Thursday, September 5, 2013

Magnets Don't Kill Children (or "And Now For Something Completely Different")


Negligent Parents Kill Children

Buckeyballs, along with other similar products such as Zen Magnets, Magnetix, and Mag Links are a type of rare earth  neodymium magnets sold as a "desk toy", that is, a toy for adults.


The Consumer Product Safety Commission has successfully driven Maxfield & Oberton out of business and is now going after the company's CEO.  One down, it has now turned its attention to Zen Magnets of Denver, Colorado in its mindless and irrational crusade.

But children have been injured!!! You might exclaim, and you are correct.  Buckeyballs has an injury rate somewhere in the vicinity of 1 per 100,000 products sold. But taking a more rational approach you will notice that dogs have an injury rate of 129 per 100,000 sold, shall we ban dogs?  Skateboards have an injury rate of 829 per 100,000 sold... BAN THE SKATEBOARD!!!

Pools, Tennis, Bicycles, Trampolines, and the list goes on.  Balloons counted for 23% of the reported childhood toy accident fatalities in 2011, a fact that led one writer to refer to them as "Doom on a string". 

Adult Toys

Now I'm not the kind of guy who sits in his office and plays with his balls,  but if other adults want to do that the government shouldn't be empowered to stop them, although their bosses may well be entitled to.  As long as they don't let children play with them, it shouldn't be anybody elses business.

More and more we disassociate responsibility from the conscious actor to the inanimate object.  If Buckeyballs randomly exploded, blowing peoples fingers off, the government might have a case with merit, but these products function as designed and intended.  They are magnets and they stick together, in your living room or in your stomach.  Maxfield & Oberton is no more responsible for your child swallowing magnets than Gillette would be responsible for your child swallowing your razor blades.

If you go to the Vat19 site (from the picture at top) you will discover that "This product is not currently available for purchase".  It doesn't matter if you're 14 or 40,  magnets are apparently now a government controlled substance.

Doesn't our government have better things to do with its time and our money?

Wall Street Journal




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