Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Unequal protection, part I

Equal protection of laws is a very basic civil right held by anyone and everyone in a society.  A right is something you always have, and it can only be taken away.  No one has a right to take your rights.  When they DO take your rights, that is a POWER, not a right. 

Equal protection of laws means that all laws should be reasonable and fair, and should apply to everyone equally.  For example, if we were to exempt Ford drivers from DUI restrictions that would clearly be an equal protection violation as victims of intoxicated Ford owners would have no recourse AND it would be unfair to drivers of other makes as they are subject to a different set of rules.  There should be no special loopholes or exemptions.  No one should be granted any special powers.

Governments and individuals take the rights of others all the time.  They have no right to do so, just the temporary power.  Fortunately, this often results in the perpetrators not only losing their power, but their rights as well.  When society does not take action against those who take the rights of others, equal protection of laws has been denied.   When government refuses to act when a violation has clearly been committed, then government itself becomes part of the problem.

Pursuant to my Overton, Hoist, and a few other essays, it is clear to me that there are remarkable equal protection violations in the doggy world.  Pet owners are held to a wildly different standard than others.    It is clear to me that dog owners have been granted the power to take the rights of others at whim.  And, they do this while THEIR rights are usually fully protected.

I’ll give you a good example.  My county leash “law”:  Extremely weak and unenforced.   It used to be that all owners of off leash dogs were supposed to get a citation.  Now, they have to get CAUGHT THREE TIMES before a citation is written… and that is only in theory.  AC never writes citations.  So, my neighbors have the POWER to turn their dog loose on my land and I have no legal recourse.  My right of property has been taken. 

Now, juxtapose the above with the fact that, if I were to shoot or poison those dogs I would be arrested.  I used to think I could simply shoot any canine trespasser.  I cannot.  I cannot use force against the trespassing dog unless it is actually attacking me.  

So to summarize the situation:
-          My right to property is gone.  Surrendered to dogs and their owners who want to use my lawn as a toilet and my trash cans as a food bowl.   The government flat out refuses to do anything about that.
-          The rights of the dogs and their owners is fully protected, as I am fully restrained by the government from any “self help” options. 

Therefore, THEY get protection from the government and I do not!  In fact, I am now overrun with loose pit bulls and I can’t do a damn thing about it until one of them sinks his choppers into my face.  What kind of life is it when I have to pack a rod when moving the lawn?  I can’t even leave a window open due to all the barking dog noise and loose dogs.  My land is unusable!  I don’t even bother calling AC anymore, I may as well complain to a freaking brick.

Ironically, one of the “excuses” in my last article referred to the fact that many irresponsible and malicious dog owners take a strong anti-government stance.  Us damn Nazis can’t tell THEM what to do!  We gotta stay outta their bidness!  See, they are rugged individualist types that don’t depend on anybody for anything!  We better not spend any more of THEIR hard earned tax money!

These low IQ morons are about to have it driven through their thick Neanderthal skulls that THEY are the Nazis enjoying the big government largesse. 

Lets examine what their stupid pet owning lives would be like without government taking care of them.  This is going to be FUN.   The following is strictly an allegory.

Your pit bull “Killer” pulls out of its chain, jumps over the fence and attacks your neighbor in their own yard while they are gardening.  You cackle and say “good boy, killa!”. The neighbor struggles with the dog latched onto his thigh, beating it with a shovel while it continues to tear into his leg.  You clap and cheer the dog on while the attack proceeds.  Finally, Killer lets go and runs home.  The neighbor staggers back into his house and you see an ambulance show up about 20 minutes later and they take him away.    You get a call from the cops that they are considering citing you for dog off leash.  You ignore that like you ignore every other complaint about the dogs.  Nobody ever did anything about the dogs before, so why should they start now? 

