Other Difference between guns and fireworks.


People in my neighborhood complain every year (citing ptsd, dogs, kids, fire hazards—all valid) about the illegal fireworks being popped off. I’m not a fan, but have come to realize that there is no point since our city police are rather lax. Then, at other times of the year, people assume that the sounds they hear are gunfire. The other night, we were visiting family on a ranch and some went off hunting wild boar. You could hear the AR when they found them. To me, it didn’t sound the same as fireworks. Is there a difference? My hyper vigilance would like to know.


My combat veteran isn't a fan of either. He handles gunfire better because he knows exactly what type it is and it's distance from us. Fireworks on the other hand are less predictable.

We celebrate the 4th of July in a big way and he explained how it all was like war. Sights. Smells. Sounds. When he hears them his heart rate increases, breathing slows, cold sweats, etc. It takes him right back to the violence. Some times are more difficult then others depending on how elevated his symptoms are at the time.

Just the other night with the fireworks down the road, when the first one went off he jumped and we looked at each other. I said it's just fireworks, not a bomb. 😥 He was quick to assess. And was in his happy place (His recliner) so he was grounded quickly. He realized it wasn't a threat then wondered wth? it isn't the 4th of July.

Gunfire and explosions are wrapped up in his trauma so they will always be a trigger. He handles them as best he can.

I'm just rambling. Take what works. Leave the rest. 😊

Warrior Chicken

There is a difference, though how well you can discern it depends on individual factors. If you haven't been around gunfire, it will be more difficult to distinguish between the 2 and your hyper vigilant brain will just record the way you're accustomed to identifying it - guessing amped up until you can convince yourself that it's not a threat.

For me, gunfire is crisp and the sound is more penetrating (no pun intended) than fireworks. That essentially comes down to the velocity of the explosion - a bullet is designed to reach a high velocity in order to make impact with its target (that's the simplest explanation), whereas, fireworks are designed to put on a nice visual show. To me, fireworks make a dull sound whereas gunfire is a crisp noise that reverberates thru the environment (this helps to track its distance from you)....the boom/pop from fireworks gets deadened faster by the environment.

No idea if that makes sense.....but that's how I differentiate. They both still cause a reaction but the threat analysis I make changes significantly when I can assess which it is, then I go from there. Just like @LuckiLee described in relation to her combat veteran (and symptom level has a big role to play for me too) but being able to discern between the 2 does assist with grounding in my opinion.
I suppose that may be why you'd like to find your own way to differentiate between them?


@Warrior Chicken I can enjoy them at a distance and preferably with a blanket to hide under as needed. I like fountains and sparklers. I think that my nervous system panics a bit with the unpredictable explosion noises. My trauma had absolutely nothing to do with fireworks or guns, though.


There are quite a few internet articles concerning the difference in sound waves as well as decibels between fireworks and /or guns. I am well acquainted with both, however, with my hearing gone in one ear... proactive choices rather than automatic reaction is harder. I just choose to go inside during those yahoo times.

If your hearing is not impaired and your trauma not related to gun fire then perhaps down the road you might want to go to an indoor shooting range. Although you may not have the selection there to become acquainted with various sounds of fire, it may desensitize your jolt a bit. Personally, I found fireworks more dangerous as to safety than someone skilled with safety and boundaries during the use of weapons. But then, I hunted for food, and my friends were all service, swat, ect.

Take care.