Readers React: A column celebrating illegal fireworks — is the L.A. Times crazy?

Illegal fireworks dot the sky with downtown Los Angeles in the background on the evening of July 4, 2012.
( Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I found myself extremely disappointed in columnist Frank Shyong’s glowing review of illegal fireworks in Los Angeles. His childlike glee personifies the widespread immaturity and blatant disregard for the safety of the communities where fireworks are a major nuisance.

Let’s talk also about the great harm done to animals that are terrified of the loud, law-defying blasts. Why doesn’t Shyong volunteer at local animal shelters after this barrage? Perhaps he can help reunite at least some of the hundreds of animals that will escape their homes and yards in a state of terror because of illegal fireworks.

This isn’t patriotism. That’s something you live and breathe every day. I hope the Los Angeles Police Department issues a lot of $1,000 fines for this illegal contraband. Report offenders by calling (877) ASK-LAPD.

Linda R. Antonioli, Los Angeles



To the editor: Has the Los Angeles Times gone crazy? Or is Shyong’s column extolling the joys of illegal fireworks some sort of Darwinian experiment? If so, please remember that explosions and fires do not discriminate — everyone burns.

There is no such thing as a “beautiful war zone.” Terrorizing animals is not OK. And while Shyong doesn’t mind his property getting damaged from burning debris, most of us would mind very much.

I look forward to Shyong’s columns about the thrills of driving drunk, riding a bicycle without a helmet, using a hairdryer in a bathtub, and climbing over safety railings at national parks to take selfies.


We live in a city, a community of millions of people. Shyong’s call to selfish gratification through dangerous anarchy is completely inappropriate to this setting.

Michael Hynes, Northridge


To the editor: I cannot agree with practically any sentence in Shyong’s piece.

There are reasons fireworks are illegal in the city of Los Angeles: They are dangerous (to the owner and the environment), they terrify small children and most animals, and they are incredibly annoying to neighbors.

If people want to show their patriotism on the Fourth of July, how about a barbecue, an American flag and some sparklers? If they really want to show their patriotism, they should vote in every election.

Anne Beaty, Los Angeles

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