Opinion: Is it too much to ask police to enforce L.A.'s fireworks ban? Readers fume

Fireworks are seen exploding over North Hollywood from Burbank on July 4.
(Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles’ perennial sonic nuisance reliably strengthens around early July, and this week our readers gave us an earful about it. Of course, I’m talking about fireworks, and even though they’re illegal and considered gravely dangerous in much of tinder-dry Los Angeles County, that did not stop this year in particular from having one of the most prolonged and intense periods of intermittent neighborhood bombardment in recent memory.

It goes without saying that anger over living with the explosions prompted most of the letters we received, but this year there was another common complaint among our letter writers: the lack of police enforcement of laws banning fireworks. Several readers wrote in response to other letters complaining about fireworks, and a few even blamed the movement to defund the Los Angeles Police Department.

I guess if we’re going to live with the fireworks nuisance indefinitely, we might as well find new ways to gripe about it.

Catherine Wirtz of Thousand Oaks warned that lawlessness on fireworks is a sign of things to come:


The Los Angeles Times’ letter writers were unhappy that there were so many fireworks on the Fourth of July? They called the police and no one came?

Welcome to a society with defunded police departments. Get used to lawlessness being allowed. Next Independence Day, call your social worker.

Robert Filacchione of Fullerton took a similar dig at the letters:

To the letter writers complaining about the fireworks, please contact your local social worker for support. The police will no longer respond to these types of disturbances. You asked for it, now deal with it.

Susan Rogen of Orange has had it with non-responses from local officials:

Why bother reporting a crime? Why bother reporting fireworks? Why bother reporting homeless people blocking the streets?

With little or no response from our leaders, why bother?

To our leaders: Your constituents pay your salaries. It would be nice, once in a while, for us to feel like our concerns are addressed. And no, we don’t want a letter of explanation, but thanks anyway. Please just act on our concerns.


Edward A. Sussman of Fountain Valley believes many people took a cue from their president:

As a follow-up to letters in Tuesday’s paper, there might be other reasons why so many fireworks going off were reported and why so many people chose to participate in this unlawful activity.

When the president decided to celebrate the July 4 holiday with an outdoor fireworks program at Mt. Rushmore the day before — and without requiring masks or social distancing, and by dismissing the threat of the coronavirus — several people no doubt decided that it was their right to do the same.

The “large, professional-style fireworks” that one reader mentioned are actually illegal in Southern California.