Regarding Paul Steucke Sr.’s recent letter: Neither Adams nor Jefferson believed the spirit of the Declaration of Independence was limited by the Appalachian Mountains, or any element of geography. Does the Constitution only apply to the original 13 states?
Lewis and Clark’s expedition in search of the Northwest Passage had the collateral effect of extending westward the celebration of July 4 that Adams first popularized. In 1804 near present-day Atchison, Kansas, the expedition “ushered in the day” with a celebratory discharge of the swivel gun mounted on their boat and “saluted the departing day” with another at sunset. On July 4, 1805 at the Great Falls of the Missouri, the expedition frolicked into the night joining the celebration “with our countrymen on this day.” Again in Montana on July 4, 1806, Clark stopped his detachment’s eastward march early that day in order to mark the event “commonly celebrated by my country.”
As to whether a ban on safe and sane fireworks will materially change the July 4 dynamic in Tumwater, consider Stacia Glenn’s story in the TNT from July 25. Under the headline “Fewer fireworks citations over 4th” is this opening line: “More Tacoma residents complained about Fourth of July fireworks this year, but police handed out fewer tickets than ever.” This shows that all a ban does is drive the most benign form of fireworks off the market and, as former Fire Chief John Carpenter notes, create the false expectation that fireworks, which already illegal, will somehow disappear.