Can we talk about fireworks for a second?

What’s better than a precisely executed fireworks display on the 4th of July?

  • They’re beautiful.
  • They’re symbolic of freedom.
  • They’re an opportunity to have a moment with a loved one away from your phone (unless you’re watching through it).

But beyond the professional fireworks shows, I gotta ask:

Can we not?

Why are amateur fireworks “shows” still a thing?

Amateur fireworks shows are unsafe. Like, really unsafe. Burned eyebrows and lost appendages unsafe. Who’s paying the ER bills?

Amateur fireworks shows incite violence. 44 shootings and 8 deaths, including a seven-year-old, in the Chicagoland area on this year’s 4th of July. What better time to shoot a gun when people won’t think twice about the sound?

Amateur fireworks shows are obnoxious. They’re loud, messy and are miserably unimpressive. Few things are more upsetting (for a dog lover and person who likes peace) than living in the heart of Chicago and trying to take your dog to go pee at 11 pm on the evening of July 4th. It’s like walking the beaches of Normandy on D-day.

People, this is my call for crippling penalties for amateur, unlicensed firework shows.

The fines will generate revenue for the city, we’ll have fewer ER visits, and a more peaceful existence now that we, since 1776, have earned it.