Fireworks and gunshots, the new July Fourth tradition

It is time for us to make some difficult decisions

Opinion

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

I always try to make sure I'm home on July 4th in the evening. Irresponsible individuals with fireworks are always a cause for concern. The amount of fireworks set off in the past was dwarfed by this year's exhibition. The fireworks started heavy on July 3rd and went until about midnight.

But on the Fourth, the fireworks went non-stop from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.! Yes I did say "a.m." The amount of fireworks that were set off had to have easily cost thousands of dollars. With many local, professional fireworks shows cancelled because of COVID-19, those who sell fireworks had to find ways to make their money. And they found it in the average person.

I watched as one young lady shot off a roman candle as if it were a toy. She had no concern for how poorly and low she was aiming it. As she laughed and giggled, she constantly lowered her arm so that the blast instead of going into the air went straight ahead. The embers barely missed hitting the garage. She could have set the structure on fire, but when you're a renter, who gives a damn!

Fireworks set off from the alley look like anything a professional would have done. There were even little parachutes that came down after being released by the explosion. The following morning, several roofs were covered with debris from the explosions. Backyards too. As I swept up my deck, a moron stood on a porch across the alley and shot off even more at 6 in the morning. His attitude was he could do whatever he wanted, the rest of the neighborhood be damned.

Lamenting fireworks is one thing, but the truth is there were a lot of gunshots fired over this Fourth of July holiday, including gunshots that killed the 7-year-old little girl in the 100 block of North Latrobe. What kind of community are we when young children cannot be out on the sidewalk without some individual coming along and deciding they want to shoot up the place? Where is the moral compass in these individuals who have such bad aim and are more concerned about trying to shoot somebody than they are about the innocent children who get caught in the crossfire?

I admit it. I'm an advocate for a return of the death penalty for those who impose a death penalty on innocent children, while their own lives are safe should they be caught. How can that be? Do I really believe that spending the rest of their years in jail for having killed an innocent 7-year-old is going to haunt them? I don't think so. It's only when their own life is on the line that people can truthfully reflect about the havoc they are causing.

As a society, we are going down some roads from which recovery will be difficult. It is time for us to make some difficult decisions. We may not like them, but we need them. The possible return of the death penalty is one of those decisions!

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