Thursday, February 03, 2011

My letter to CPSC about table saws

This is in response to this news story.


Dear CPSC,

I read today that you're considering requiring table saws to have "flesh-detecting technology" so that woodworkers kids in shop class don't cut their fingers off. I know just how horrific these injuries can be; when I was a girl, my dad, an amateur woodworker, just about cut his fingers off in a joiner-planer. But I urge you NOT to make this "flesh-detecting technology" a REQUIREMENT for table saws.

As a beginning amateur woodworker myself, I dream someday of buying a table saw instead of having to borrow my dad's. When the proud moment comes for me to march into the Home Depot and claim the prize for which I have been saving, I would like this table saw to be affordable and not cost a jillion extra dollars because some idiot had one too many beers before working on the deck and some well-intentioned nanny heard a news story on NPR about "flesh detecting technology" for saws and thought it was cool even though she'd never so much as seen a table saw. Why should I be punished for the stupidity of the former and the ignorance of the latter?. Unlike (evidently) many people who use table saws, I'm aware that table saws are too stupid to tell the difference between wood and fingers, and so when using a table saw I make a point of not letting my fingers get near the blade. This is not rocket science. You use a push stick when you need to; sticks are cheap and expendable. My dad's accident happened when he was too lazy to turn around and pick up a push stick. He paid a terrible price for that mistake, but he took responsibility for his own stupidity and didn't try to force others to pay so that in the event he built a time machine and went back to replicate his mistake, it would be impossible for it to happen again.

Swimming pools kill more people than are maimed by table saws, but you don't ban swimming pools. I've cut myself many a time with my kitchen knives, but nobody's pushing for them to have expensive "flesh detecting technology" that can tell the difference between my finger and a pork chop. Don't you have your hands full enough putting children's product makers out of business with CPSIA? I know it's hard to buck the trend of doing everything the "consumer groups" and their trial lawyers want you to, but grow a pair for once and try telling them no. Leave the table saws alone.

[Wacky B. Hermit]
Tooele, UT