Sometimes we need to be challenged

Published 11:27 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Generations of Natchez residents dutifully have followed what they were told — lighting fireworks in the city limits is illegal. Only what they were told isn’t true.

Perhaps the myth began by some well meaning parent or city official. Eventually, the story was retold so often, that everyone in the city believed it to be true.

Thankfully, a relatively new city resident, Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong, decided if it was illegal, he should understand what the law says, exactly.

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The problem quickly became clear — Armstrong could find no mention of a fireworks ban in the city’s list of codes.

Such news was baffling to nearly everybody connected to city government because the fireworks ban has existed, at least in his or her minds, for decades.

Mayor Darryl Grennell recalls being warned as a boy that using fireworks in the city limits was illegal. Even the city attorney believed the ban existed.

This is a good example of why having new blood in Natchez can be a good thing as new residents challenge us all about things that we take for granted.

For the city’s part, we hope and expect the Natchez Board of Aldermen will quickly take up the matter and promptly create an ordinance to ban fireworks in the city limits.

Natchez’s historic architecture and in some areas close, side-by-side house construction makes fire risk a constant concern. We need to eliminate the fireworks fire risk that we all thought was outlawed years ago.