If the mortar fireworks you’re using to “celebrate” are disturbing the hell out of your neighbors, your doing it wrong.

Chris Prussing,