An Open Letter to Those Who Are Hell Bent on Celebrating July 4th with Illegal Fireworks

First of all, fireworks are illegal. In case you didn’t know that. They are illegal because you are not professionals trained to handle them. You are especially not equipped to set off bottle rockets after a few bottles of beer.

Second, you live in a neighborhood with other houses, busy roads, sidewalks. You aren’t in the middle of nowhere. Even if you are, there’s always critters around that are scared from the loud noises. If anything were to go wrong, and one of your rockets gets stuck on someone’s roof or tree, you are now responsible for creating a fire that could get out of control.

Third, your neighbors consist of people from all walks of life– they could be veterans suffering from PTSD, elderly, or those who have severe anxiety (including myself who can’t even stand thunderstorms), kids with autism who are sensitive to noise, and the most vulnerable – dogs and cats who shiver in fear hearing loud booms and bangs coming from all directions. They have no idea what’s going on, and they did nothing to deserve this. Simply putting a thunder shirt on your own pets so you can set off fireworks right outside makes you clueless. No matter how you view it, some kids and pets just can’t handle loud noises. More pets run away from home at this time than any other time, and can’t find their way home. 

Fourth, fireworks are ILLEGAL. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s okay. You are still engaging in illegal activity. And just because the police don’t have the capacity to enforce the law doesn’t mean you have permission to be an inconsiderate prick and continue to cause chaos in your neighborhood.

Fifth, do you wish to harm yourself? Thousands of people get hurt from malfunctioning fireworks or exploding firecrackers every year, including children. People lose arms, and worse, their lives, their property. I recently saw a jeep blow up on the side of the road because it was carrying fireworks in the extreme heat. Apparently that wasn’t the only incident of that sort. I bet the drivers wished they never had those in his car to begin with.

Lastly, you don’t have to care about others or even yourself for that matter (perhaps there’s a twisted darwinism at place here), but if your neighbors are clearly upset and distraught about your use of fireworks, don’t be a jerk about it and defend your illegal activity in the name of celebrating Fourth of July. Independence day is not about blowing stuff up. It’s a day where we celebrate our great country in which people from different backgrounds and walks of life, are welcome to live together in harmony without oppression and fear.

True patriotism is caring for your neighbor, doing the right thing, not harming others, respecting our veterans who have given so much of their lives for our safety. They’ve lived through real horrors where a loud bang meant one of their own dead or limbs lost. They’ve been through enough. 

Being an American means setting an example for others, giving back to the community, and caring for those who can’t care for themselves. It is NOT about showing off your prowess by lighting a few fireworks and getting momentary satisfaction at the suffering of others. It’s pathetic.

Let’s make American Kind Again. Thank you.

Yours truly,

Your friendly neighbor

Published by Lavanya

Lavanya Sunkara is a writer, animal lover, and globetrotter based in New York City. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Architectural Digest, Fodor’s, Forbes, USA Today and many more in a career spanning ten years. She covers travel, eco-lifestyle, culture, pets, and wildlife conservation.

One thought on “An Open Letter to Those Who Are Hell Bent on Celebrating July 4th with Illegal Fireworks

  1. That’s really interesting. In the UK anybody over 18 can buy fireworks and each year people are killed or majorly injured by them on 5th November. I don’t like them at all and have a daughter who is extremely sensitive to noise so wish that more people would be considerate of others.

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