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Letter to the editor: Citizens can hold their own backyard show on July 4

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The letter, “Fireworks display organizers should consider everyone,” that was published Wednesday in The Jamestown Sun gives an opportunity for an important and timely discussion of our rights and privileges as Americans, which we celebrate especially on the Fourth of July. It also points out, in my mind, the serious dangers we face from eroded understanding of our rights, freedoms and responsibilities as citizens in this age.

The writer is put off by the scheduling of a fireworks show taking place on July 5. I do not know who pays for this fireworks show, but the writer acknowledges the considerable support for the show made by the Jamestown Speedway. I appreciate the Speedway’s efforts every year, no matter what the schedule is.

I would like to point out that among the freedoms we celebrate on July 4 and use to cherish the rest of the year is the freedom to openly associate with others. The writer and I are both equally and absolutely free to join any group that would choose to honor America’s birthday by sponsoring a fireworks show. These groups are also free to sponsor parades, carnivals, dinners or political rallies, or I dare say even protests against this country on July 4. Such is the extent of our freedoms, and I thank God for them (also a cherished right.)

Again, I do not know how much government money — or the author’s money — is involved in the fireworks show. I posit that any public funding for a fireworks display is probably not a legitimate expenditure of tax dollars, and it is better done by private funds, especially when there are many civic-minded entities willing to sponsor a show for any number of reasons.

When a person is offended by such groups scheduling a celebration to benefit the audience of his or her choice, I say, “Start up your own fireworks show, or join a group that does and influence its decision! You are free in America to do so!”

The entitlement thinking expressed by the author is a stunning display of claiming rights that are not his, to influence things that aren’t his, according to self-centered interest. Leave the sponsors to do as they are free to choose, buy a ticket and support the Speedway and its generous efforts. Hold your own backyard or neighborhood show on July 4 and don’t forget to clean up the street afterward! Or get some mosquito repellant and enjoy the show for free when the sponsors choose to celebrate.

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