Every year, we see the headlines and hear the stories.

"4TH OF JULY TURNS TRAGIC IN FIREWORKS NIGHTMARE"

"NEIGHBORHOOD LEVELED BY ILLEGAL FIREWORKS"

"BOY TRAPPED IN REFRIGERATOR. EATS OWN FOOT."

According to ABC 7 in Los Angeles, the blast on Wednesday that injured 17 in South Los Angeles was meant to be a controlled detonation of a cache of 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks. The blast was so intense and powerful that it even destroyed the LA Bomb Squad's containment vehicle that carried the fireworks.

Here are more angles to the blast, via YouTube.

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Of course, this now begs the question: could something of this magnitude happen right here in Freedom-Loving Lubbock?

It depends on who you ask.

There are those in one camp who feel that fireworks are unsafe unless they're handled by three-fingered professionals at a park or lake with several thousand of your closest friends.

In the other camp are the backyard pyromaniacs who feel that five fingers are one too many and that they should be able to celebrate America by terrorizing the neighbor's dog with non-stop Piccolo Pete action.

You know what? They're both right.

Photo by Chandler Bell on Unsplash

America is about Freedom, period. If you want to light off fireworks, light 'em off. I also have the freedom to kick your ass if you give my dog a seizure.

At the end of the day, if you buy fireworks, do it from a reputable dealer, not some yahoo selling military-grade bottle rockets out of his trunk. The old saying used to be that "if it leaves the ground, you're going downtown." Don't try to be the cool guy on the block who lights up the sky for miles around because you know a guy who knows a guy who has a third cousin in Juarez. Don't hoard thousands of pounds of mortars in your Tuff Shed, because on a hot day, that thing is going to Mars.

Stay safe. Stick to those Fountains of Golden Showers.

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