So Maine Is Considering Banning Fireworks? Again?
Here in Maine, fireworks always seems to be a hot button for people. For as long as I can remember, until 2012, fireworks were "illegal" in Maine. At least as far as purchase and sale. But, I've spent every 4th of July of my life out at camp, and there were plenty of fireworks every year.
To the point, where it almost seemed laughable that you couldn't buy them here. At some point in 2012, state legislators were finally convinced that if nothing else, it made no sense to send all that money out of state. If people were going to do it anyway, and absolutely no one was enforcing it, we might as well keep the money here.
Seemed logical enough. Soon after, a handful of dealers showed up around the state, and that first year, sales were crazy. Until July 5th. then all the parking lots at the fireworks stores went pretty quiet. Until the following summer, etc. I'm sure you can see a pattern here.
But one legislator from Lewiston is proposing a new bill that would once again, make it illegal to own and set off fireworks, according to Fox ABC Maine. Representative Kristen Cloutier of Lewiston, is once again proposing that we do away with fireworks. On one level, she's spot on:
The state’s stance on consumer fireworks has left municipalities to create and implement their own ordinances which are largely unenforceable and unmanageable by our already overburdened public safety personnel.
I can't argue that trying to respond to every fireworks call would be a burden to our local law enforcement officers. But is getting rid of them altogether going to fix the problem? Cannabis was illegal in Maine forever. Did that stop people from buying it and using it? Nope. Same with fireworks, really.
Since they became legal, I don't see anymore activity on my lake than we ever did. But I'm only one person, talking about one spot. I can't speak for everyone. And that's kind of the point here. There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to this. Sending Maine money back out of state is not the answer though, either.
People will find a way to have fireworks if you take them away from them. Especially after they've been given the chance to have them. Like an angry kid, you yank them away, and they'll find a way to do it. And ten times harder than before. A common sense approach would benefit more people than bending to the desires of one group.
Yes, I own a dog. No, I don't shoot off fireworks. But I'm not into taking things away completely, that only affect us at certain times of the year. And I certainly don't want our money going out of state. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out, but I imagine it's going to be a whole lot of hot air, and no changes. We shall see.....