The Odessa Record -

Fireworks not fun for everyone


Last updated 7/12/2019 at 11:58am

Another 4th of July in Odessa, and I believe the people with illegal fireworks went all out. Now I know that some are unaware that fireworks that go “bang” or fly in the air and go “bang” are illegal, and there are others that do know it’s wrong. What I don’t know is whether anyone cares if it causes a problem for someone with PTSD or to the animals that shake with fright or run away. Not to mention the liability it causes if there is a fire or damage to homes or people.

With that said, I wonder if we are experiencing a trickle-down effect. After all, our federal government doesn’t obey the law these days, and our local city officials, mayor and council, and local police do nothing to enforce this law, so why not fire off illegal fireworks. Well, I would like to give my reasons why this needs to change. PTSD is not related to just veterans. It is true that the sound can represent gun fire or mortars, and that sound can bring back thoughts of fear, death or dying. Or it can remind someone of a loud car accident or a gas explosion in a home. I think you get the idea that it could affect anyone. There is no cure, just ways to cope with it.

If you are an animal lover, you probably know that July 4th and New Year’s Eve cause more loss and injury to pets than any other time of year. This year I would have left town for the 4th if my wife was able to go, and if nothing is done about the problem, I will do that next year. But what about those folks who cannot leave. What do they do? I find it a shame that anyone must leave their home because others want to break the law.

So what is the answer? I would like to make some suggestions. These will be the same ones I made to the mayor and council last year with their promise to look into it. We have new police officers, so it will be their first time hearing this. For those folks setting off legal fireworks at home, they should be allowed to continue. Presently the only place to set off the explosive fireworks is the Indian Reservation. Unfortunately, few if any want to go there to do it. Now it is possible to obtain a permit, and if we could find one place for everyone who wants to set off the illegal fireworks then all those who wish to watch or partake can do so legally.

While these are my suggestions, I would like to see the city take up the problem at the council meetings, eventually coming to a reasonable solution for all, including the police department, who would have to enforce the ruling. I know there are others who feel as I do, and they need to step forward and let the city know.

Chuck Van Hevel



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