 The neighbor turns up on your doorstep 3 days later and demands compensation.  He spent 2 days in the hospital and there are tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills in addition to the fact that he is having trouble walking on his damaged leg.  He further states that your barking dogs are interrupting his sleep and killed his cat last month.  He threatens a lawsuit.   You point your finger into his face and yell: “You stay outta my bidness, you damn Commie!  You can’t tell me what to do!  You get outta here before I call the cops!”.  Who do these people think they are, anyway?

Damn Commies want gubbmint to solve all their problems for them!

You head out back to feed Killer, in his pen with his “bitch” Slayer and their pups, Slasher, Destroyer, Lawbreaker, and Baby-Eater.  There is no grass back there, and the “soil” is dog feces a foot deep.  You chuckle thinking about the time you adopted 4 kittens from the pound that one time and fed them to the dogs!  Too bad they are now background checking everyone at the pound and that B&E a few years ago disqualifies you from adopting from the county.  No biggie:  There are always those puppy and kitten sellers in the Wal-Mart parking lot to consider!

All the dogs are barking furiously as they have done day in and day out ever since you started up your “mill” and selling the pups on craigslist for $800.00 a pop.  You logon to Craigslist and see you have buyers for both Baby-Eater and Destroyer. Beer money!  There are about 20 messages on your voicemail from lawyers and other neighbors about the dogs barking and the stench from the dog crap but you just delete all of those.  Again, who do these freaking Commies think they are?  They can’t interfere with a man’s PLEASURE, can they?  What are they worried about, you have them all on cow chains with padlocks, right?  Killer “somehow” got out, so nothing is your fault, right?

After 15 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, you flop into bed, too drunk to care about the continued frenzied barking and phone calls from neighbors.  Screw ALL them damn Commies!

About an hour later, you are awakened by an ear splitting BANG!  Your beer buzz can cover the dogs barking but not that.  You scramble to the window and take a look outside.  The dogs are going completely crazy, more so than usual.  One of the pups is being torn to pieces by the other dogs.  Is it a dog fight?  They DO come from the best stock… they’ll attack anything that moves.  You then hear another ear-splitting blast as Killer is slammed to the back of the pen, blood spraying everywhere.   It takes a few seconds for that to sink into your beer-addled brain before you get the fact that SOMEONE IS SHOOTING YOUR DOGS!  When the first dog went down, the others probably just tore into it.  You look to your left and you see your neighbor setup on their bedroom balcony with some sort of scoped hunting rifle, probably a Remington 700.  You see a huge muzzle flash from the gun, hear another ear-splitting BANG and Slayers head explodes in a cloud of blood, bone and brains as the high velocity bullet literally blows her head apart.  The neighbor racks the bolt on the gun and draws a bead on another pup. 

First, you think you are going to KEEL that guy, but he is ARMED.  He is a DAMN good shot, too!  No, you are going to call the cops!  The guy is destroying a man’s PROPERTY!  Damn commies have no respect for property rights!

