The catastrophe which occurred in Chatham street on the evening of July 28th, is another serious lesson teaching the insane folly of permitting the indiscriminate use of fireworks. Seven persons were all badly, and some mortally burned, while the running away of the team, scattering fire in all directions, endangered the lives of the multitude that at that hour always crowd the thoroughfare in which the accident occurred. The present restrictions upon the dangerous pastime of exploding and burning all sorts of fireworks, are almost worthless. Though the general practice is limited to the National holiday, and to illuminations, processions, etc., it is never safe to permit their use in the immediate proximity of buildings or in crowded thoroughfares. In the case alluded to, a party of intoxicated roughs bent on making a splurge on their return from an excursion, smoked their cigars and ignited lucifer matches in a wagon containing dangerous explosives. The punishment for their recklessness, which probably would never have been meted out to them by the city authorities, was swift and terrible. Few will shed tears, and some will even be inclined to recommend the distribution of fireworks among this class of men, provided they would blow themselves up, away from respect. able people, and where property could not be endangered. The sale of poisons is made the subject of restrictive legislation, and the law is pretty generally enforced. But poisons subserve a useful purpose, and it would be unwise to prohibit their sale. Fireworks, on the contrary, are of no general utility, and their sale should be totally prohibited, or their indiscriminate sale ought to incur severe penalties.
This article was originally published with the title "The Indiscriminate Use of Fireworks"