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My Way

Temper rights with courtesy, responsibility

July 04, 2012 - "There ought to be a system of manners in every nation which a well-formed mind would be disposed to relish. To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely." – Edmund Burke

As a red-blooded American male, I love explosions and the smell of gunpowder.

Forget raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, it's things that go BOOM and that beautiful black powder invented in the 9th century that are among my favorite things.

But I must admit even I'm annoyed by all the people shooting off fireworks these days thanks to the new state law legalizing the selling of consumer-grade fireworks and the unlimited use of them on the day before, of and after the 10 national holidays.

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with people being allowed to shoot them off for the Fourth of July or even other holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day and New Year's Eve.

However, allowing their use for Columbus Day, the birthdays of Martin Luther King, Jr. and George Washington, and Thanksgiving is just plain silly.

That being said, I most certainly had a big problem listening to explosions coming from a street or two over on June 19 – and many days since then – while I attempted to relax on my porch and enjoy a cigar. I'm not aware of any holiday on June 19, except maybe International Idiots Day.

I have a problem with my poor dog – who's a rescue that was severely abused as a puppy – trembling by my feet as these nearby ne'er-do-wells create one window-rattling explosion after another.

I have a definite problem with fireworks being shot off late at night or in the wee hours of the morning.

I have a problem with people who seem to have more money and free time than either brains or manners feeling like they have the God-given right to disturb everyone else's peace and quiet whenever, wherever and however they feel like it, regardless of the consequences.

I'm a big believer in letting people make their own choices when it comes to smoking, drinking, eating, wearing a seat belt, owning a gun, expressing themselves, etc. That's why it's great to live in America.

But I also believe there are times when we must temper our personal freedom with our responsibility to others (particularly our neighbors), common courtesy and common sense.

We are individuals born with free will and living in a free society, but that does not mean we should constantly act without considering how it will affect others.

None of us lives in a vacuum.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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