Runnnnn, Susan Sarandon (with Andre Balazs)! (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
"I've heard of people being killed playing ping-pong—ping-pongs are more dangerous than guns," he says. "Flat-screen TVs are injuring more kids today than anything."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission does warn that some sports equipment may have unexpected hazards—for instance, brands of tennis rackets have been recalled because of possible exposure to lead.
Also in the category of Things That Are Dangerous But Are Not Ping-pong: One model helicopter had to come off the shelves because of—yikes—“laceration hazards.”
But neither table tennis racquets nor table tennis itself appears to have hurt any children. For instance, it's nowhere to be found in a commission analysis noting the 13 toy-related deaths and 262,300 toy-related injuries to children under 15 in 2011. (If you have time to waste, the commission's lists of recalled sports equipment and toys make for engrossing—and sometimes distressing—reading.)
The lifetime rancher, who will take his seat in 2013 as a freshman, says that new gun restrictions are unnecessary. Kacal, who reportedly operates a hunting business, notably came out against a bill instructing Texans 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."