A nonbinding vote on fireworks?

By The Mercury

Even though the city has a little more sales tax revenue than it expected to, we hope city commissioners aren’t overly tempted to invest $20,000 of it in a nonbinding referendum on a fireworks ban.

We might be short on data, but we’re long on certainty. Yes, there are citizens who object to fireworks enough for reasons of noise, smell and safety to support a ban. Those folks are in a minority; they’re outnumbered by residents who don’t get a kick out of fireworks and might even dislike them — but nowhere near enough to deprive friends and neighbors of the joy fireworks bring the few days a year they’re allowed.

Then comes a larger group whose members can’t imagine a Fourth of July without shooting off fireworks and who have children who can’t imagine a Fourth of July without fireworks. Toss in libertarians who don’t want to lose another privilege and you have a convincing majority to retain the status quo.

None of this means personal fireworks won’t one day be banned in this city. But that would take a catastrophe, God forbid. That’s a legitimate concern, and we hope that the mere possibility contributes to the precautions people take.

But fireworks would survive a referendum, and, very possibly, even outlast the City Commission that bans them.

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