POLITICS
12/20/2012 03:43 pm ET

Not Everyone Is Clear On The Relative Danger Posed By Ping-Pong Balls, Somehow

Courtesy of The Eagle, let's smash cut to the state of Texas, and the continuing struggle to have a national conversation about guns and kids and violence:

As someone who operates a hunting business, [Texas State Representative Kyle] Kacal said he's opposed to stricter legislation on firearms.

For example, Kacal, who lives on a 2,400-acre ranch in Brazos County, said he wouldn't support a proposed bill instructing residents how to secure their assault weapons.

"People know what they need to do to be safe. We don't need to legislate that -- it's common sense," he said. "Once everyone's gun is locked up, then the bad guys know everyone's gun is locked up."

Kacal echoed a common nationwide argument that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

"I've heard of people being killed playing ping-pong -- ping-pongs are more dangerous than guns," he said. "Flat-screen TVs are injuring more kids today than anything."

Interestingly enough, there is some truth to the notion that flat-screen televisions are injuring a lot of kids. As NBC reported in 2009:

Nearly 17,000 children were rushed to emergency rooms in 2007, the last year for which complete figures were available, after heavy or unstable furniture fell over on them, a new study reported this month. The study, published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found that the such injuries had risen 41 percent since 1990.

The increase correlated with the popularity of ever-bigger flat-panel televisions that Americans have brought into their homes in that time, along with the entertainment centers and narrow, less-stable stands to hold them. Injuries from televisions alone accounted for nearly half of all injuries related to falling furniture during the study period -- 47 percent.

Of course, the same article suggested that the "common sense" thing to do would be for parents to "take steps to secure flat-panel TVs," which suggests that Kacal is wrong when he claims that "people know what they need to do to be safe" and that some things are just "common sense."

It's also worth pointing out that we've yet to see an incident where a spree-killer attacks a school full of children armed with a flat-panel television and the gravitational constant. Pretty sure we don't need to have a national conversation over that.

Oh, and I am going to briefly acknowledge that this idiot actually contended that "ping-pongs are more dangerous than guns," shake my head sarcastically, and move on with my life.

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