Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Take Ohio's fireworks lawsout of the Dark Ages
The time has come for Ohio to reform its fireworks laws and permit the full range of consumer fireworks to be used. The scare tactics used by the fire service and some legislators to keep Ohio's fireworks laws in the Dark Ages are not justified.
Phantom Fireworks is happy to report that the fireworks-related injury rate in the United States hit an all-time low in 2003, according to data released by the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission. This reflects the tremendous progress made in reducing the number of fireworks-related injuries nationally over the past several years.
The CPSC, the federal agency that monitors and enforces the consumer fireworks laws, reported an estimated 9,700 fireworks-related injuries nationally for 2003. That represents a reduction in the raw number of estimated fireworks-related injuries of 22 percent since 1992, when the estimated fireworks-related injuries were 12,500.
During the same period, the use of fireworks in America has increased 21/2 times from 87.1 million pounds in 1992 to almost 221 million pounds in 2003.
When you factor in the increased use, there is an amazing 69 percent reduction in the estimated fireworks-related injuries, based on injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks used.
What makes this injury analysis even more dramatic is that a large percentage of the injuries reported by the CPSC have nothing to do with consumer fireworks. Rather they come from the use of professional fireworks, illegal explosives, homemade devices and altered items. The CPSC also acknowledges that a great number of the injuries result from abuse and misuse of the products.
Both the CPSC and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & amp; Firearms have joined with Phantom Fireworks and the industry to promote fireworks safety. In addition, the industry, through its individual members and the National Council on Fireworks Safety, Inc., has undertaken a great effort to educate the public regarding the safe use of consumer fireworks.
Add to that fact that Phantom Fireworks and the industry supports an organization called the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory that tests the fireworks at the factory level in China for compliance with CPSC manufacturing and performance standards before their exportation to America, and you have a great private-public effort to improve the safety in the production and use of consumer fireworks.
Based on the outstanding progress in the reduction of fireworks-related injuries and the dramatic increase in their use, the time has come to expand the type of consumer fireworks available in Ohio, so that the residents of Ohio can celebrate the great freedoms we have in this country in the manner predicted by John Adams in 1776, when he suggested that Independence Day "ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade ... bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore."
WILLIAM A. WEIMER
Vice president, Phantom Fireworks Youngstown
Americans need to see truthabout partial-birth abortion
Upon reading your June 4 and June 6 issues, I first read from the Seattle Times a glowing report of yet another activist liberal judge (Phyllis Hamilton, district judge, San Francisco) thwarting the wishes of the people, the White House and both houses of Congress by declaring the intact dilation and extraction process, or, as we might know it, partial-birth abortion, to be & quot;unconstitutional," depriving the women of America the right to choose. Well, Judge Hamilton has certainly given women back their right to choose -- death!
People, have you all noticed that when the abortion-rights crowd speaks about we who cherish the life of the unborn, we are called "anti" as in anti-choice? They refer to themselves as pro-choice. Actually, we who cherish life are just that, pro-life, and they are pro-death!
With all the complaints from the whiners of America about the horrible treatment of the Iraqi prisoners, maybe someone ought to inform them that these are not prisoners of war, but are killers, terrorists, rapists and not under the rules of the Geneva Conventions. Also, after 9/11. we can't sit around with these animals in a circle and sing, & quot;Kumbaya, my lord. & quot;
And with 3,800 infants being slaughtered every day in our nation and partial-birth abortion being performed by practitioners of medicine, why aren't we showing the process of the intact dilation and extraction on TV and the Internet?
Are we as a nation any worse than the animals who dragged the Americans through the streets after mutilating their bodies and praising Allah as they sliced off Mr. Berg's head? When are we going to see just what this intact dilation and extraction looks like? It's time America is shown the truth.
WILLIAM R. GOTHARD