Every year legions of local residents prove how badass they are by setting off the biggest illegal fireworks they can smuggle across the border. Some people love it, but many others secretly despise their display. You can lump me in with the silent majority.

Now don't get me wrong, I love a good party and celebration. But your fireworks show is just stupid. And there are some very compelling reasons why you shouldn't be shooting off mortars in the middle of a neighborhood, aside from the obvious safety issues.

First of all, they're a nightmare for pet owners. Anyone who owns a dog knows how terrifying it is for your pet when those loud rockets start going off next door. It can take days to calm down a dog who is panicked, confused and scared when those fireworks bang and pop right above their safe place.

And if you think pets are freaked out, imagine what you're doing to our veterans. The Marine Corps has joined other branches of the military to help educate people on being more respectful to combat veterans. Fireworks that are set off during 4th of July celebrations can trigger PTSD symptoms in victims of gun violence as well as those who served in battle. It's extremely sad that the people who are responsible for protecting our freedom with their lives are the ones being victimized by your selfish celebration of the Fourth.

It's also important to remember that the fifth of July is usually not a paid day off for most people. Those who need to get up early in the morning are most likely not amused by your 1am fireworks display. Wake up some crying babies and kids and you've pretty much ruined the Fourth of July and the day after for an entire family.

And last but not least, fireworks are illegal. And I know there will be a lot of people who say that's lame, but it's a fact. As a society we've decided that dangerous fireworks should be illegal. Why should you get to choose which laws you break and which laws you follow? If that were the case maybe I'll come over to your house and steal your car. I know it's illegal, but don't be a party pooper, man!  Seriously though, if you really think fireworks should be legal than talk to your local representatives, get your fellow pyromaniacs together and lobby the state legislature. Change the law and I'll be totally on board. Until then, you're being a bad citizen and a terrible example to your kids.

For these reasons and many more, I hope you think twice before taking over the entire neighborhood next year with your celebration. Respect is something in little supply these days, and it would be nice if people would think about their neighbors' safety and comfort instead of their own good time. And if you're one of the thousands of people who silently suffer during the neighborhood fireworks display, I hope you have the courage to speak up. Your neighbors may think you're a stick in the mud, but the veterans, pet owners and parents in your neighborhood will call you a hero.

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