I just came back from the best fireworks display I've ever seen. I wish you could have been there with me. We went to the beach right by the yacht club where the locals dock their 15, 20, and 30 foot boats, with a view of the bridge on one side and the Gulf on the other. Straight ahead of us was an island painted orange, with all the official, big, professional fireworks set up on it. On each side of us, behind us, and every fifty feet or so down the beach for another couple of miles, were families with their own fireworks. Each of these families was busily lighting fireworks and sending them up into the night while the "official" display went on. It was like the difference between being in the audience at a great concert and being on the stage.
We were surrounded by fireworks. Sparklers, screaming roman candles, bottle rockets, combination fireworks that released little army men that drifted down on little parachutes, loud fireworks that pulsed white light like a strobe, showers of sparks, big bangers, little bangers, whizzing flying things that sounded like a blender gone berserk and looked like the bat signal, bigger rockets, huge rockets, crackling crawfish, fountains of sparks, and various firecrackers and smoke bombs. And not a single person got his hand blown off or his eye burned out. I didn't even hear a single "ouch" (unlike earlier in the day when one of those little tank firecrackers singed the tip of my finger). There were probably about 2000 or 3000 people on this beach setting off fireworks.
The official fireworks were bigger, admittedly. But they were about a third or half a mile out from the beach, and there were so many more munitions going off behind and to either side of us that the main show paled in comparison to the people's show. The people, who bought fireworks on their own, without municipal support for their purchases, who set them off using their military training or common sense for safety measures, who set them off for their own selfish reasons instead of a government's solemn dedication to whatever a government is dedicated to, the people had a better fireworks display than the government did.
This is why the fireworks display that I saw tonight was the best fireworks display I've ever seen. Not only were the fireworks better. The people, acting in freedom and using their own intelligence, demonstrated something we all know to be true but sometimes forget. Individuals, doing things for their own reasons, always do a better job than government, no matter how much money government expropriates.