Over Independence Day Weekend, Devon Staples, 22, and his friends had been drinking and setting off fireworks in his hometown of Calasis located in eastern Maine. He is now dead.
Because while drinking, Devon decided to launch what he believed to be a firework "dud" off the top of his head. Now, his mother, Kathleen Staples, is reaching out to lawmakers not only for tighter regulations on fireworks, but for mandatory safety training courses for those use them.
Staples' death is the first fireworks fatality in the state of Maine since their legalization on Jan. 1, 2012.
"Staples' mother, Kathleen Staples, said she is going to reach out to lawmakers about the possibility of tighter controls over fireworks. The state should consider requiring safety training courses before allowing someone to use them, she said. She compared fireworks with other regulated items such as cars and guns."
"Democratic Rep. Michel Lajoie, a retired fire chief from Lewiston who has pushed to repeal Maine's fireworks law in the past, said Monday that he's considering trying to introduce another measure next year but acknowledged it faces long odds. Retailers have fiercely opposed any effort in the Legislature to restrict the use of fireworks.
Lajoie said even a ban might not prevent injuries and deaths.
"They're going to say, 'Well, you can't regulate stupidity' ... and it's true, you can't. But the fact of the matter is you have to try something," Lajoie said. "I'm not giving up."
Democratic Rep. Michel Lajoie is right: you can't regulate stupidity. You also can't punish the rest of us who choose to operate fireworks and everything else that has a 'caution' sticker on it responsibly."
With this logic and way of going about things, we now may have to regulate the use of balloons because a 26 year-old man tied 110 helium balloons up to a lawn chair and flew 9 miles over Calgary.