After sitting in my bed and hearing fireworks go off every night for weeks on end, I began to wonder if It was unique to my area. I talked to some friends and other states and it turns out, they were experiencing the same thing. I naturally looked up this phenomenon and found conspiracy theories as well as simple answers to my question.
According to The New Yorker, this rise in use of the popular firecracker is correlated to Coronavirus. A firework salesman explains that it could be celebration and "about freedom" or that people dying for some sort of entertainment and the isolation has created the perfect platform to use fireworks they were going to use for a planned event that got cancelled, or just bought for a summer night. Some think that it is correlated to anger and protest from the Black Lives Matter movement. With all of the protests and call to action, it could be very possible people are trying to send a message of some sort, however it seems unlikely since it was going on before the tragic death of George Floyd which sparked much of the protests.
One of the more widely talked about theories are the conspiracies. People online even conspirize it is either a plot for the police to be called more or to desensitize the public to gunshots, which is alarming. According to The Cut, journalists and conspiracy theories are toying with the idea that cops are the ones setting off these fireworks. The article states that "the idea, which is based in decades of abuse of trust and bodies by police in black and brown communities, is that cops, or other state agents, are setting off the devices themselves so that they can blame the ruckus on young people of color and take disciplinary action against them, or breed suspicion and dissatisfaction in their communities." This theory is seen as far out by some but accurate to others.
No matter what the reason is, there has definitely been a significant increase in fireworks all across the states these past few weeks. In an article by The Cut, In 2020 "New Yorkers registered 236 times" as many firework complaints as they did at this time last year. And the issue is not only the noise complaints, but also the danger fireworks have proven to bring. There have already been several reports of people getting hurt by these fireworks. USC News reports that "as of July 1, 2020, eight people have already had fireworks-related amputations at LAC+USC this year," not including the minor injuries that come into this medical center.
While celebrating or even just having some fun with fireworks, make sure you are safe and take the precautions seriously. Hopefully this mystery will be solved and we can all have nights where fireworks aren't going off at 2 am on a week day! Either way, stay safe and continue to activate for the Black Lives Matter movement as well as bringing true freedom and equality to America.