This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," January 4, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Hand-held lasers may be raising some real fears, but the maker denies it's a death ray. Joining us now from Portland is John Acres. He's the president of Bigha Inc.
Thank you for coming, sir.
JOHN ACRES, PRESIDENT, BIGHA INC.: Glad to be here, Neil. Thanks.
CAVUTO: How big a deal is this? I mean, are these things a blinding threat to pilots?
ACRES: Well, they can be if they're used in a malicious way. But there's a lot of legitimate uses and with even the tiniest bit of care they're who threat whatsoever.
CAVUTO: All right. But yet if someone isn't going it use them for proper purposes, and I don't know what they are, you could blind pilots. These ones over Parsippany, New Jersey, were temporarily blinded.
ACRES: Well, I think that we've got to put that in perspective. They lost their vision for a couple of seconds, and I don't want to minimize that. But blinded is not a permanent thing. It's not a ray that's going to melt your eyeballs.
CAVUTO: I know that, John, but if I'm hearing about the pilot on my plane who temporarily lost his sight for even a few seconds, and let's say he's approaching a landing, I'm a little worried.
ACRES: I would be too. I would not want that to happen.
CAVUTO: So what kind of warnings, John, do you give your prospective buyers or what things should we be on guard for?
ACRES: We have very clear warnings on our Web site and in the instruction manual that comes with these devices. It says to not point it at people or animals, any moving cars and especially not at aircraft.
CAVUTO: But what if kids get a hand of this or worse, John, terrorists who could use this technology and say, "You know what? We're on to something?"
ACRES: Well, I really don't think there's ever been any evidence of catastrophic damage being done. I think a terrorist is going to find tools no matter what.
You mentioned kids, and that's always a problem. But in this one case that we have in front of us, it was an absolute adult.
CAVUTO: Right. It was the father of a kid. You're exactly right.
Let me ask you, though, are you worried that the government gets involved here and says no more lasers sold to common folks?
ACRES: Certainly, we are because there's a lot of legitimate uses. These things are wonderful tools for astronomers, for botanists, for bird watchers. They have an enormous number of great uses. We figure there's about 100,000 of these things used in the country right now.
And we've got one nut case doing ill to everybody.
CAVUTO: So you don't worry about this escalating and maybe affecting your sales going forward? You see nothing of that yet?
ACRES: Well, I certainly worry about it, but no we have not seen anything like that get yet. And our whole goal is to get people to be responsible for everything they do.
Our society brings us technology, and it requires responsibility to be able to use it in a free society.
CAVUTO: Thank you, John.
ACRES: And above all, we want to stay a free society.
CAVUTO: OK. I apologize. Thank you, John Acres. Appreciate it. Portland, Oregon, the man who runs Bigha.
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