Government Immorally Bans Magnet Spheres; Zen Vows to Fight

Via The Objective Standard

By Ari Armstrong

Published OCT. 17, 2014

“On September 24, the CPSC [Consumer Product Safety Commission] commissioners voted 4-0 to ban small, high-powered magnets,” Melanie Asmar reports for Westword. The CPSC has already driven almost every U.S. seller of these magnets out of businesses, including, most infamously, Buckyballs. Now a single company, Zen Magnets, continues to sell them—but, unless Zen’s owner Shihan Qu wins his legal battle against the CPSC, the government will force him to stop selling magnets on April 2, 2015, Asmar reports.

The CPSC’s pretext for banning the magnets is that they are dangerous if swallowed, because magnets can stick together in the intestines. One toddler died from eating them, and more than two dozen children required surgery to remove them, Asmar reports.

But every product is potentially dangerous, including balloons, strings, plastic bags and buckets, bicycles, swimming pools, knives, water, cars, ATVs, matches, screwdrivers, ladders, and every electrical device. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control reports, 1,070 children ages one through nine died by suffocation, 773 died in car crashes, 609 died by drowning, 262 died by burning, 123 died by walking, and so on.

Each of these deaths is tragic—but these deaths do not justify government banning bags and balloons, cars, swimming pools, matches, and sidewalks. Likewise, government is not justified in banning the sale of magnets because a tiny fraction of people who buy them use them irresponsibly.

The proper response to the danger posed by the magnets is for adults to take responsibility and not give young children access to them—just as responsible adults do not give children access to drain cleaner, gasoline, and the like.

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