Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fireworks Used in Boston Bombs...Prepare Yourself for Ridiculous New Fireworks Legislation

Well, here we go.  It was only a matter of time until some portion of the Boston bombing story surfaced that will be used as a catalyst for ignorant, over-reaching panic legislation.  And if it didn't appear before Wednesday, it's sure here now.

Throughout the day Wednesday, news began surfacing that the Boston bombing suspects used gunpowder scavenged from fireworks to create the deadly bombs used to terrorize this year's Boston Marathon.

I'm willing to bet that before next week is out, there is a minimum of one state making lots of news because it's legislature is going to begin considering strict new fireworks legislation because of this.  That's the way it always happens with these tragedies.

  1. Something horrible happens
  2. Something the vast majority of people use safely in their lives is found to be involved
  3. Legislators panic and make rash decisions about what can be done to prevent tragedy again
  4. Mostly safe item has crazy new restrictions placed on it or is banned
  5. Hardly anyone, if anyone at all, is saved while millions deal with ridiculous new regulations

It happens every time.  Every. Single. time.  And you can bet your hind end it will happen again here.  Lawmakers across the nation are going to put new fireworks legislation in place in the name of preventing terrorism, or saving lives, or preventing fear, or whatever.  And no one will really benefit.  But many, many people will have to deal with the negative repercussions of the new laws.

Here's what I expect to see lawmakers suggesting across the nation:
  • Styles of fireworks allowed to be purchased limited to only those with the smallest amounts of powder
  • Number of fireworks purchased to be severely limited
  • Anyone attempting to buy large amounts of fireworks to have police called on them
  • Every fireworks purchaser to have their name recorded along with the contents of each purchase
  • Digital connectivity required between different fireworks resellers so that attempts to buy large amounts via small amounts purchased from several retailers will be thwarted
  • Fireworks purchaser license required
  • Background checks required for fireworks purchasers
  • Fireworks safety courses required before anyone is allowed to purchase fireworks

And who knows what else.  Trust me, here.  You are going to see at least one state proposing some of these laws within the next ten days, and a whole lot of states following suit within the next year.

Please don't misunderstand what I am saying here.  The bombings were a real tragedy.  And my thoughts and prayers are with each and every person either directly or indirectly affected.

But our states and federal governments rarely react properly to these events.  They normally jump straight into poorly thought out legislation because the public is crying for blood and they can get just about any law passed they want if it is supposedly written in the name of justice and/or prevention.

When you begin to hear about the legislation that will be proposed because of the Boston bombings, I want you to think about whether it is good legislation or forced through bad legislation.  I want you to think of the Patriot Act and the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security.  I want you to think about whether the legislation actually helps us prevent any tragedies, and even if it does, at what cost to the rest of us?

And I want you to ask your representatives to please slow down, take a deep breath, and make sure they are passing legislation because it is the right thing to so.  I want you to make sure that they aren't passing laws in the name of revenge.

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