Legal ways to celebrate

Dear Editor:After reading Ernesto Flores' comments about the intolerance he perceives from some people this past 4th of July, I feel I must respond. (Letters to the Editor, 7/12/12) Mr. Flores seems to think that just "a few people" are "complaining all day long... and nobody is doing anything about it. Well I am going to do something about it. I would like to remind Mr. Flores that it is illegal to possess dangerous fireworks in Downey. Only state fire marshal-approved "safe and sane" fireworks may be discharged in Downey. Mr. Flores also seems to feel that us "complainers" who object to the incessant booms throughout the city days prior to and after the 4th of July and the resultant falling debris into our yards and on our roofs are out of line. According to the city of Downey, fireworks (the safe and sane ones, of course), are only to be discharged on a single day, July 4, between the hours of 3-10 p.m. Mr. Flores chides us for creating "so much discord everywhere - nobody willing to accept others and how they celebrate." It seems to me that Mr. Flores is not willing to accept and abide by the law of this land. Mr. flores calls the 4th of July a "very important day of celebration and tolerance." I happen to agree with him about the importance of this day in history and the reasons we celebrate it, but I take exception to his "tolerance" comment. In fact, if anyone reviews the events leading up to our Founding Fathers' Declaration of Independence, many would conclude that they had, in fact, become very intolerant of conditions in the colonies. No - the 4th of July is not a celebration of tolerance. Finally, Mr. Flores acknowledges that "some forms (of fireworks) might be illegal but how often do we go over the speed limit?" According to this logic, because someone breaks the law maybe just once, we should look the other way. If someone just drives drunk and kills someone, well, it was just this one time. If someone is angry and pounds on his wife, just this one time, look the other way. If one needs some wheels and carjacks a nice Escalade, well, it was just this once. If one of your neighbors discharges a cannon and shoot illegal flaming debris into the air...well, there are quieter, safer, legal ways to celebrate our country's independence. Paula Mayfield Downey

Dear Editor: Mr. Flores may think it is justifiable in his mind to shoot off loud, booming firecrackers before and after July 4, but he may not understand that shooting off loud, noisy firecrackers is causing severe distress and terrorizing families' dogs. Loud firecracker booms can send dogs trembling and hiding any place they can., or if they get out of their yards they run and can get lost or hurt. Dogs are not cowards. They become frightened by the noise because dogs have extremely sensitive hearing. You wouldn't terrorize a family member, why the dog? The greater hearing capacity of dogs is 29 times more developed than humans. Just imagine how the sound is amplified to a dog. Dog owners can plan on tranquilizing their pets on July 4, but not for days before and after. Mr. Flores should rethink how to celebrate July 4 and go to a beautiful, organized fireworks display. Enjoy a barbecue or a ball game with friends and be grateful for our freedoms. Pat Hayes Downey

Dear Editor: I enjoy the letters to you, especially from people like Elsa Van Leuven and others, which are well-reasoned and present the facts. It is not a "rant" to criticize our government when things are not being handled well. It is our right as citizens under the greatest Constitution in the world. Other countries have tried, unsuccessfully, to copy our marvelous republic and its constitution. We are under the law, and no one is above it, including the president. And that paradox is that this law (based on Judeo/Christian principles) protects us from tyranny. It is not our right to have freedom from religion, but our right to worship as we please without government interference, for which my ancestors fought. We already have enough government infringement on this right. Now, more and more, people want to take this freedom away from us. Religion is not just something involving the G_d word, which seems to terrify some people. Religion, according to Webster's, is an "object of conscientious devotion." It may be money, power, the environment, etc. Everyone has a religion of some sort - something which is paramount in their lives, to which they are devoted. Calvary Chapel has the right to rent a facility for a program, just as the flea market rents space for sales of items, which may or may not be "religious." This helps the finances of the school district. It's great that Calvary Chapel was willing to put on a patriotic show with lovely fireworks. We watched them from First Baptist's property, at our (member) sister's invitation. Perhaps the advertising could have made the sponsorship clearer, but to threaten our freedom of religion is to threaten all of our much envied First Amendment freedoms: the right to free press, assembly, etc. Anyone for a totalitarian government? Not me! Glory Derryberry Downey

********** Published: July 19, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 14