July 02, 2014 - Give people an inch, they will take a mile.
That old expression is very true, especially when it comes to the legalization of fireworks in Michigan, which I'm beginning to believe is one of the worst decisions ever made by the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder.
Many of us are now paying the price because of our elected officials' greedy desire for a quick and easy source of revenue to help fill the state's coffers.
Under the state law enacted in 2012, folks were given the freedom to shoot off consumer-grade fireworks 30 days a year without local governments being able to prohibit them from enjoying their overpriced rockets and bombs.
Oxford Township and Village wisely chose to prohibit the use of fireworks, without a permit, during the other 335 days.
Despite being given the unbridled freedom to shoot off fireworks on the day before, the day of and the day after national holidays like the upcoming Fourth of July, there still seems to be a ton of thoughtless folks out there who, much like restless little children, just can't wait.
They feel the need to disturb people's peace and quiet with their explosions every night during the weeks leading up to the holiday.
I live on Park St. in the village and for many nights now, some inconsiderate morons – I see no reason to be civil to the uncivil – have been rocking the neighborhood with huge explosions, turning a peaceful street into a warzone.
They're rattling windows, scaring dogs and cats, and hindering people's ability to relax in their own homes.
It's also having a negative effect on some folks who have served in the military. For instance, I have a friend whose sister is a U.S. Army veteran who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. She currently resides in the village.
All these explosions are a painful reminder of her days in those war-torn nations.
She's having trouble sleeping and experiencing emotional distress all because some rude, attention-starved jerks with more money and free time than brains or manners feel the juvenile need to make lots of noise.
Normally, I'm a big believer in letting people do their own thing when it comes to making themselves happy be it smoking, drinking, eating, owning a gun, worshipping God (or not), expressing themselves or marrying whoever they wish without the interference of government.
That's why it's so great to live in the Land of the Free.
We're pretty much free to do whatever we want in the pursuit of our happiness so long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's rights or property.
And that's the way it should be.
But I also believe there are instances when we should temper our personal freedom with our responsibility to be considerate of others – particularly our neighbors.
If more folks took the time to exercise a little more common courtesy and a lot more common sense, this world would be a much better place.
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 impact others.
None of us lives in a bubble.
So, to all you fireworks lawbreakers out there, remember that the next time you feel the need to satisfy your childish and selfish impulses.
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.