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OPINION: Fireworks ban? It’s just a flash in the pan

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 October 2017

Archant

A look at issues of today

Another week another story about health and safety.

We often hear that these days children are required to wear safety goggles before playing conkers or a hazmat suit before they can drink milk. It seems like we’re wrapping kids up in cotton wool, which you’re not allowed to do these days in case the cotton wool was manufactured in a facility that also contained nuts.

The latest in this narrative is a petition to ban fireworks.

Thousands of people have signed the protest to stop the explosive celebrations. The more I think about this story the more I agree.

There’s a certain logic to banning the public from buying low-level ordnance. I don’t trust people to walk down the street without bumping into me so why trust them to aim fireworks in a safe way?

I know that there’s an immediate urge within us all to resist change and say, “Fireworks never did me any harm,” but to many people they did.

The authorities don’t have to run TV adverts telling children not to stop a swinging conker with their open eye but they did run scary ads around bonfire night.

If fireworks didn’t already exist you wouldn’t be allowed to invent them. Imagine pitching, “I’ve invented a national holiday where we celebrate it by setting off gunpowder explosions with flammable metals mixed in so it’s nice colours. Yes, some people will lose the odd hand but it’ll be fun.”

I know it’s because of the gunpowder plot but we don’t celebrate Easter with wood and rusty nails.

It’s not the first time there’s been a campaign to stop people getting their hands on fireworks. As before it’ll be talked about in the news for a while and nothing will happen.

Another flash in the pan.

• Tune into Steve’s show on Time 107.5 FM.


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