I am truly perplexed as to why, after the obvious and overwhelming opposition to repeal the fireworks ban in St. Charles Parish a year ago, this kind of proposition would again rear its ugly head.
Is this issue of repealing/revising this ban of such vital importance that the St. Charles Parish Council would ignore the voluminous opposition of the citizenry and decide they needed to address it again?
The arguments that "it happens anyway" or that "police rarely enforce the ordinance" are irrelevant at best, as frankly those arguments apply to many existing laws/ordinances that are intended to promote safety and a sense of respect for one’s neighbor (examples being open flames, outside parties, violating other residential codes, etc.).
The residents of the parish know those statements are true of course, but it is not hard to understand why one neighbor does not want to implicate another – they have to still live near each other afterward. So again, that is irrelevant and is not, in my opinion, the issue.
The issue, in my opinion, is that the right of an individual to set off explosive, disruptive and potentially injurious fireworks does not trump the right of other non-participants to live in a safe and peaceful residential neighborhood. That is, at the very least it disturbs the peace of others who do not want this kind of "celebration" in their neighborhoods.
I’m not talking about supervised children that use some quiet type of sparkler or similar device. I am talking about the literal explosive nature of small bomb-type firecrackers and rockets that scare our rescued pets, literally shake our homes and windows, litter the streets and yards of non-participants, and are potentially dangerous and injurious to people, property and animals alike.
We do not realistically expect the Sherriff’s Office to intercede everywhere those who choose to ignore and disrespect the law (and their neighbor’s right to not having their peace disturbed and property potentially damaged) takes place.
We do expect more vigilant patrols those evenings and the obvious police presence that clearly sends the message that "if you get out of control you will receive a warning and then a citation."
Finally, I can easily understand that if this repeal/revision is approved by the Council, when an injury occurs, which it will, that personal injury attorneys would have the basis from which to litigate the Council, since the Council would have approved the repeal/revision.
This repeal or revision to allow certain types of fireworks in the parish is simply wrong on many levels. I am of the opinion that there are more citizens that are opposed to than are in favor of this repeal. That will (again) become evident when the Council is (again) inundated with the opposition’s emails when this misguided proposition is on the agenda for a vote.
If the Council wants to have a central, supervised and controlled area (such as possibly the Bridge Parks?) for such "celebration," then that may be an idea worth considering. But to repeal any existing laws or ordinances that allow fireworks to continue in residential neighborhoods is neither prudent nor welcomed.
Timothy R. Allen