Slowly but wisely, local governments are squeezing fireworks out of Orange County.
Earlier this month, San Juan Capistrano’s City Council voted to join the county and 18 cities that have outlawed fireworks. Other cities that took similar action this year, barring the sale as well as the use of fireworks, include Cypress, Fountain Valley, San Clemente and Villa Park.
On Nov. 8, with advisory ballot Measure Z, the Stanton City Council will ask residents whether the sale, use and distribution of so-called safe and sane fireworks (the only ones authorized by the state) should “continue to be permitted in the City of Stanton.” Stanton voters should respond with a resounding no . The council says it will take whatever advice residents offer through the ballot.
The issue in Stanton is the same as it has been in other communities that have outlawed fireworks: public safety. Some community organizations that raise money selling fireworks object to bans, saying that youth groups need support and that fireworks are a way to “honor” the country’s independence. But it makes no sense to support youth groups by selling fireworks that can seriously injure young people or honor the nation by burning part of it down, and the argument is losing steam. For example, the Boy Scouts of America will revoke the charter of any troop that sells fireworks.
Public displays in the hands of experts still can provide a proper Independence Day celebration without the added injury, death and property damage fireworks of all kinds cause.
Stanton residents should vote to ban fireworks. The seven other cities that still allow them should then follow suit. Because of the way that Measure Z is worded, a no vote is needed to indicate that Stanton voters want to ban fireworks. It’s an easy connection for residents to make. When they think of fireworks, they should think no , in Stanton and everywhere else in Orange County where they are still foolishly allowed.