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For Many, This 4th of July Was Akin to a War Zone

Did you feel like you were living in a war zone this 4th of July?

If so, you were not alone.

The loud thunderous blast from fireworks —most presumably illegal — rocked Angelenos from every direction.

EGP has heard from many residents that they were forced to endure the incessant sound of exploding fireworks for hours on end. The intensity and number of blasts this year from M80 rockets and other powerful fireworks far exceeded what many considered normal for the neighborhoods.

On street after street, fireworks that rivaled the red, green, blue and white flaming lights of sponsored and organized displays filled the night sky.

But these were not professionals trained in handling the dangerous explosives putting on a show, but amateur thrill seekers who thought nothing of putting their lives and those of their family, friends and neighbors in danger.

The explosions were so powerful and numerous they set off car alarms, made windows shake and drove both pets and their owners unable to find refuge into panic.

Where were the police patrols looking for the barrage of illegal fireworks? Residents tell us they weren’t in their neighborhoods.

Were they all busy guarding the big shows, potential terrorist soft targets?

Whatever the answer, it seems Angelenos across the county were left to their own devices to deal with what we are tempted to call a terrorist attack at home to get the issue the attention it deserves.

The numbers of injuries and size of the seizures of illegal fireworks is alarming, but clearly, far more illegal and dangerous fireworks made it into the hands of consumers than was confiscated by law enforcement.

The 4th of July has come and gone yet in many neighborhoods the loud blasts continue. The illegal use of fireworks — and we’re not talking about the so-called safe ‘n sane variety — is getting bigger every year.  It also appears that our law enforcement agencies are less and less able to control the lawbreakers.

There does not seem to be any real concerted effort to stave off the mayhem that comes with illegal use of pyrotechnics. Why not?

How can we expect our law enforcement agencies to protect us against terrorism when they can’t even stem the overt and blatant sale of illegal fireworks that can also be used for malicious purposes?

We understand that most people see fireworks as a great American holiday tradition and loathe the idea of not being able to engage in the activity with family and friends. But the fireworks that once were suitable for backyards and driveways have morphed into something much more dangerous.

If the lawless Fourth of Julys continue, we fear it’s only a matter of time before the scofflaws feel they can continue to skirt the law whenever they please, putting us all in  more danger.