Tensions in Iowa Town Explode Over Neighbor’s “Karen” Sign
What is a "Karen"?
Urban Dictionary defines the slang term "Karen" as "a middle-aged woman, typically blonde, who makes solutions to others' problems an inconvenience to her although she isn't even remotely affected." She often sports a stereotypical haircut like that of Kate Gosselin's old style in the photo (who some often describe as the original "Karen". I disagree but I digress). Whatever the male version of a "Karen" is, there may be one of those in play here too.
A Washington, Iowa man is in a tangle with a neighbor and the city council over his sign, similar to the one above. David Robbs is the owner of World's Cheapest Fireworks and says to KCRG that he was recently taking down his tent for the season and stumbled upon the sign.
As sales from his fireworks tent were heating up about a month ago, he was reported to the police numerous times by a neighbor, the "Karen" in question, and decided to put up the sign. He took it down after "Karen's" complaints went to the city council and police but decided to put it back up, feeling his rights were being violated. A city councilperson visited Robbs shortly thereafter vowing to make sure he didn't get a license to operate his stand during the next fireworks season.
David Robbs says the battle is just beginning
Robbs feels that not only were his first amendment rights violated, but councilman Gault has abused his authority by threatening Robbs with the removal of his license to sell fireworks during times that it is now legal in Iowa to do so.
The mayor of the city, Jaron Rosien seems to be siding with Gault, citing the danger of frightened pets going missing, and the harm to those with PTSD being triggered by the sound of fireworks. A house even caught fire in town and it was blamed on fireworks.
According to the Register, fireworks can be sold in Iowa from June 1 to July 8 in permanent buildings and from June 13 to July 8 in tents and other temporary structures. They're also sold during a short period around New Year's but the city of Washington itself has banned the use of fireworks within city limits. So since they're legal to sell but not use, it appears this explosive battle may rage on.