EDITORIAL: What could go wrong?

Dispatch Editorial Board
FILE - In this July 4, 2018, file photo, fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol, along the National Mall in Washington, during the Fourth of July celebration. Independence Day is just over three weeks away, and nobody in Washington seems to know exactly what the July 4 celebrations in the nationâs capital will look like. President Donald Trump has stated he wants to reshape the annual event into a âSalute to Americaâ that would feature Trump himself speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

All right, that's enough.

Pennsylvania's foray into consumer-grade fireworks sales is a failure and a public menace.

Perhaps, now, state lawmakers will realize they sold good public policy for a relative pittance and overturn, or at least rollback, 2017's disastrous cash-grab that legalized the sale of aerial fireworks.

As anyone with a dog or small child can tell you, the state's new laissez-faire approach to fireworks in the days leading up to Independence Day is a threat to the peace and quiet for which people pay taxes.

Night after night, rockets pop and mortars explode.

In York County alone, fireworks caused at least two fires, according to county officials. Throughout the state, local officials are using phrases such as "war zone" to describe the nightly reveling of the few offenders who, when armed with rocket-propelled explosives, can ruin the evening for an entire neighborhood.

And, as York City shows, local ordinances do little to stem the non-stop racket. There are few if any locations within York City where launching fireworks would be legal, under the city's code. But, even so, city residents, too, have been subject to the nightly explosions.

More:York County senators join calls for fireworks crackdown

Availability is the issue, and that's a mess of the state's making.

Even worse, the downright wrong-headed policy hasn't even been the cash cow lawmakers originally hoped. In fact, the hefty axes imposed under the 2017 law pumped just $11 million into state coffers, reported The Morning Call of Allentown. 

All said, fireworks are obnoxious, dangerous and not lucrative by any reasonable metric.

Thankfully, it appears that some members of the Legislature are coming to their senses. 

Mike Folmer, chairman of the Senate State Government Committee, is ready to review and potentially overhaul the Legislature's mistake from 2017.

Offenders "just flip you off" when asked to show respect for their neighbors, he said. "They just don't care."

State Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, a Republican whose district includes York City, opposed the change from the beginning and is itching for a repeal.

"I felt this was not a good way to go from the beginning, and I'm all in for having that conversation again," she said. "I mostly hear (complaints) from densely populated boroughs and some of the city." 

They join a growing number of state lawmakers coming to grips with their past mistakes. 

The remainder of York County's delegation in Harrisburg should follow suit.

The expansion of fireworks sales aren't about any high-brow ideals such as "freedom," nor was it ever.

It was crammed into a broad tax bill that didn't add up. It was a poorly conceived, last-minute attempt at balancing the books.

And, in so doing, lawmakers sold the vast majority of their constituents down the river so an irresponsible few can fire low-grade explosives into the sky night after night after night.

End it, please.