Keep Compassion in Mind During 4th of July Celebrations

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There’s a lot that could be said about celebrating a holiday about freedom while thousands of children languish in intentionally horrific facilities and thousands of our own citizens sit in prison, especially considering that there are people profiting off of both of those tragic realities. However, celebrating a traditional holiday, despite troubling signs from our own govnerment, can be a way to blow off steam or reconnect with family.

Just don’t be an asshole about it, please.

Fireworks are inextricably intertwined with traditional cultural celebrations of Independence Day in the United States. Different municipalities and even individual homeowners may take great pride in the firework shows that they put on for friends, family, or the local community. For many people, it’s simply would not be the 4th of July without fireworks.

However, we encourage those who enjoy fireworks to be considerate of other people when celebrating the 4th of July and other holidays. Fireworks are effectively controlled explosions. The loud noises and bright flashes that they produce are frightening to people with post-traumatic stress disorder. Dogs are also often whipped into a violent frenzy by fireworks.

People dealing with PTSD and pet owners will likely take steps to minimize the impact of the fireworks display on their family, whether it’s by using a sedative for a distressed pet or by visiting someone far outside of town when fireworks displays are scheduled. Those individuals are still largely at the mercy of the public in the area where they live, since too many people just won’t follow restrictions on when they can legally light off fireworks.

You might think, for example, that while fireworks laws prohibit the use of fireworks after a certain time at night, the same prohibition may not apply during the day. After all, most people won’t be asleep then. The truth is that unexpected loud noises are as distressing for sensitive people and animals during the day as similar sounds are late at night.

By limiting when you choose to light off fireworks and where you do so, you can greatly reduce the amount of stress that you create for others in your community. It is totally possible to enjoy fireworks responsibly. In addition to following safety rules, you should stop to think about the people and other living things impacted by your use of fireworks.

Be careful where you light them, and have a safety plan in place. You should also make a point of cleaning up any detritus left behind, as firework residue can poison domestic and wild animals.