Saturday, January 16, 2016

Trigger Safety

We eat dinner each night by the light of four short votive candles and two tall tapers.  Formerly we used matches to light the candles, but it gets tricky trying to light six candles from one match.  A few years ago a friend gave us a butane lighter, and that was convenient.  But the lighter got older and conked out.  We got older too.  Now every lighter we buy has some incredible two-switch, hard-to-pull grip.  After spinal surgery, my dominant hand is weak enough that none of the butane lighters work for me - even though I'm still perfectly functional with kitchen knife skills, carrying bags, etc.

Yesterday I got sufficiently aggravated that I embarked on an internet search for lighters and what was the deal.  As suspected, this is fallout from child safety rules.  As of 1999, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) required that all multi-purpose (non-cigarette) lighters have to be impossible to light by 85% of children under age five. 

OK, we'll let it go that I can't use a lighter because of the never-existent five year olds in my house.

But for God's sake, what about guns?  Why can't we impose the same kind of rules there?  The CPSC rule estimates that nationwide this rule saves 3.7 lives per year.  How many deaths per year would we avoid by making guns as hard to use as a candle lighter?

ReferencesSafety standards for Multi-Purpose Lighters