City Government

Patriotic Arson Kits

Boise Police Chief Mike “Bat” Masterson has joined the ranks of folks who can’t understand the patriotism of burning your neighbor’s house on July 4th with illegal fireworks.

We are talking about those fireworks which are legal to sell and own, but illegal to shoot. Idaho law and Boise City law are different and Masterson admits it is nearly impossible to enforce either, despite citizen complaints.

The answer is simple–ban the sale and use of those little arson kits. There are no age restrictions on the sale of fireworks, so youngsters flock to the temporary stands throughout the city at the end of June. We tell kids not to play with matches all year long, then peddle attractive little firepops for a week before The Fourth.

The kids are warned to have adults around when they play with the fire, but if there are adults around they won’t let them play…the answer is to go out in the tall grass where no one will see them and the results can be catastrophic.

Rather than form a task force complete with undercover cops, Boise’s new Top Cop suggests folks call their legislator rather than police because it is impossible to handle the problem of illegal fireworks through enforcement._mg_5838.jpg

We agree with Bat on the futility of enforcing a city ban on something the state says is legal, but this somehow brings us back to the booze ban on the Boise River. If you are of age it is legal to float down the river with a 6 pack of beer…you just can’t OPEN it within the city limits. Isn’t that just like possessing fireworks, that are illegal to SHOOT?

Not trying to be difficult here folks, but we NEED CONSISTENCY in our approach to the law. Undercover cops and a major police presence along the river to ban booze and then a “Cop out” to call the legislature on dangerous fireworks? Council and the Chief need to get real on these two issues.

We have never heard of any houses or kids burned by bare breasts or beer drinkers floating the river, but the same is not true when it comes to fireworks.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Foolish consistency…the hobgoblin of small minds? Actually, I only disagree to a slight degree. The fireworks issue is a particularly sore spot with me. My 10 and 13 year old neighbors brought home three large boxes of police issue flash bang devices, m-80s and other airbornes, from their father’s in Pennsylvania. It was a war zone and I admit I did call the police after requests to stop were ignored. I frankly, don’t know if an officer came or not…the fireworks never really stopped. The trauma to my dogs was horrific, and I could not enjoy my own backyard, which tends to get my dander up a bit. It’s legal to take alcohol on a boat, but not legal to drive the boat under the influence. It’s legal to take a can of beer in an automobile, but illegal to open it. I see these things more in line with the alcohol ban on the river. I think it’s okay (read necessary) for local entities to create ordinances that restrict activities more than state law, so long as they don’t trample Constitutional rights and so long as there is some enforcement capacity. I don’t think drinking beer on the river is a Constitutional right, and simply placing officers at Barber park put-in to check for alcohol should be enough, and then only randomly, not constantly. I do NOT, however, think placing a Lieutenant in the river, adorned in Cabela’s finest, speaking into Mr. Microphone, is true enforcement capacity. Just a sorry waste, which likely gets lost on BPD powers that be.

  2. To address one of your first concerns about this issue…..I agree with a ban of “fireworks” sales. Some might say that is like taking Christmas lights away from people during the holiday season…….(well, it is a waste of energy…..) Why don’t we celebrate Independence Day in a traditional way and read the Declaration of Independence to our children. Explain to them the real purpose of celebrating the July 4th holiday.

  3. I think it should be up for a vote. Just have the ballot say, “Do you want ariels and exploding fireworks LEGAL in the state of Idaho? Yes or no.” If the people say no, then dont sell them and outlaw them. If the people say yes, then open up stands and let people light them.

    Tam, IT’S THE FOURTH OF JULY!!!!! Everybody lights fireworks, get used to it. If you don’t like the fireworks that go, on or around the fourth, then take a camping trip that weekend or week. Get real. Thousands of Boise citizens celebrate the fourth and because of a couple complainers of noise the cops get tied up. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

  4. I would have to ask Tam? How can you enjoy your back yard at any time with all the dog poop and urine. Bet they even produced more with all the fireworks!

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