There’s an interesting discussion over at Portland Metroblogs about fireworks in the city. The question came up as to what good it does to make fireworks illegal, because the police won’t show up just because the local kids are setting off M80s. Of course, that’s not what making them illegal accomplishes. Their illegality simply makes sure you can’t buy them in every Thriftway parking lot.

Of course, you can still get illegals if you want them. You just have to drive to an Indian reservation, or order them by mail. You can still get them, as evidenced by the blasts reverberating through the neighborhood.

Nearly every year, there’s a party down the street which ends up with drunken partygoers shooting rockets over our house at 1:00 am. We’ve had to tell them to knock it off in the past, as burning rocket remnants rattled off our shingles.

What’s even more astounding to me is the pyrotechnics that occur over the nearby trailer park. These are folks that can’t manage to get into an actual house, for whatever reason. One might presume that an inability to save up the down payment could be a factor. And yet, every year there is a steady series of astoundingly expensive (and loud) fireworks getting set off over there.

I have a pretty good idea what fireworks cost, and we’re talking about aerial shells here, the kind that get launched out of a mortar and explode high above the ground. This is one step below professional grade pyrotechnics, and that ain’t cheap. I estimate that several thousand dollars of fireworks get blown to bits over those double-wide trailers every year.

I fear it makes me an elitist, but I can’t help thinking that someone needs to review their priorities.