Safer Saws–Douglasadams525

4. Consumer safety advocates (Gass)

4a. The petitioners state that current table saws pose an unacceptable risk of severe injury because they are inherently dangerous and lack an adequate safety system to protect users from accidental contact with the blade.

4b. This one sentence contains a plethora of claims:

  • First, table saws are dangerous to their users.
  • Second, the amount of danger that table saws present to their users exceeds an acceptable level.
  • Third, some level of danger is in fact acceptable.
  • Fourth, the injuries from table saw use are results of blade contact.
  • Fifth, blade contact that causes the aforementioned injuries is accidental.
  • Sixth, table saws do not contain a safety system.
  • Seventh, the inherent danger of table saws could be reduced if a safety system was present.

4c. The types of claims in the sentence are as follows:

  • First, a causal claim that table saws cause their users to be placed in danger.
  • Second, an opinion-based claim that the danger posed by table saws exceeds an acceptable level.
  • Third, an inferential claim that because there is a level at which danger is not considered acceptable, there must be a level at which danger is considered acceptable.
  • Fourth, a consequential claim that because of contact with a blade, injuries occur to table saw users.
  • Fifth, a seemingly factual claim that table saw users do not deliberately come in contact with the blade of their saws.
  • Sixth, another claim that appears factual, and asserts that in current table saws, there is no safety system.
  • Seventh, a causal claim that incorporating a safety system would reduce or eliminate the injuries that result from table saw use.

4d.

  • The first claim does is not quantitatively supported, but it asserts that table saws are dangerous because of the potential for injury.
  • The second claim is subjective, but it implies that in the opinion of Gass, there currently is too much inherent danger in the use of a table saw.
  • The third claim is inferred from the second.  If Gass believes that there is currently too much danger, he surely must believe that there is a point at which there is not a excessive amount of danger.  It is possible that this point is the point at which there is no danger, but this is not explicitly confirmed or denied.
  • The fifth claim is pretty straightforward; while there is no specific evidence, it can be simply deduced that contact with a rapidly moving sharp object would result in an injury.
  • The fifth claim is probably quite accurate, as it seems unlikely that a table saw user would intentionally lacerate or amputate their own hand or fingers while working with a table saw.  It can be assumed that a reasonable person would choose a less painful and messy method to have their fingers or hand removed, and would most likely trust a medical professional to oversee this process.
  • The sixth claim does not provide supporting evidence, and we must take Gass’ word that current table saws do not contain a safety system.  However, we can assume that if they did contain a safety system, we would not be hearing from Gass on this issue.
  • The seventh claim seems reasonable.  It makes sense that if a system designed to prevent injuries were introduced to current table saws, fewer injuries would occur, as long as this system had been designed to do its job properly.  The connotation of the word “safety” suggests that this would in fact be the case.
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