Friday, 4 November 2005

Ban fireworks??

I was watching PMQ's last Wednesday. A Labour MP asked the PM whether the government would ban fireworks (probably due to problems relating to fireworks in her constituency). Blair responded in stating that such a move would be a "step too far".

Despite the fact I agree with Blair (just for once!), a call for the criminalisation of fireworks seems based in poor logic.

Granted, some people are hurt using fireworks. But some people are hurt driving cars. Should all cars be banned? Fireworks in themselves are not designed to harm others. The same applies to cars. It's only a byproduct of the nature of a firework or car (,i.e. a firework is hot and a car travelling at speed can injure others) which causes injury. By this rationale, kitchen knives should be outlawed, since one can injure themselves whilst chopping food.

The issue here is personal responsibility. Whilst using fireworks, you must be aware of their potentially harmful nature and the fact that fireworks can cause lethal and even fatal injuries. Similarly, whilst driving a car, you generally do take good care and attention of yourself and other drivers. Would some people act irresponsibly? Of course some might. However that shouldn't be the government's concern, if someone is injured from playing with fireworks.

With freedom comes responsibility. This means that one should recognise the consequences of one's actions, if one desires to be free to act.