The Case for Governmental Regulation of the Toy Industry

Regarding the front page article "White House Plans to Widen Its War Against Regulations," April 17: President Bush's election-year campaign to stem regulation hurts the health and safety of American families. The latest victims of this misguided anti-regulation zeal are infants and toddlers.

The leading cause of toy-related deaths is when young children choke on small toy parts, balloon pieces, marbles, and small balls.

After five years of work on the problem, the staff of the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommended a solution: tougher labeling. But the commissioners - appointed by the administrations of Presidents Bush and Reagan - voted last month against taking any action at all to prevent toy-choking deaths.

The tragic result is that future parents will be able to point to a particular government decision that could have saved their child from choking to death.

Fortunately, members of Congress have stepped in to fill the regulatory void. Two weeks after the Commission's decision, the key House subcommittee on product safety issues approved a measure (HR 4706), by Rep. Cardiss Collins (D) of Illinois, that would require toys to be clearly labeled to inform parents of the choking hazard, and to require balls to be too large to choke toddlers.

Passage of this bill will not only save children's lives, but will also be an important first step in repairing the damage done by Mr. Bush's anti-regulation agenda. Lucinda Sikes, Washington Staff Attorney, US Public Interest Research Group Debating the death penalty

Regarding the editorial, "California and the Death Penalty," April 20: Capital punishment in and of itself will not restore law and order to our beleaguered society. Only a complete overhaul of our justice system with a review of our own moral codes can do that.

We must decide what is moral. A person who has murdered, who has shown complete disregard for the sanctity of life, who has denied the right to live to an innocent, clearly does not deserve a higher consideration. Through his actions he has waived his own right to life, along with any right to "moral" consideration in his behalf. He has taken the life of another without warrant.

A legal system that confines a murderer for life at society's expense (the same society that the murderer has violated) or returns that murderer to society, rehabilitated or not, is a morally corrupt society. We are denying justice by allowing a murderer to take away someone else's right to life and then not suffer the same deprivation himself. Gregory A. Weisler, Ft. Bragg, N.C.

The author of the editorial is right on all counts - capital punishment is dead wrong. Chester S. Williams, Texarkana, Texas Unwed males and abortion rights

I deplore the contention of the author of the Opinion page article "Preganancy, Abortion, and 'Real Men'," April 16, that a case can be made for equalizing the standing in court of unwed and married males in abortion matters. He says that second-class citizenship for unwed males is out of step with our changing times.

Unwed fathers are not equal to married ones since they fail to make a commitment to the woman who may have their children. The law is here to uphold the higher standards - those that favor the security of the child in a complete family unit.

To suggest that the law should follow the trends toward dissolution and fragmentation is absurdity itself. Treska Lindsey, Flat Rock, N.C.

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