Ban on shooting fireworks in Sikeston should remain

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Pop. Boom. Bang.

Anyone inside the city limits of Sikeston have heard these noises near the Fourth of July despite the fact there is a ban on selling and shooting fireworks inside the city limits.

According to Sikeston Department of Public Safety Director Mike Williams, DPS gets on average 100 calls a year about the illegal shooting of fireworks and many residents donít even call to complain. Instead they grit their teeth and hope the fireworks donít turn their house into a ball of flames.

Now the Sikeston City Council is considering allowing the selling of the fireworks inside city limits and the shooting of fireworks during certain times. The first issue of selling fireworks inside the city limits is an easy issue. Absolutely they should allow the selling of fireworks inside the city limits. Why let Miner get all the tax money from the floods of people buying everything from bottle rockets to sky cannons? Allowing the sale of fireworks will only help the city.

But the shooting of the fireworks is a different issue, entirely. Fireworks are a tradition, especially for children. Some of my fondest memories of summer are putting on a fireworks show with my family and the bottle rocket wars at night with friends and family, because why not launch explosive projectiles at those you love, right?

Allowing the shooting of fireworks in Sikeston would create some problems. With essentially more people shooting fireworks, the chance of fire and injury obviously increases. Especially if the area hasnít had any rain and the grass is dry. Williams said DPS traditionally has one house fire each year and nobody wants homes to burn or possibly even firefighters or residents to be injured.

Also, there is the issue of all the trash that is left over from the fireworks. I remember after shooting fireworks at home and the next day the smell of sulfur hung around the house like a thick fog and we were cleaning up the trash for days. But we cleaned up the trash. Who cleans it up if it is on city streets or in city parks?

Still we have these issues anyway because many in Sikeston choose to ignore the current ordinance. Iíve seen families out in their driveway putting on shows that rival the one at the Complex. And Iíve seen kids in the street setting off the fireworks and then taking off and hiding when the police drive by, only to come back out when the coast is clear.

Just because people already do it should not be an argument to allow fireworks to be shot inside the city limits. People use drugs inside the city limits and we donít start allowing citizens to use drugs on certain days of the week. So that argument should be set aside.

I think the ban on shooting fireworks inside the city limits should remain. Iím all for allowing people to have fun but there is nobody saying you canít purchase fireworks and shoot them. You just canít do them inside the city limits of Sikeston. And if you want to watch them, just head to the Recreation Complex. Or just go outside and watch your neighbors show.

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