Finley: Knock off the noise; restore fireworks limits

Nolan Finley, The Detroit News

A basic responsibility of a local government is to maintain the peace of the community.

If you’re like me and live in a neighborhood where some yahoo gets his or her (probably his) jollies from booming off fireworks all night long, you have certainly noticed that it’s not very peaceful out there.

With the Fourth of July still a week away, the artillery barrage has already started, and if past experience holds, it will continue for weeks to come.

Blame the boneheads in the state Legislature who felt their commitment to individual freedom obliged them to loosen Michigan’s fireworks laws so that a wide range of extremely powerful —and loud and dangerous—explosives are now legal.

The looser law went into effect in 2012, and despite thousands of citizen complaints and several attempts to repeal it, there’s been no movement by lawmakers in the direction of common sense.

Some communities have taken advantage of a provision of the law that bans fireworks between midnight and 8 a.m., but the local limits haven’t restored tranquility.

Pop-up fireworks stores opened weeks ago throughout Michigan, and pyrotechnic freaks don’t seem to be tiring of lighting fuses, over and over and over.

This is crazy. The rights of one person to blow off fireworks and perhaps their fingers shouldn’t impinge on another person’s right to enjoy a decent night’s sleep.

Lawmakers have been fielding complaints for more than three years. They should listen to their constituents, if they can hear them over the mortar rounds.