Why Educate Our Kids? For Fourth of July Fireworks

28 06 2010

In the movie Pretty Woman, high-school dropout Julia Roberts pulls out a veritable bouquet of multi-colored condoms from her high boot, to display for her over-educated, condescending customer Richard Gere:

“I’m a safety girl!”

The humor comes from her juxtaposing with no apparent irony, the high risk of her illegal business activity selling pretend fun, with her high protection provisions against its very real danger. (And later she sneaks away from her high-risk deal to floss her beautiful teeth.)

I am in contrast no hooker, less looker, low risk and high safety — a fireworks wimp, also a wimp about breaking any law, come to think of it. A REAL safety girl.
Though I admit my flossing is sometimes spotty . . .

“[I]llegal explosives devices are not fireworks. Illegal or improperly used fireworks can cause severe injuries or even death.”

Favorite Daughter though not yet 21, is all grown up in her thinking and feeling. She got home very late last night from road-tripping with her boyfriend and his best friend, through the Deep South up to a family lakeplace in Indiana. She showed me snapshots and talked for half an hour about the amazing Chicago Museum of Science & Industry where they spent a whole precious day (rather than canoeing and canoodling.)

She showed me the cryptic crossword puzzles she had tackled during the long drive days and chortled over the most maddening clues. Then we came to what they had bought:

1) a (need I say tacky?) pistol-packing deer dressed in rebel cap and Confederate battle flag, with a big jug of moonshine between its folded front feet, planned for a gag party gift. I can’t figure out why its antlers are detachable because it doesn’t turn into a flask or anything; maybe it’s just to cap off this dim-witted derogation of a beautiful animal not known for brains yet certainly smarter than its derogators, to underline the demented, hairy, spitting, smelling, self-loathing, belly-scratching stupidity of this entire ill-conceived creation.

2) roadside fireworks illegal to sell here, from one of the Carolinas or maybe Tennessee. For a fun family Fourth of July.

I don’t know much about fireworks legal or otherwise, any more than I do about firearms legal or otherwise, except that they sure seem related in how they work and what they’re used for, why they appeal to those who claim most fiercely their firefight rights as god-given and above all law, worth treason and death if it comes to that.

Fightin’ mad elected officials, not just tooth-and-thought-poor moonshine makers holed up in the backwoods, swear they’ll break the law and break this unique union, vow to trash every other part of the constitution if need be, to preserve their personal firepower prerogatives.

So what IS the appeal of unregulated self-shoot fireworks and firearms and fiery shooting off of the mouth about secession and yes, threats and shootings and explosions literal and politic, targeting people a la Palin? Can another Thinking Parent (not another gun nut, please, got my fill of that at Southern Female Lawyer with Bob and Mike) explain it to me? Does it spring from the kind of southern sensibility that sees exploding as a form of self-expression, you know, the kind both legal and not, that sooner or later hurts children one way or another?

To me exploding is irresponsible, especially among what passes for educated adults. I don’t want children getting hurt by any form of explosive for the Fourth of July, and while I am not lobbying for any law change to ban the sale of exploding things or people, nor wanting to call the authorities on those presently breaking laws, the whole truth is that I was tongue-tied last night, unable to explain to Favorite Daughter why I thought what was wrong with the dumb deer was wrong with the dumb fireworks, too.

Maybe if I finally figure it out, I’ll put it in a cryptic crossword clue for her. 😉


UPDATE: Just took FavD to lunch and heard Rush Limbaugh proclaiming this a “GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH DAY!” saying the slaves, America’s “freedmen” of 150 years ago, prove the conservative SCOTUS case for imposing national amnesia of the past century and a half or more. (This followed Glenn Beck claiming to be the Chosen One commanded by the divine to channel the true spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King jr’s American principles of freedom, thus restoring the real America to — whitebread Mormonism??)

Wayne LaPierre is on cable news right now, saying “this constitutional victory” answers the question, which is: “can law-abiding citizens go out and buy and own a firearm?” He says the court correctly said yes, anywhere in America, and his folks intend to make sure it’s a “real” freedom because court rulings must “have consequences.”

He compared this freedom to the right to vote (but then firearms registration *can* be constitutional, yes? I have to register to be allowed to vote . . .)



15 responses

28 06 2010

I’m confused. Does this mean that Texas Republicans will no longer “urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving … the Bill of Rights,” as stated in their 2010 platform?

