Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Post-July 4th Update

Sure enough, kids, verily I predicted the July 4th tragedies that I read about in the news after the holiday week. I hate to say I told you so, but hey, I did. And I hate to make light of other people’s misfortunes, but this shit is simply inexcusable.

In Lubbock Texas, a 2-year old girl died from burns over 50% of her body after she poured gasoline on herself and was set ablaze by an ember from a sibling’s sparkler. Officials ruled the death an accident, but where the fuck were the ostensibly responsible adults who should have been supervising the kids and keeping toddlers from dousing themselves in gasoline? That’s not an accident; it’s tragic negligence.

In Portland, Oregon another toddler was hospitalized after she was burned by errant fireworks late. The 2-year-old girl's face, abdomen and legs were burned after fireworks struck her and ignited her pajamas. She was playing in her yard in the suburb of Medford at about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday when the fireworks struck her. Fireworks are illegal in Medford, by the way.

And in the Detroit suburb of Melvindale, Michigan, a powerful firework exploded in the face of a woman trying to set it off, killing her as her fiance and 8-year-old son watched. Danialle Barse, 27, was unfamiliar with the commercial-grade aerial firework she was using Monday night, said police.

Barse and another woman were trying to set off a 3-inch mortar bomb in the parking lot of the car wash where Barse worked when it went off as she had her head over it. One round hit her, while the other 25 mortars continued to explode in sequence, keeping rescuers at bay. No one at the car wash had permission for a fireworks display. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was investigating where the commercial-grade fireworks came from.

Three inches is approxmatey 76 millimeters. The grenade launcher I had mounted under my M-16 in the Army was 40 millimeters in caliber. Light mortars carried by Army airborne and Marine Corps infantry units are 60 millimeters. The main gun on most World War Two tanks was 75 millimeters. What in the hell are average Joe Blow citizens doing with a 76 millimeter, 25-round launcher in the suburbs? Getting killed, that’s what.

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