Chicago had no official Independence Day fireworks display this year, because we didn't want to encourage a million people to converge on Grant Park. Instead, we appear to have had a record number of, ah, unofficial displays:
The 911 call center received 9,092 calls between June 28 and Sunday, approximately three times the number of calls received in the same time period last year, according to data provided by Mary May, an Office of Emergency Management and Communications spokesperson.
As of Sunday, the city had received a total of 19,925 fireworks-related calls this year, compared with 4,612 calls by the same date last year — a 332% increase.
Several Indiana fireworks stores faced shortages in supply leading up to July 4. Illinoisans looking to buy fireworks often travel to neighboring states such as Indiana, where sale and possession of consumer pyrotechnics are legal.
The Chicago Fire Department responded to 33 calls and made 26 transports due to fireworks-related injuries from Friday to Sunday of the July 4 weekend, Meritt said.
Let that not obscure the problem that Chicago also has way more illegal firearms these days. This weekend, people shot and killed 17 others, including a 7-year-old girl. And because of the 2nd Amendment fanatics in rural areas, we don't have the tools we need to clamp down on it.