Interesting post.

28 06 2010

I forgot to give directions. 🙂

page 4 → REFORMING THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM → Remedies to Activist Judiciary

28 06 2010

Lynn said: I’m confused.

Join the club! OTOH to improve the mix of perspectives, I got a better interpretation of the dumb deer from FavD’s boyfriend this afternoon.

He says the deer constitutionally skewered the gunmen invading his home, LMAO — killed them dead as criminals, took their firearms, flag, cap and moonshine as spoils . . .

28 06 2010

Is threatening to shoot all your enemies dead and having the means to make it stick really the only answer left? Is fringe conservative explosition wondering why the rest of us don’t just pick off a few BP and AIG execs or SCOTUS justices? Is that how we’ll know we’ve come down to their real “answer” to this most important constitutional right, when all that’s left is the right to kill, labeled the right to life?

28 06 2010

The southern anti-pride deer figure was Made in China. What does THAT mean?? (I guess the fireworks could’ve been too.)

29 06 2010

As much as I hate to partially agree with LaPierre, the 2nd amendment ruling does bear a certain resemblance to the right to vote. The government can tell you how, when and where to vote, as long as you can vote. With guns, the government can require registration, training and background checks, but it cannot simply ban an entire type of gun arbitrarily. There is definitely a line.

29 06 2010

Hi Calvin, purchaser of fireworks yet very law-abiding citizen. 😉

I don’t disagree and really, that kind of pragmatic approach is written right into the constitutional amendment at issue, isn’t it? — WELL-REGULATED is right there in the same sentence LaPierre was apparently parsing. I think we need better regulation, not worse.

29 06 2010

I do have a question though, seriously — if the rationale is to hearken back to what “firearms” were when the Bill of Rights was ratified, then why aren’t those the only “firearms” explicitly covered now, in the eyes of the strict constructionist plain-reading literal folks, I mean?

What I want to know is, since that isn’t their interpretation and they are obviously including all sorts of deadly weapons that explode, classes of firepower for fun, profit and government overthrow the Founding Fathers knew not of, then what’s to stop fireworks and suitcase bombs from being included in their view too?

29 06 2010
30 06 2010

His plan, apparently, is that everyone should wait an extra 5 years to retire to pay for his party’s insanity.

1 07 2010

. . .did it seem like around 2004, major newspapers just stopped referring to waterboarding as torture, after decades of properly categorizing it as such? Why yes, they did!

. . .As soon as Republicans started quibbling over the definition of torture, traditional media outlets felt compelled to treat the issue as a “controversial” matter, and in order to appear as though they weren’t taking a side, media outlets treated the issue as unsettled, rather than confronting a blatant falsehood.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon nails the Palin Think of attacking others for the same words and actions we defend in ourselves, and why such public lameness of logic and language leads to ruin:

. . . the ultimate effect of this joint government/media obfuscation is to further entrench the destructive notion that we’re different, exceptional, better, and therefore we deserve even a different language to describe what it is that we do. This Harvard study documents the exact process by which the political class convinces itself and others that bad and illegal things are, by definition, only what those Bad, Other Foreign Countries do, but never ourselves.

See the Harvard report here.

13 07 2010

Did BP use corporate clout and serve corporate personhood over the lives of actual humans, to free the convicted terrorist-by-explosive killer of American students flying home for the holidays, in a deal for Libyan drilling rights?

The explosive politics:

Al-Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds based on a 3-month prognosis given by Dr. Karol Sikora, a Libyan-commissioned doctor. Last week, Sikora revealed that the figure of three months was suggested as being helpful [by the Libyans] and the convicted mass-murderer may live for another 20 years in freedom.

Am I (unlike the chattering class) more intensely concerned about this than about Roman Polanski? You bet I am.

13 07 2010

[Florida’s Rick] Scott is one of the 2010 campaign season’s top self-funders. (Go figure that one of the country’s most celebrated fraudsters is also staggeringly wealthy! Welcome to the rest of the days of your lives, America.)

4 07 2012

New from NPR about Fourth of July fireworks: Pyromania: An Ode To American Fireworks

There’s a whole slide show at the link, photographs of the hole-in-the-wall southern fireworks stands like the one (maybe including THE one?) that Favorite Daughter and Boyfriend found so educational . . .

2 07 2014

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