Thursday, January 29, 2009

Law Library of Unintended Consequences

Hey kids! If you live in the US, get those library visits in before Feb 10, when you may be banned from public libraries if you are under 12.
Why? Because books will kill you. Worse even than cigarettes, which only have to carry warning labels. The legal opinion at present is that the American Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will require libraries to either get rid of children's books or bar children from contact with books. For their health.

Here's the quote: "Under the current opinion issued by the General Counsel of the CPSC, the law would apply to books for children under the age of 12; therefore, public, school, academic and museum libraries would be required to either remove all their children’s books or ban all children under 12 from visiting the facilities as of February 10."

And here's the link.
I'd really love to say Oh, this is nonsense, it can't possibly come to that.

ETA: As should not surprise anyone, other provisions of the CPSIA will end up shutting down small local businesses with handmade toys, because of the expense of testing. This article for more information.
I don't know. I'm Canadian. I can't even write to a congressperson, even though this is bound to affect Canada as well.


Bevie said...

You know, sometimes I feel like we should just turn off the lights, close all the doors and windows and just go home and sleep.

This is why I hate political correctness. It doesn't know when to stop.

Talk about the "dumbing down of America". Well, maybe we can still win gold medals at basketball. Are we good at anything else? Besides producing the most stupid politicians since the leaders of Pompei convinced everyone that Mr. Vesuvias was just smoking after sex. At least my son is twelve. His kids won't know anything, but he'll know they're safe from knowledge. Now they can be controlled.

batgirl said...

It's the 'zero tolerance' idea. Instead of making graduated judgements of individual cases, it's simpler and faster to have an across-the-board ruling.
So no drugs in school means a child with a medical condition must have their allergy meds or whatever held in the office, far from where they might have an allergic reaction. And a girl who gives another girl a Midol is treated as if she were handing out a hit of LSD.
Because that's easier than thinking. And we all know books lead to thinking.

Seriously, I have no idea why books are considered a lead hazard. They aren't even printed with lead type anymore.

Bevie said...

We've been so "letter of the law" it makes one want to scream.

"The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

Why can't the laws be left so rational people can interpret them according to intent. I heard about the midol incident. It makes one want to cry when otherwise intelligent people suddenly can't think beyond letters on a page.

batgirl said...

I used to subscribe to a govt emergency planning magazine. It ran an article arguing that keeping information from the population in order to 'avoid panic' usually created panic, but if people were informed of the risks and of the options, they behaved rationally, without panic.

But 'panic in the streets' is a powerful myth.