It's the Pits
This is one of my old satiric masterpieces, written in the late 1980's not long after the Challenger explosion (as can be seen "from internal evidence" as a literary scholar would put it) , and published in Dog Sports Magazine. While I don't think this piece will challenge Swift's "A Modest Proposal" for title of the greatest satiric essay ever written, I still like it.
Those of you who have read "Dogs Bite But Balloons and Slippers are More Dangerous" by Janice Bradley will see that the underlying concept it the same : dogs can cause injury but they are one of the least dangerous (and most rewarding) things in our lives.
As for the statement that anyone can raise a dangerous dog if they want to do so, the formula is simple. It's what I call the "Anti-Dunbar" method : take a puppy of any large or medium large breed and do exactly the opposite of what the Good Doctor Dunbar advises in "How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks" and his other excellent works. As to "breeds more powerful" and capable of being "more devastating, well if you weren't living on another planet in a distant galaxy, you probably remember the brutal death of Dianne Whipple caused by a pair of Presa Canario who had been encouraged to become dangerous by their dangerous owners.
I probably should add that I know all too well that there are individual dogs who are genuinely dangerous and for whom it is too late to do anything that would make them safe enough to live in any normal home or be out in society. I've had to sign the death warrant on a few of these myself. It always leaves a dreadful pain and doubt in me.
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So Pit Bulls killed a dozen people last year. Big deal !
Automobiles kill more than a dozen people every day. No one is screaming for laws banning cars or impounding cars that kill. Why ? Because we all recognize that cars don't kill people ~ drivers of cars kill people.
Handguns kill more than a dozen people every day. A few are screaming for laws banning handguns ; but these are drowned out by louder screams from the opposite side. Why? Because guns don't kill people ~ people using guns kill people.
Tobacco kills more than a dozen people every day. No one is screaming for laws banning tobacco. Why? Because tobacco doesn't kill people ~ people using tobacco kill themselves.
Alcohol kills more than a dozen people every day. No one is screaming for laws banning alcohol; we tried that a few years ago and found that it didn't work very well. Alcohol doesn't kill people ~ people using alcohol kill themselves and other people.
Heroin and cocaine each kill more than a dozen people every day. We do have laws banning heroin and cocaine, but they don't work very well. Drugs don't kill people ~ people using drugs kill themselves and others.
But Pit Bulls kill a dozen people a year. So the news media are having the greatest orgy since the Challenger blew up. As a result , everybody is hysterically screaming for laws banning Pit Bulls, impounding Pit Bulls, killing Pit Bulls. Our astute politicians, quick to note which way- a 100 m.p.h. wind is blowing, are racing each other to be the first to supply such laws. Those who can't be first, will compensate by proposing more extreme laws.
Pit Bulls don't kill people; a tiny minority of Pit Bull owners kill people. Mentally unbalanced owners can easily pervert the dog's mentality, creating an indiscriminately viscous dog capable of making unprovoked attacks on innocent people. These same owners and others of their type used to create " viscious " German Shepherds and "killer' Dobermans. But Pit Bulls are cheaper and more powerful looking; so now these demented people create "killer" Pit Bulls. Almost any dog can be made viscious and there are quite a few breeds whose physical power would allow them to be even more devastating than the Pit Bull.
Pit Bulls don't kill people; people use Pit Bulls to kill people. Let's save our wrath and our punishments for such people, not for the abused dogs which are their victims.
|site author Pam Green||copyright 2003|
|created 7/09/07||revised 7/09/07|
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