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Editor, The Beacon: 

It’s a typical Florida afternoon in summer, and the first snap of lightning/thunder sound invades our serenity and signals the probability of a rainstorm. Wham, bam, get ready!

Another sudden, less frequent blast that is heard is when one of those electric transformers that service neighborhoods goes kaput, signaling the possibility of a power outage.

Now, it seems there is a new signal bang happening more often. Is it just me or are non-holiday fireworks blasts more prevalent this year since the “farm-use-only” restriction was lifted. I’d been hearing head-turning booms on an almost daily basis for weeks after July Fourth, and still heard an occasional boom deep into August.

What kind of signal is going on here in west DeLand? An increase in patriotism; an increase in disposable income; bomb mania; boredom?

Other than the obvious conviviality of mass groups watching, I’ve personally never gotten the attraction of fireworks, and the fact that a grade-school classmate lost part of a finger to a firecracker was an early dampener on any interest in something that was both hard to get and illegal in Massachusetts, where I grew up. I paid the obligatory “wow” tributes to the displays whenever I found myself watching, rather than be a downer, but my attitude was always, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

I mean, just about any of today’s action movies provide more unreal thrills than does a close ballgame or race or a concert.

Who needs a fireworks-induced adrenaline rush, if that is even a real thing? I guess my question comes down to: Do most people generally and genuinely love fireworks, or do most attend because it’s the thing to do on certain occasions?

I’ve personally yet to meet anyone who voices an overwhelming love for this form of entertainment, but obviously there must be those out there who do.

How else can this April’s Senate Bill 140, which lifted restrictions on fireworks on designated holidays, be explained? This bill was introduced by state Sen. Travis Hutson, who represents northern Volusia County.

A few years ago, he responded to a note I sent asking for reform on the St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board by saying that he hadn’t heard of a problem there, in spite of that very problem being front-page news in both The Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Orlando Sentinel at the time.

Hutson must have heard a public outcry to make these peace disturbances, beach-trashing, injury-producing, forest-fire threats easier to purchase and use! He might have thought a few years back, what could go wrong with our waterways being managed by people having self-serving agendas or, now, putting more explosives into amateur hands?

Just wondering what kind of logic goes into something like this, so I wrote again to Sen. Hutson. That was a week ago — no answer yet!

John Boyle



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