(Originally written on 06/27/17): Earlier this year (but late in the legislative cycle), Iowa passed a law that made it legal for people to purchase and use fireworks. Initially, there were controversies as various cities and counties barred the use of fireworks. But lately, everyone is grousing about the sounds of fireworks late each evening. There have been a small handful of house fires in nearby Cedar Rapids, but otherwise people are generally upset about the random popping of fire works.
That said, there was a great story in the news tonight involving an Anamosa man who tossed a bunch of fireworks in their Walmart on a dare. Two Walmart employees were taken to the local hospital "for loss of hearing." The 18-year-old prankster was arrested and charged with discharging fireworks inside city limits and disorderly conduct.
Frankly, I was shocked to learn that Anamosa has banned the use of fireworks within their community and yet you can still play with fireworks in Iowa City. Usually we have the reputation for such regulations. But not when it comes to fireworks. I'm still on the boat whether that's a good thing or bad.
I spent my early years in Nebraska. When I was growing up, there were tents all over town where you could buy all sorts of fireworks. My friends and I routinely biked down to the edge of town to purchase fire crackers, bottle rockets, and smoke bombs and then used them up within minutes. Unfortunately, I was dependent on my parents for my fireworks budget so I didn't get to waste too much money each year on fireworks.
It was pretty fun -- until the time that I had one blow up in my face. I was leaning over an explosive and the wick lit up quicker than normal. I didn't lose my eye, but I lost my eyebrows on that afternoon. I also was reminded that you need to light fireworks from the side, not by leaning over them!
Updated/Corrected on 06/30/17: Quick note: It's not legal to discharge fireworks in Iowa City. Read more about it here.