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Were you outraged, around July 4, that there was no statewide ban on the sale of fireworks?
You’re not alone.
So was almost everybody else, including several newspaper editorial writers.
Some legislators have tried to change the New Mexico law; while several bills in favor of public safety died in committee, the law has been amended more than once in favor of the fireworks industry.
The dangerous conditions are not the fault of the fireworks industry, and nobody is alleging otherwise.
In matters of this nature, special interests tend to turn the argument upside down, implying that they are being scapegoated for conditions they did not cause.
So let’s be clear that the public is not confused about this.
Fireworks did not cause the drought. But fireworks are a hazardous product, and the sellers do not control how purchasers use or misuse them.
All it takes is one careless person to cause a tragedy, and Heaven knows there is no shortage of careless people.
The public interest is greater than this industry’s right to do business. We can find many other instances where the sale of products is restricted because public safety demands it. There is also a liability issue that has not been much discussed.
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