Fireworks Ban

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.

What do you think the founding fathers would have said if they heard about the fireworks ban?  Would they have said, “You know, when we put in the Constitution that we wanted to secure the blessings of liberty for our posterity, we had no idea you were going to do crazy stuff like light a firecracker in your back yard on the 4th of July to celebrate living in the land of the free. No of course, you’ve got to make that illegal”? I doubt that would have been their opinion.

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.