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No fireworks. Period.

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By Optic Editorial Board

Here’s the reality: Municipalities are limited by law in what they can do to stop fireworks from being sold or used within their city limits. State law inhibits municipalities’  abilities to impose all-out bans on their sale or use.

If you think that’s an unreasonable law, especially given the tinderbox we’re now living in, contact your lawmaker to get the law changed during the next legislative session. We would add that it might be worth starting with an attorney general’s opinion about the issue, since fireworks regulations appear to be wrapped up in laws protecting the sovereignty of Native American reservations in New Mexico.

As for the here and now, we urge a voluntary ban on the use of fireworks by every citizen in Las Vegas.

Just don’t do it.

No fireworks, people. It would be irresponsible. Even if you’re convinced you use them safely, be aware that many of your neighbors will  resent you for it, and think less of you as a result. Even if they don’t say so, they will. And if you set anything on fire, no one will have any sympathy for your “accident” if the law comes calling, or if a neighbor sues your hind end off.

There are other ways to safely celebrate the Fourth of July. This year, be a good citizen and find those other ways.

Setting off alarms

Las Vegas councilor Andrew Feldman didn’t invent the saying, but he’s right to be using it under the circumstances we’re now in:

“Plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

He was speaking, of course, of the city’s dire water situation, in which he sounded yet another alarm last week, pointing out that we’re now using more water than is flowing down the Gallinas River and draining our reserves. Last week we were down to 64 days of water in our reserves.

While the rain this week may give us reason to be hopeful, we should be realistic when it comes to long-range forecasts. Climate change is upon us — you can feel it in the heat and the wildfires, and you can verify it in the science. We need to prepare for more weather extremes, including the possibility of a prolonged drought for this region.

Feldman is right: We can’t just wait on the monsoon season. Las Vegas needs to get ready for more crises like the one we’re suffering through right now.