Once again will be celebrating the 4th of July with cookouts, family get-togethers and the shooting of fireworks. Once again we have to be reminded about what fireworks are legal and not legal in West Virginia and Virginia.

This is where I have a problem. My dad showed me and my brother many years ago the joys of fireworks when handled properly and used in a safe manner.

I have loved shooting fireworks my whole life. I am now 42 and have four children. My two boys also share my passion for fireworks as most men and boys do. Every year we go to Pigeon Forge and stop by the fireworks stores and load up on fireworks.

Yes, most of ours explode and go up into the air as fireworks should. What kills me is that sparklers which can burn at 900 degrees are legal and the big Fountain fireworks that will sit on your driveway several minutes spewing forth fire and sparks like a blowtorch are legal.

But — something that you light and get away from that goes up into the air and explodes is a horrible no-no in the great state of WV which I am proud to be a citizen of but the fireworks laws are lame.

Yes, some people that are idiots may get hurt using them improperly but an idiot will find ways to get hurt just by their nature. You may also say that explosive fireworks may cause a forest fire. Well the last time I checked, the great state of Tennessee is covered with forests and mountains, yet explosive fireworks are legal in that state. I think it is unfair the people in WV and VA are treated like idiots because our lawmakers think they are protecting us and our forests by making the real fun fireworks illegal.

Are people in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina just to name a few, so much more smarter than we are that they can handle explosive fireworks but we may get hurt or set or woods on fire? What a joke. Until the law gets changed, I guess I will have to continue “breaking the law” allowing my family the same fun and traditions I had growing up.

Maybe I will just break down and go to one of the white tents around town and buy some blowtorch fireworks for my kids to play with because those are so safe! Give me a break.

Kenny Herndon

Bluefield, WV