Letter to the editor: Don’t take away freedom just to appease a few people
This is a response to the Mark Schuttenhelm letter that ran Tuesday in The Jamestown Sun and the article, “Jamestown allows fireworks longer than major N.D. cities,” that was published in Wednesday’s edition. My opinion may be biased because I am the operator of The Crew Fireworks here in Jamestown, or it may be biased because I believe in exercising the freedoms that we are blessed with that so many of us take for granted.
On average nearly 3,287 people die a day from car accidents, and 1.3 million people die a year. It’s said it cost the U.S. dollar $518 billion a year globally and could be the fifth-leading cause of death by 2030. In 2010, 73,505 Americans were treated to emergency room visits for nonfatal gunshot wounds and that ranks in the top with homicide and suicide for leading causes of death.
However, our ancestors lost lives so our forefathers could establish the Second Amendment and bless us with the freedoms we can choose to use or abuse. Speaking of abuse, alcohol is responsible for 2.5 million deaths a year and economic costs average $223.5 billion a year, yet we have bars on every corner. Much like cars emit toxic chemicals, landfills are accountable for a highly-flammable chemical called methane. Methane is not only harmful to one’s health, it also replaces the oxygen in the air. When methane reaches levels of 5 percent it can cause an explosion that exceeds 85 decibels of sound.
I have a blind dog with diabetes that has been a “July 4 dog.” Because it’s an animal with instincts, it has returned to the home where it has received love and care. But the No. 1 causes of death are heart-related diseases. I don’t petition to ban certain foods in grocery stores or shut down the fast-food industry. I just utilize my freedoms and choose not to partake.
If your focus is dreading nine days out of the year out of your entire life in a free state, the issue is beyond banning fireworks. If we want to leave the Stone Age and get into the 21st century with the rest of America and its economic crisis, taking one subtle freedom away is one big step closer to doing so. If you want to make an issue of enforcing laws with regards to people shooting off past the designated times then the argument is valid. But what is not valid is taking away more freedom than we already have to appease a few people.