Opinion: Calls for service keep police busy on the 5th of July

Take your choice: I heard Tuesday that the Madera police answered 250 calls for service Monday night due to complaints about fireworks in neighborhoods. I also heard that the actual number was 350 calls for service. Some callers heard bombs exploding, they told police.

Where I live, which is a fairly quiet neighborhood, plenty of explosives were being set off, and it was mighty noisy. Our dogs were starting to go nuts. (Dog owners will tell you that the pets, most of which have especially sensitive hearing, are cruelly tortured by the pops and bangs of fireworks, especially the noisy illegal ones, which are so powerful, they can sound like howitzers.

Howitzers are noisy, as I found out when I was taught to shoot them in ROTC training during college.

Some of the illegal fireworks that were going off Saturday night seemed like howitzers in the quiet neighborhood I inhabit.

Sometimes I go target shooting at a place in Fresno called The Range, and there is this guy who sometimes brings a .50-caliber revolver to shoot with. It is a powerful gun. Extremely noisy, as well, especially in the confines of the concrete target ranges, where the concussion of a gun like that will knock you sideways.

When that particular shooter is firing away at The Range, I feel sorry my dogs, who don’t have ear protection, as I do.

“Boom! Boom! Boom!” The house shook every time one of those big fireworks went off.

Sometimes one would sound as though it had been set off right outside the back door, and would rattle things in the cupboards.”

A fellow being interviewed on the radio the next morning said he had set off some big fireworks, and just loved it. He said the firecrackers had cost him more than $100, and that he had brought them in from out of state.

“I think it scared some of my neighbors,” he said, “but nobody got hurt.”

I wonder if that is true — that nobody got hurt. People do, too, get hurt. They get burned when fires are lit by rockets that come from where they are set off by knuckleheads who are carrying around too much beer in their bladders.

Or somebody might be burned accidentally. The hospital emergency room might have some stories they could tell you.

Some people on the radio Monday were suggesting that it might be good to have fireworks banned. But I have been in communities where bans were tried, and people still set off fireworks. And I don’t believe I heard anybody who was hurt by fireworks ever suggest a ban. I did know a guy who was hit in the forehead with a bottle rocket tell people he was going to be a little more careful next time, though.

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