Letters to the Editor: Fireworks are more dangerous than protests. Where was the LAPD on July 4?

Fireworks fill the sky over North Hollywood, as seen from Burbank, on July 4.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The night of July 4, my usually peaceful Van Nuys neighborhood turned into a scene of terror. (“L.A.’s extreme fireworks bring terrible air quality, increased calls for fire service,” July 5)

From about 7:30 p.m., large, booming fireworks continuously went off until around midnight. From my upstairs deck, I could easily pinpoint five nearby locations as the sources of the explosions. By 9 p.m. my windows began shaking and I heard what sounded like buckshot bouncing on my solar panels.

I called the police, thinking I should at least go on record with my complaint. I waited 45 minutes to reach an operator, who asked me to identify the sources of the fireworks. I told her that I could point them out to anyone who would come to my house, and she said they might send a patrol car. No one came.


Last month, I was distressed to see images of police in military gear advancing on peaceful protesters in Los Angeles. Yet, by virtue of police inactivity, fireworks have become a widespread public danger. What I saw on July 4 was more threatening than any protest I have ever attended.

Lynne Culp, Van Nuys


To the editor: Was the Sunday print headline “This Independence Day just didn’t have much pop” someone’s idea of a joke? Or do the journalists who wrote the article live in soundproof rooms?

I have never heard so many “pops” and explosions on any previous holiday or occasion over 30-plus years of living in Los Angeles. The number of illegal fireworks set off all night Saturday to Sunday was insane.

When I opened the paper on Sunday, I expected to read some reporting, analysis or even an editorial about this plague rampaging through our city. Instead, there was this contradiction of your readers’ own sense of certainty.

I understand the realities of print deadlines may have been responsible for this, but anyone who has been living through the nightly barrage of firecrackers for the last months would have known to expect a big escalation for the holiday.


Peggy Kamuf, Los Angeles


To the editor: In an article on the large increase in the use of illegal fireworks this year, L.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer is quoted as saying, “Nobody knows why this year is so bad.”

I’m just a dumb guy sitting in my living room, and I know why. Countless teenagers and adults (some of whom may have had a beer or two) are sitting at home bored out of their skulls. They are looking for diversion. Large, professional-style fireworks fill that bill.

As we have learned from our war on drugs, if someone wants something and there is a profit to be made delivering same, it will be done.

Bill Bennett, Huntington Beach


To the editor: After spending an evening, a night and an early morning in a state of trauma from the nonstop fireworks, I awoke on July 5 to see the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s hazardous rating for Los Angeles.


The lack of enforcement against private fireworks has to change. In addition to illegal fireworks being a source of annoyance, frustration, anxiety, terror and insomnia (depending on one’s age and whether the listener is two- or four-legged), fireworks pose an extreme health hazard.

G. Edward OBrien, Los Angeles