Yo Gillibrand!

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TO:   Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

780 Third Avenue, Suite 2601

New York, New York 10017

Heya Mrs. Gillibrand,

I hope you know that it takes a lot for a company to publically stick its neck out, and make politically sensitive moral endorsements. With that said, I want to let you know that Zen Magnets LLC greatly appreciates the work you’ve done for health care reform. We are impressed by the progress you’ve accomplished towards women’s rights. And we fully stand by your spirited efforts towards marriage equality.

But there’s one issue we really need to talk about. Your desire to ban round magnets.

Politician Gillibrand,

We are ZenMagnets.com, the distributor of the highest quality magnet spheres on the market.  And we reach out to you because from most of the echoes we’ve heard, it was your powerful voice that lit this explosion of magnet prohibition in the first place. Your urge1 to ban all magnet spheres due to 43 recorded incidents; however well intended, resulted in an avalanche of regulation and litigation that has already drowned many companies that have made no err.

Despite the fact that our product has had ZERO record of injury, the Federal Consumer Safety hounds are nipping at our heels. And we’re bleeding, hard. Despite Zen Magnets never having been referred to as a toy, or been on toy shelves, the only product we provide is facing a permanent ban. We’ll be out of a job, but that’s a small piece of what’s at stake.

Citizen Gillibrand,

On August 29th, you said: “Our ability to lead in the global economy relies on our ability to out-educate the global competition… That starts with strengthening our student’s skills in math and science – fields that will define the economy of the future. 2”  I’ve seen the statistics on where American students rank in the world, and it’s absolutely true our youth need more passion for science and math. Is not this more reason we shouldn’t be banning such scientifically inquisitive and geometrically inspirational magnets, that are perfectly safe if not ingested? Mathematics Professor David Richter at Western Michigan University confirms, “a magnet sphere kit offers a unique way to study some fundamental ideas of 3-dimensional discrete geometry. The primary applications of discrete geometry are in structural engineering, molecular chemistry, and computer graphics.3

However, aside from objects in discrete geometry, magnet spheres are used to build an amazing variety of things, all very elegant and beautiful. The Zen Magnets gallery4, for instance, is extremely impressive. Countless examples can also be found on YouTube.

Mother and Wife Gillibrand,

There are many products which are both dangerous and legally obtainable in the United States. Many products (firearms, button batteries, lighters, detergent packets, etc) are not toys and still many children are harmed by them on a daily basis. When a child is injured by a firearm, an adult is almost always held accountable. Magnet spheres have not been in the public domain for as long, so it is natural that we face some confusion in how to deal with the hazards they present. Although magnet spheres are not toys, behavioral scientists5 generally agree that a child can understand how to follow warnings by age 8 or 9. Perhaps education or some other sort of regulation is a more productive path than prohibition?

Senator Gillibrand,

Although we have caused no injuries, we are willing to work towards an even safer product. But first we need you to acknowledge that solutions other than a ban are possible. If you said that magnets should be age restricted 16+like cars, or 18+ like tobacco, it would be improvement over the blanket ban that is currently looming. Even if you requested for magnets to be regulated like alcohol or handguns, it would be a step in a better direction.

We respect you and acknowledge that it is only human to occasionally misjudge a situation. Please reconsider your position on magnet sphere prohibition.

We’re waiting for your response. Please talk to us soon.


Shihan Qu

Founder Zen Magnets LLC


1. http://goo.gl/suikL

2. http://goo.gl/Fc5RU

3. http://goo.gl/MMuHP

4. http://gallery.zenmagnets.com

5. http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/adg.pdf



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