The state of Iowa banned all private citizens from using fireworks, with the exception of sparklers and snakes, in the 1930s, and has one of the most restrictive fireworks bans of any state.
When I was growing up in Kansas, the holiday I looked forward to the most was the 4th of July precisely because setting off firecrackers and bottle rockets was so much fun, and every year I’ve lived in Iowa, I always feel bad on the 4th of July that the freedom to set off a firecracker is denied to the kids of our state. We need to remember that the purpose of our lives is not to be as safe as possible, but to be as happy as possible. Safety is a part of being happy, but when people reduce the amount of happiness in their lives in order to make remote dangers even more remote, they are making a very bad trade-off.
The motto of our state is “Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain” and yet our close neighbors: Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota (none of whom make any claim whatsoever in their state mottoes about caring for their citizens’ liberty) have far less restrictive fireworks laws than we do. A state with a motto like ours should be proud to have the fewest restrictions on private citizens using fireworks, and legalizing fireworks in Iowa is one of our top priorities.