Not at all. The comment that larryz found ironic was indeed very ironic. It was clear ducky wasn't talking about safety at all, but about control when he said "strap them in":Your like a politician, pulling words out of a quote to make your own point. Re read JDuckies post. It's far different than what you made it out to be with your highlights.
His backpeddling after getting called out on it was pretty politician-like, though.They don't want to listen and want to keep walking away? Strap them in the stroller where they can't. They'll eventually learn.
I haven't chimed in with my own thoughts, yet, and only read the first and last couple of pages, so I'm sorry if I'm repeating anything. I am also one who thought leashes/tethers were ridiculous when I had just one child. My mellow child.
When I had my second, I realized why so many parents use them. By one year old, she could run faster than me, and since she was tiny enough to run directly under tables, handrails, squeeze between people, she could easily be gone in seconds flat. She could wiggle out of the five-point stroller harness and climb out in the blink of an eye as well.
We got a tether for her. It gave her more independance and freedom than the stroller or holding hands did, and it sure saved me many a backache. I'm only 5'4", but my hands are still too high for a toddler to hold without me walking around bent to one side, and the toddler's arm straight up over her head. Talk about uncomfortable for both of us!
As for the people who say "no one used them when I was a kid", just how old are you, exactly? My mom used one on my brother in the early 60's, and I remember seeing them most of my life. She had a picture of her own mom using one with her sister in the 1940's, and I've also read that they were commonly used in the early 20th century, though called walking reins at that time. So maybe your parents didn't feel you needed one, but obviously other parents did, and have for a long time. Not that that even means anything. My mom's car didn't have seat belts when I was a kid, but I don't think anyone here would think that was a good argument against installing seat belts in cars today.