I learned just this morning the US Consumer Products safety commission voted to ban baby cribs with a sliding gate. This gate allows easy access to the child, but also creates a safety hazard, allowing the child to get its noggin stuck in the sliding mechanism. The government stated that 32 children have died over the last decade as a result. So, in a totalitarian manner, the unelected and unaccountable consumer product safety commission banned the manufacture, sale, and resale of these cribs. For the children, of course.
The estimated cost of the ban is $467 million, as day care centers and the like will have to replace their now-banned cribs and purchase government approved ones. It’s unclear whether churches and other private organizations will be affected. Private citizens are not required to replace their cribs.
Generally speaking, I’m against government banning anything, as it deprives me of a choice and my liberty. As a parent, only I can make the best decision as to the type of crib for my child. Suppose my wife is wheelchair bound and a sliding gate allows her easy access to the child. What is she to do now? Or suppose aging grandparents enjoy being able to comfort a baby because the gate slides down and out of the way. What are they to do now?
Many children will die this year in car accidents or because their parents locked them inside the car during the summer months (and the kid is trapped in a car seat). Should we ban cars? Some kids will die playing football, soccer, and basketball. Shouldn’t we ban these sports? My point is: life is uncertain. We shouldn’t expect (nor do we want!) the government to watch over us like a paranoid nanny, eager to deprive us of choice in the name of safety. In my opinion, that’s more dangerous than any crib.