Thursday, July 06, 2006

Celebration Fireworks Win No Celebration For 10-Year Old

Elizabeth Howard and her family own Celebration Fireworks, Inc. They've been throwing money at politicians for years in the form of campaign contributions to relax Indiana's law to allow Hoosiers who purchase fireworks from their business and other fireworks distributors to set them off on their property. Previously, purchasers were required to sign a paper attesting that the fireworks would be shipped out of state within 5 days of their purchase. They finally got their way this year as Indiana legislators approved legislation, which was authored by Rep. David Frizzell (R-Indianapolis) and Sen. Tom Weatherwax (R-Logansport) and signed it into law by Gov. Daniels, to allow the purchasers to set these more dangerous types of fireworks off on their own property.

Reminding us of the reason the use of these fireworks has been outlawed in Indiana in the past, a misfired bottle rocket cost a 10-year old Decatur Township boy his right eye. WTHR-TV reports that Cameron Davis lost his right eye after he threw a bottle rocket up in the air on the 4th of July, which struck him in the eye and blew up. Davis' parents said they were unaware Cameron and his brothers had the fireworks. The new law will no doubt put more money in the pockets of the Howard family and other fireworks distributors. But how many life-changing injuries like that suffered by Cameron Davis will Hoosiers sustain as a consequence of this permissive fireworks law?


Anonymous said...

I don't think this child represents a good illustration of why these laws strike you as erroneous.

It was illegal for a 10-year-old to buy bottle rockets last year, and it is still illegal under the new law. This tragedy was most likely the result of poor enforcement.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Zach-I didn't explain the story fully. As I understood from viewing the report, the family had purchased the fireworks and planned to let them off under the supervision of the boy's father. The kids got into them and begin letting them off on their own without their parents' knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that wasn't clear from the web story, either.

I suppose then the issue is what you believe to be reasonable expectations of adult supervision.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Zach--watch the video of the report. It clears the issue up a little more.

Jeff Cox said...

Not to pimp my own blog, but I discussed this issue earlier here. Basically, people are too irresponsible to handle fireworks without threatening others. While some may focus on the injury to the 10-year old here, I would focus on the fact that a 10-year old was shooting off fireworks that can injure others in the first place. The parents bear some of the blame here.