For the first time in my life, it is legal to purchase and shoot off fireworks in Iowa. I've been smuggling them across state lines for as long as I can remember. But that road trip is no longer needed. Now I can drive up to one of the many tent covered sites around the city and buy my fireworks locally. As we get closer to the 4th of July, more and more people are setting them off too.That is causing some problems and have many wondering if the state did the right thing.

One thing the state DID do is give cities the right to opt out of allowing fireworks to be set off within city limits. Cities have to allow the sale of fireworks, but they don't have to let you shoot them off. Iowa City is one such community that took those steps. Many are now wondering if Cedar Rapids, Marion, and other towns should have done the same. Social media is full of people complaining about the loud fireworks being shot off in their neighborhoods. Pets hate them. Some families that have veterans say the can trigger PTSD. There is even an online petition urging citizens of Cedar Rapids to tell the city council they no longer want fireworks legalized. Is that the answer?

I have long been for the legalization of fireworks. Why watch money leave the state when it can be spent right here. There have been fireworks shot off in my neighborhood for as long as I can remember. And that was when they were 'illegal'! I think part of the problem we have is that the fireworks are more available than they ever have. More people are picking a few up and setting them off over the weekend. That was bound to be a trend that the state had to expect when they legalized them. Will the novelty wear off if the coming years? Perpahs. But the real problem lies in some of the people letting off the fireworks. Be aware of your neighbors. Be courteous. Don't set them off at all hours of the night. Some of us...ahem....get up really early for work.

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