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This comparison between magnets and cigarettes just doesn't make any sense to me. Nobody in the world thinks it's really a good idea to give cigarettes to little children. But there are plenty of parents who wouldn't bat an eyelash if their own child ingested a magnet. That's the problem.

The regulation proposed on magnets is effectively identical in principle to the regulation against lawn darts back in 1988. Any idiot can look at a lawn dart --- a large, bottom-heavy weighted metal dart meant for throwing --- and intuit that the pointy end needs to be kept away from kids heads. And yet kids were routinely showing up in the emergency room with darts in embedded in their skulls. In fact, they still were in 1997!

These kinds of determinations are literally the whole reason we have a CPSC. The CPSC is only suddenly a threat to our civil liberties because they pushed back on a nerd toy. I'm sure the manufacturers of lawn darts were plenty pissed too, but we didn't have the message boards back then to hear about it.

Nobody, including the CPSC, is saying that rare earth magents are intrinsically evil, or that you shouldn't be allowed to have them. And so you'll be able to keep buying them even after this rule is put in place. The CPSC is simply saying that tiny magnets make a bad toy, just like weighted darts did.

And note that it isn't the evil, capricious CPSC that's behind this; the movement to suppress this particular bad toy was spearheaded by the American Pediatric Association.

TIL lawn darts are banned in the United States. You poor safety-paranoid, helicopter-parenting sods...


The comparison makes sense when you see that while cigarrettes have caused millions of deaths and continue to cause cancer worldwide we consider a simple warning sufficient, yet when encountered with 500 emergency visits a larger warning label isn't sufficient? I don't see how it's the company's fault if there's a big label and yet the parents still "don't bat an eye" when their child swallows a magnet. I'm simply trying to point out the dichotomy and the uneven enforcement of regulation that is supposedly there to protect us.

Furthermore, as I stated in my previous comment, I believe the mere existence of the CPSC is a threat against my civil liberties. Thus, I also believe the ban against lawn darts was incorrect. The only reason you're probably hearing about it now is because we are now only having the opportunity to discuss it, not because they pushed back on a "nerd toy"[1].

I understand what the CPSC is trying to do, and I'm not decrying the goal of trying to protect children. I'm also not trying to tie some conspiracy together here, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This seems like needless, overarching legislation that opens the door for abuse, and when couched in the "Save The Children" argument it sends off a lot of warning bells in my head that I don't think deserve to be ignored.

[1] Really? "Nerd toy"? You do realize your audience here... correct?


The CPSC doesn't ban cigarettes for the same reason it doesn't ban firearms: they aren't marketed as toys. Like I've said: the CPSC actually isn't "banning" small round shiny rare earth magnets, either; it's only banning their marketing as toys.


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