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As Long as We Remember...

April 5, 2013

Stapler Ban Proposed In U.S. Senate

Joe Charlebois

From the Garlic Press


WASHINGTON, DC – The leading advocate in the United States Senate for increased gun control measures has just introduced additional legislation that would prohibit even more weapons falling into the hands of millions of Americans.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., CA) has proposed a nationwide ban on several types of paper piercing staplers after meeting with a group of lobbyists this past week. She has also shared with this reporter her personal experiences of witnessing several members staff being seriously wounded in campaign offices across the country this past election cycle.


The stapler, as we know it today, has been in existence since the 1940’s. Precursors to the modern stapler evolved from technology developed shortly after the American Civil War. They have been handled by nearly every American and can be found on nearly every office desk including in public schools. They are as much a part of the American fabric as many other machines.


Several companies and organizations are fighting back in response the senator’s proposed legislation.


The Rapid Company, which produces two high end models capable of inflicting serious damage – the 5080e Heavy Duty Flat Clinch Electric Stapler, holds a 5,000-staple cartridge, and can shoot through and bind 90 sheets of paper with each punch and the 5050e is based on the same stock and shares similar features but can penetrates 60 sheets at a time – has issued a press release in which it defiantly declares its opposition to any restriction that would limit the punch power of their machines. They also oppose limiting the number of staples that each cartridge can hold.


Swingline®, possibly the most recognized name in stapler industry, is also fighting recent ban attempts. The company’s spokesman stated that the Optima® Grip is intended to “provide ergonomic support for those who have difficulty handling the cold steel associated with most staplers.” He added: “It should not be seen as an effort to make it easier for those who should not have a stapler to staple, but rather it puts into the hands of the weak and arthritic an opportunity to do for themselves what they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. If you are in a busy office and if you have to wait for a co-worker to staple your presentation while the FedEx man arrives at your desk – it’s already too late.”


Why is Congress proposing this ban? Lobbying efforts from two of the left’s most influential employee organizations – the Association of National Emergency Room Personnel and the National Education Association –have brought attention to the plight of thousands of school children who are needlessly harmed by staplers every year.


The National Education Association (NEA) has for years advocated the use of staplers in every classroom. With the recent news regarding misuse of staplers, the NEA has essentially reversed itself. After receiving petitions from each of its state chapters with tens of thousands of signatures, the NEA have decided that they will recommend immediate confiscation of all staplers that are in rooms where children are present.


It is unclear if any Parent-Teacher Associations will conduct proposed stapler buy-back programs, but speculation is that the country will see dozens or more of these programs instituted by the end of the school year. Speaking with a local Maryland PTA president, who is researching the possibility of a buy-back program in her district, she stated that no dollar value has been set for each stapler that is turned in nor would she disclose what would happen to the staplers that are turned in.


According to sources within the NEA leadership, it is expected that they will endorse the use of paper clips and binder clips for the foreseeable future. Studies on the reintroduction of staplers and the effectiveness of safety classes on reducing injuries are unlikely.


Industrial staplers used in manufacturing would be exempt from the legislation as well as those staplers used for surgical procedures.


Senator Feinstein’s bill is expected to make it out of committee where it will be voted on by the entire Senate.


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