Yes, it’s the time of year when fireworks become easily accessible to all. The time of year when you get woken up most nights be people detonating fireworks. The time of year when news stories like this one, this one, this one, this one and this one become far too commonplace (those stories were all from the last few days, on just one news website). By far the worst is this horrific attack (with video). Yes, someone set off a large “industrial” 200 shot multi-round firework in a small shop. Which itself had stocks of fireworks for sale. That is nothing less than attempted murder. The youth who threw the firework in could not have known how many people were in the store, nor that the shopkeepers baby was on the premises (the child was later admitted to hospital suffering the effects of smoke inhalation)
Fireworks are explosive devices. They should be controlled in the same way as other explosives – with strict regulations regarding their manufacture, sale and use.
Fireworks should not be available to anyone “over-the-counter” in local stores. No matter what the customers age. They should only be available from regulated, licensed specialists and then only sold to licensed pyrotechnicians for use in organised event displays.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-fireworks at all – In the hands of professionals, fireworks are great, spectacular shows like the one I saw earlier this year in Blackpool show what experienced, competent and professional teams can achieve with pyrotechnics. However they should not be available to the kind of idiots who think it’s fun to light a 200 shot device and deposit it in the middle of a shop, where families are going about their business.
When is the government going to do something about this annual menace by banning the retail sale of these dangerous devices? (sign the petition)
Update: More fireworks stories :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7057195.stm (particularly nasty act of animal cruelty)