My wife and I returned from a vacation to what sounded like a war zone in Davenport. When do the rights of a few supersede the rights of many? The Iowa Legislature approved the sale of consumer grade fireworks in an overnight coup so citizens or municipalities couldn’t change their ordinances in time to counteract. The profits from firework sales won’t put a dent in our deficit spending caused by tax breaks to corporations.

Whatever happened to normal Fourth of July celebrations? I thought we would get some relief after 10 p.m., but I was wrong. I called 911 to report the after-hours violation and the dispatcher replied that it is legal until 11 p.m.

When neighbor’s fireworks go off 40-yards away from us, I literally jump out of bed. I thought I escaped all that noise after leaving Vietnam. For the first time in 80 years, bottle-rockets, roman candles and other super loud fireworks are legal and it goes way beyond the city noise ordinance.

I have three options to choose from: Deal with the loud noise by accepting it and rely on considerate neighbors to stop. Confront City Hall and begin litigation on the noise ordinance. Or we can move where fireworks are regulated and the city respects the rights of all citizens. That option is difficult because we have established relationships we cherish.

Why do we need to hide in our basements to escape noise pollution? I thank Davenport for its leadership in restricting fireworks now.

James F. Harder