For days every July, it’s the same thing. For an evening or so in late December, it’s the same thing.

Siss-boom and pop, pop, pop. The bottle rockets, firecrackers and other explosives shatter the peace and quiet, and they rattle the nerves of residents.

That’s only where the problems begin. There’s an obvious safety issue, particularly with the fire hazards posed by bottle rockets. The more corrosive problem is having a law on the books – except for licensed shows, fireworks are illegal in the city – that everyone knows is not enforced. It’s the same as saying, “Light ’em if you got ’em.”

Now Independence officials are revisiting the issue, and they have no easy or simple choices. Other cities have struggled with the same issues, with mixed success at best. A fully enforced ban – deputize half the city to ticket the other half? – is unworkable. Sorting out dangerous explosives from not-quite-as-dangerous explosives and legalizing the latter can be tricky.

Fireworks are fun – in the right hands and in the right setting. Except for professionals, the right setting is somewhere with clear sight lines and few building, i.e. out in the country. Allowing the pop, pop, pop in every neighborhood in the city is just asking for trouble.