Little support for ban on fireworks in Granite State - 886 responses

Jul 08, 2014

Regardless of where one is located in NH, July 4th is invariably marked by the sights and sounds of neighbors setting off fireworks. In response to a recent accident in which a Pelham man required emergency surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, however, New Hampshire State Fire Marshal William Degnan has advocated for a ban on consumer fireworks, beginning with reloadable mortars.

The general sentiment among Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) Facebook members, though, is one of stark disapproval, as just 4 percent of respondents expressed support for any sort of ban on consumer fireworks. In asking LFDA Facebook members the question, “Should NH ban consumer fireworks, starting with reloadable mortars?” 79 percent of respondents replied negatively, while 17 percent elected to discuss the subject in broader terms. In total, the LFDA received 886 citizen responses—a substantial total in comparison to many questions asked of its membership. This total number of responses included specific comments from 272 individuals supported by 585 concurrences.

For many of the majority opinion, the mere suggestion of banning anything through legislation runs counter to the ideals of the U.S. and in particular NH with its motto of “Live free or die.” “Keep NH a common sense state and stop trying to ban freedom,” said one woman, whose remarks captured both the tone and sentiment of many who expressed disapproval regarding a ban.

For the small percentage of respondents who expressed support for the ban, safety was cited as a chief concern. “As one with young kids and two dogs, I say ban them,” said one respondent.

For many who discussed the subject in broader terms, though alcohol use was cited as a strong mitigating factor. “Seventy-nine percent of injuries ‘caused’ by fireworks involve alcohol use,” one gentleman reasoned. “Less then 2% of all firework injuries are caused by faulty fireworks.”

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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