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Unlit Fuses

by on September 28, 2011

Andrew Cuomo doesn’t hate Independence Day. He just hates you having fun on Independence Day.

A man whose girlfriend thinks that making apple pies using whole wheat tortillas is an acceptable way to celebrate July 4th has preserved the denial of New Yorkers’ right to blow up things to celebrate the same day, not to mention America’s awesomeness on all other days:

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed on Friday legislation that would have legalized sparklers and other similar types of small fireworks across the state, except in New York City, citing safety concerns.

The downside of states’ rights can be seen when your particular state maintains ridiculously petty regulations such as ones that deprive citizens of the chance to indulge in pyrotechnics. Like everything else that’s exciting, there’s potential for danger. But that ought to be our problem to face.

It should be a personal decision whether or not to face the statistically unlikely prospect of a patriotic emergency room visit. Instead, we’re still not joining with the 46 non-weenie states:

New York is one of only four states with an outright ban on consumer fireworks, and fireworks wholesalers pitched the measure as a way to generate millions in new sales tax revenue for the state.

This state is exactly the sort of place where the best way to get a law passed is to frame it in terms of how it could be used to suck more money from our pockets. Sadly, a lower-level anti-fun tyrant took a break from banning smoking and trans fats to make people miserable outside of his kingdom:

But fire-safety groups and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg urged the governor to resist the financial temptation, saying the bill would put children at risk.

It’s for children, jerks! What sort of awful people want to see minors get injured? Such sickos have been blessedly thwarted; they’re almost as bad as those who think parents could teach their charges about safety. At least his spokesman didn’t pompously and condescendingly claim that the continued interdiction puts our safety first, except for how he did:

“The governor believes that safety comes first,” Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for him, said.

As a result, New Yorkers still can’t light something that will explode or shoot flames in an inspirational manner. It resembles every other piece of pain-in-the-ass legislation that limits personal choice. Albany just can’t let you participate an the ephemeral yet spectacular manifestation of freedom that is firing Roman candles.

You might burn yourself, little one. It’s not ironic or anything to prohibit people from deciding what level of risk is acceptable while celebrating freedom.

Of course, we just don’t know any better. Don’t expect any genuine reduction in New York State’s infamously picayune regulations soon. And forget about an actual tax reduction, not merely a cap on raising already-stifling rates: if that happened, you could spend more of the money you earn. Cuomo can’t allow that: after all, he doesn’t even trust us with ladyfingers.

That’s why our benevolent executive must make decisions for us. New York’s non-governors have no way to determine whether sparklers are safe, which means we must remain thankful for the continued willingness of the Cuomo family to tell us what to do. Like his dad, Andy thinks you might bite the burning end. It does sort of look like it’s spewing sprinkles.

The only downside of the ban’s continuation is a loss of enjoyment and feeling of being treated like a criminal for deciding to do something you consider to be fun. As a result, there is now no hope of having more fun celebrating Independence Day in 2012 than there was this year.

Next, our governor will attempt to take away birthday candles in the name of our safety. If that seems excessive, remember that he’s continuing to suck the fun out of America’s birthday.

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