Gordon Keith: A sobering look at the Fourth

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by GORDON KEITH

WFAA contributor

Posted on July 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM

What is the most dangerous holiday in America? If you said "The 4th of July," you're a genius (or you merely understand the nature of loaded questions that lead topical commentary).

For adults, this weekend's danger lies primarily in alcohol and automobiles.

According to the National Safety Council, of the hundreds of auto fatalities this weekend, half of them are going to involve someone getting their drink on — idiots patriotically boozing it up in the hot sun before climbing behind the wheel and killing someone.

Americans killing Americans? Doesn't sound very patriotic to me.

The other real danger this weekend is fireworks, particularly the mixture of fireworks and adolescence.

Half of those treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries are under 15 years old. How I was not one of them is a miracle. I'm amazed that exited my childhood without the hands of a wood shop worker.

Every year, we'd stop by a 3-for-1 fireworks stand and load up on enough explosives to induce shock and awe in neighboring counties, and we weren't safe with them.

So this weekend, I hope you think twice about letting your nephew shoot bottle rockets out of his nose, or perhaps you'll stop Uncle Lenny from climbing into his dually for another beer run.

You may be saving their lives. Or mine.

Happy birthday, America. Let's all stay alive.

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