4th Of July In Iowa Now A Nightmare For Many

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Remains from just one night. This neighbor started again at 9:30 am. Photo credit: with permission/ FB friend.

 

Worst 4th of July Ever /Branstad’s Final F*** You

I suppose we can be grateful we’re not living in an actual war zone.  Pushed by Republicans, signed into law by Terry Branstad,  SF 489 legalized the sale of fireworks in Iowa.  Polls supposedly indicated support for fireworks among Iowans.  I hope they re-poll after we get through the worst 4th of July ever and see if everyone still thinks this was a good idea.

All you have to do is go on Facebook for the horror stories.  Next door neighbors launching fireworks that sound like cannons, terrified, shaking dogs hiding in closets, people leaving town to get away from the noise, families unable to put the kids to bed, pillows stuffed in windows, “duds” and debris from explosives on sidewalks, in parks, on your roof. Shut the doors and windows, close yourself in the house, don’t take your dog for a walk.  4th of July week has changed in Iowa from a pleasant family holiday with a few fireworks,  to a pseudo-war zone,  so some can make money on the sale of explosives and the state can make a relatively small amount in tax revenue.

An estimated million a year in tax revenue doesn’t seem like much considering how much Branstad’s gang has given away to corporations in tax breaks.  For this we have to sacrifice our peace and quiet and put up with the sounds of war, not just for a couple of days in July, but in December too, because of course we need fireworks going on two weeks before Christmas through New Years.

Found these in our yard, most close to our house. Should we be concerned about potential fire issues if this continues? Photo credit: with permission, FB friend

4th of July used to be my favorite holiday. I enjoyed fireworks shows and didn’t mind the occasional sound of  firecrackers that used to merely mark the holiday, in the same way the start up of a lawn mower is a familiar, comforting sound of summer.  That changed this year.

Now, even where I live where it is against the law to launch fireworks within city limits, there is the near constant pop-pop-pop in the background caused by those who have bought up huge amounts of ammo at the tents in Hy-Vee and other store parking lots everywhere because it is legal to sell them here, even though it is illegal to use them here.

But of course people do it anyway, because you can’t have a fireworks shop on every corner and expect that they won’t get used.  Complaints are too numerous for law enforcement to keep up with. Some in my community say their neighborhoods sound like war zones.

“I’m about ready to take all the contents of the nightly scoop of our cats’ litterboxes, put them in a big paper sack, light it, and throw at the nearest neighbor who’s setting their fireworks off with what sounds like freaking cannons.” said one of my Facebook friends.

And it’s not just the noise.  It is of course a public safety issue.

Here’s one person’s story:

“I just took pictures from Sat night’s fireworks across the street and a bag of remnants which were in our yard (some also on the roof) to the police. Policeman took them to the fire department and was told that they are quite capable of setting a house on fire and there have been a couple of fires reported from the falling remnants. He sympathized with our concern that we cannot (nor can anybody) enter or leave our home with the hot remnants falling down upon them for hour after hour. He said that there is, however, nothing that can be done because it is legal. He suggested that we keep an eye on our home for smoke during the explosions. Does anybody see a problem with this?”

People who have no idea what they are doing are now allowed to buy explosives that should only be used by professionals. There have been house fire, numerous  injuries, at least one injured kitten, and reports of hospitalizations, including a 4-week old infant whose mother had to toss her in order to prevent the child from being hit by a misfired explosive at a private fireworks party. The explosive hit the mom, even though they were more than 50 yards away – half of a football field – causing burns and a broken femur to the child she had to throw in order to save.  Thankfully, as of this writing mother and child are recovering in the hospital but they both will be undergoing surgery.   Read more here.  The family has started a Go Fund Me page for medical expenses.

What to do:

Call your legislator whether they voted for it or not and tell them your personal fireworks story.

Find and contact your legislator here.  https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find

Write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

This is being passed around on Facebook:  Republican Senator Jake Chapman from Adel was the floor manager of the fireworks bill and has been pushing it for a few years.   This phone number, email and home address is listed on https://www.legis.iowa.gov so it is public information.

jake.chapman@legis.iowa.gov
jake@votejakechapman.com
25862 Fox Ridge Ln, Adel, IA 50003
(515)650-3942

Make no mistake, this was a Republican bill.   It would not have passed if Democrats were in the majority. Democrats blocked this legislation when they controlled the senate.

Voting Republican should now be in the category of “no longer an option.”  They continue to prove  how untrustworthy they are over and over again, and how little they care about Iowans.

Every pop, every boom that intrudes on the peace of an Iowa summer day is a torturous reminder that the Koch Brothers puppet Republicans have taken over everything and will continue to do what their corporate masters want, and what they want has nothing to do with what is good for Iowa or America.

 

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