In 1776, our forefathers fought for independence, liberty, and to establish a new form of government free of tyrannical rule. We celebrate their victory and our independence every Fourth of July as, “Independence Day.”
Key to the victory of the colonists over the British Empire was their access to arms, including muskets, cannon, rockets, powder, and shot. The symbolism of the Fourth of July is rich with references to those arms, as seen in our fireworks displays.
As James Heintze writes in, “The First Celebrations,” on July 4th in 1777 thirteen gunshots were fired in salute as evening fell. Our nation’s first capital of Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary of our country’s independence from an oppressive and overly taxing English monarchy in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.
To this day, a 13-gun salute, one gun for each state in the United States at the time, called a “Salute to the Union,” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base.
Guns and fireworks are symbols of the birth of our Nation and our freedom. The beautiful spectacle in the skies and the loud booms created by fireworks are a proxy for the gunfire that forged us as a unified nation. Thus, guns and fireworks are symbols of independence and the power to secure it. Tyrants hate that.
More and more around the country, there are restrictions on gun sales as well as fireworks. This is a symptom of the same illness; over-reaching autocrats pushing their will on the people. When the Second amendment is encroached, the banning of fireworks is a side effect. It is no coincidence that the ATF oversees fireworks.
There seems to be a one-to-one correlation between states that squash firearms rights and those that ban fireworks. According to USA.gov, there are four states that ban all consumer fireworks: Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York as well as other regional areas like the SF Bay Area. You cannot buy or use fireworks in these regions. Also, these same places have the most restrictive gun laws on the books (except maybe Delaware).
While recognizing that safety has to be used regarding fireworks, fireworks have become a bogeyman for those who want to get rid of guns, flags, and other displays of individualism and independence. Have a safe Fourth of July while celebrating your Constitutional right to use gunpowder to scare off villains and tyrants.
Joseph Tully is a criminal defense attorney at Tully & Weiss based in Northern California. He has experience defending serious crimes at trial. Self-defense, medical marijuana cultivation, and other felonies are aggressively defended. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook