Shorter John Lott

Exploding the Fireworks Safety ‘Threat’

My statistical analysis proves that my children are dirty and stinky little rascals.

Inspired by MattT.

Shorter concept inspired by busy, busy, busy from an idea by D-Squared.

Added: Lott also writes:

This issue is badly distorted by the media. A search of the top 100 newspapers found 140 news stories in the last year warning that fireworks could be deadly if used improperly. But, despite this edge to the coverage, on average just six people a year died in fireworks-related incidents from 1990 to 2002. […]

By comparison, about 20 times more children under the age of 10 drown in home bathtubs each year than the number of people who are killed in fireworks accidents.

Lott claims the issue is “distorted” by the media, but gives no data as to how many stories were published about the number of bathtub drownings. Without this piece of the puzzle, how are we to conclude that the coverage is “distorted?” Lott then adds:

Despite the fears raised by the media, fireworks deaths are just not something that people should spend any time worrying about.

Lott found an average 1.4 stories per paper per year — and this amounts to fear mongering by the media? Did you know that according to LexisNexis, there were 232 stories in major papers* about poisonous snakes?

* Approximately 50, mostly American, papers.

Edit: Via Tim Lambert, we find out that Hunt Stilwell was equally unimpressed.


Comments: 14


Still, I have to agree with him. My right to set shit on fire to celebrate my country’s independence should not be infringed. Nor my right to a bottle-rocket war. Last year no one died. Sure, a fingernail got blown off, a window was broken, and there were minor burns, but hey, what else do you expect when alcohol is involved?


Even shorter John Lott:

Boom good.


I agree with Flip, Boom Boom Boom, (ouch!)


And of course the 20x more deaths from children drowning in bathtubs is completely relevant, because children under ten take baths about as often as they play with fireworks, roughly once a year.


While I respect the right of people to celebrate America by blowing up a piece of it, it’s also worth noting that this piece appears in the LA Times less than a year after some major wildfires in SoCal. I like to think that fire prevention is a pretty overwhelming public interest in this part of the country. I guess you could argue that everything is so flammable here that it’s all going to catch fire anyway, so you might as well set it on fire doing something cool.


And I should believe anything Mary Rosh^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HJohn Lott says because…?


Other John Lott:
I could back up all my assertions, but my computer crashed (it was hit by a huuuuge bottle rocket) and now I can’t get the data off my hard drive.

Now please excuse me while Mary and I go shopping for bustiers at Victoria’s Secret. It’s their semi-annual foundation sale, and I want the AEI model.

doghouse riley

And in the same period there were no reported deaths from child pornography. So I guess that should be legal, too.

I used to have a neighbor who bought $800 worth of the stuff every year from out of state (it’s illegal here) and “celebrated” for two weeks until 11 pm every night. I finally moved the stereo speakers outdoors and put on a tape loop of The Red Crayola’s “Wives in Orbit” I keep around for such difficulties. We came to an understanding about 20 minutes later.


Hey Seb. I’m here in your comments box to pass you another OT goodie:

You may also enjoy my suck-up post here.

Regarding bottlerockets, I have to say I like them even though because of them I had to ride a float in the local 7/4 parade with a black eye. Oh yeah, and that time during a war when the whole backpack of jumping jacks and roman candles ignited on me really sucked. but like the irish guy on the simpsons says, “twas all in good fun”.


RETARDO: You had messed up the HTML in your suck up link, but our revisionist historians fixed it.


Seb, though my screen name is meant in irony and fun, it is on these embarassing occasions that I fall back on its literal meaning.

All apologies


Damn media. All they want to do is mention the deaths from fireworks. Why don’t they mention the new schools?! You never hear about the hospitals that are being built! Damn liberal media.


Around here we buy our illegal, smuggled-south-over-the-international-border fireworks from the local firemen.

They’re illegal, but a few stores have big fireworks signs. Occasionally they get raided.

The past few nights have sounded like amateur mortar battle night on my block what wiht the bottle rockets. I don’t think there’s any reason for it, but it might have been for a graduation party.

I’ve never been able to figure out this place.

(a visiting Texan was once severely scandalized. They have huge fines for fireworks and noboey would dream of risking them. Irony yes. But it comes from the drought/wildfire situation.)


A couple of years ago in Canberra, demolition experts blew up a redundant hospital wing.

Killed a child. Damn libral media never protested to get hospitals stopped because of this terrible risk to the innocent young.

Hypocrites. Jeez.


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