I'm not very familiar with the better, and in Minnesota, illegal, fireworks that are out there, but I'm going to take a wild shot and guess that this one was not being used as intended:
A Linwood Township man is in critical condition after the St. Paul Bomb Squad removed an unexploded firework from his chest over the holiday weekend.
The 31-year-old apparently was shooting off illegal fireworks in the 6800 block of 225th Lane in Linwood Township about 9 p.m. Saturday, May 26, when a firework intended for the sky penetrated his chest, according to Cmdr. Paul Sommer, spokesman for the Anoka County sheriff's office.
He had placed two rounds in a mortar tube and was holding the tube when the first round shot up and exploded in the air as intended. The other came out the back, Sommer said.
Doctors had begun to operate on the man when they discovered the unexploded firework in his chest and called the bomb squad.
A bill passed the legislature this year to allow bigger fireworks in Minnesota, but it was vetoed by Governor Dayton. I don't know if it would have made the type used in this story legal or not.
Regardless, I'm kind of torn on the issue of whether fireworks like that should be legal for the general public to use. It's not a big issue for me personally since I don't use them very often and probably still wouldn't if they were legal. The libertarian side of me says make them legal because the vast majority of people who can handle them safely shouldn't suffer because of a few morons.
On the other hand, even if we get somewhat Darwinian about the operators who may hurt themselves, what about the innocent bystanders who may instead bear the brunt of someone elses stupidity?
I can count three close calls over the years with illegal fireworks that someone else shot off. Two were relatively minor, provided they didn't take out an eye, but one could have burned me pretty good. How much more of that do we want to tolerate? My take right now is not much.