You dial the Sheriffs number.  Here is a transcript of the call:
-          Operator:  Hello, 911 operator.  What is your emergency?
-          You: “Some damn Commie be shootin my DAWGS!  Send the po’lice!”
-          Operator:  Look, I asked what is your EMERGENCY? 
-          You:  “Some damn Commie be shootin MY DAWGS, that be my ‘mergency!”
-          Operator:  Sir, that is not an emergency.  We have been given explicit instructions not to respond to any force used against dogs in the jurisdiction.  It is technically legal.
-          You:  “Those damn Commies are DEESTOYIN my property!  They is criminals!”
-          In the background:  BANG!
-          Operator:  Sir, there are gun owners in your jurisdiction. I suggest that you learn to live with them.
-          You:  “But… but… they is KEELIN man’s best friend!  You gotta put a STOPS to them!”
-          Operator:  Sir, people kill nuisance animals all the time.  In fact, I gave my cat a flea bath last week, killing all the fleas.  Destroying vermin is legal. 
-          You:  “But… Mah dawgs ain’t VERMIN!”
-          Operator:  They are now, sir.  If you bothered to read any of your mail, or bothered to register your “dawgs”, you might know that any dog that causes discomfort to any human being has been declared vermin and destroy on sight. 
-          You:  “You… you… damn Commie Beeyatch!”
-          Operator:  You might want to watch your tongue, sir.  Hurling insults at 911 operators is a crime.  Further, I might add that it is indeed YOU that is the “Commie”.  Why do you need government to solve all of your problems for you? 
-          You:  “arrgh… ugh… F-U BEEYATCH!”
-          In the background:  BANG! 
-          Operator:   (chuckles).  Sir, I believe you are just a hater.  I submit that you are way too sensitive. I am sure the gentlemen shooting your dogs was just provoked.  It is not his fault.  I’m sure he is truly well meaning.  He was just doing his job.  You see, you just don’t understand human behavior.  If this is truly a problem for you, you should just move away.  Things being what they are, you have to get used to this kind of thing happening.  You need to understand that he is a gun owner and shooting is what they do.  You need to stay out of this man’s business. Our position is, you are anti-social and need to get a life.  This is your fault, as you did not help the guy out enough.   Who would take issue with shooting a few nuisance dogs, anyway?  I suggest you seek psychiatric help at your earliest convenience.  We can’t expend any taxpayer money on incidents such as these.  Sorry!
-          You:  “Ahm going to KILL that MO-FO!  Ahm going to SHOOT HIM IN THE HEAD!”
-          Operator:  OK, you have just threatened the life of another and I have it on tape.  I suggest you stay right where you are until police arrive.  Do not leave your residence or confront him in any way.
-          You:  “Hee is DEAD!”.
-          In the background:  BANG!
-          Operator:  Don’t make it worse for yourself sir, making threats is a crime. 

Enraged, you throw the phone at the wall.  You grab your grand-daddy’s .22, rack a round and head over to the Commie’s house. 



  1. you really should consider writing a book.

    1. Please write a book, Animal Uncontrol.

      I'll bet you'd do a better job than the author of that book from a few years back. It's called Is Pet Ownership Destroying the Lives of Americans? (I think we know the answer.)

    2. YQN:

      How about this: "Animal Uncontrol, the Musical!" LOL

      I'd never heard about that book you mentioned. I looked it up on Amazon. Doesn't appear to be very popular. It appears to me that the author is criticizing the lifestyle choice to own a pet (primarily dogs).

      In my opinion, lifestyle choices only become a problem when they are foisted on others. Again, freedom to have a dog translates into freedom FROM that dog.

  2. I LOVE your posts! You are genius, my friend!

  3. I ran this post past a lawyer friend. He wrote back:

    "The post is a great fantasy! Unfortunately, the legal analysis is fantasy too. It's a wonderful idea, but I can't see a court adopting it. The equal protection clause prohibits discrimination based on factors such as race."

    Disappointing, because in terms of justice and fairness you are absolutely correct here. It's clear the courts aren't going to help us. Legislation seems to be the only way.

  4. Sweetie Pie,

    How is my post racially discriminatory? There is no racial discrimination indicated there. The fact is, discrimination against ANIMALS is practiced all the time. We have grocery stores full of dead animals. We have legal hunting in most of the country. We are forcibly prevented from owning many kinds of animals as pets (Lions, tigers, etc...). Exterminators kill rats, mice, and other vermin all the time.

    In fact, I submit that the situation is ALREADY discriminatory in that it places the interests of individual dogs ahead of everyone else. Dogs enjoy a high level of "legal" protection. The question is, how much longer is that going to last?

    With all due respect to your lawyer friend, THEY are probably the wishful thinkers. Lawyers lie all the time. Comparing discrimination against dogs to discrimination against human beings is insulting and stupid. Its another cheap rhetorical tactic used by pit nutters and other dog fanatics to protect dangerous dogs at the expense of public safety. In fact, Miami got to UPHOLD their pit bull ban after a legislative battle with the state. ALL pit bulls in Miami are confiscated and destroyed.

    My scenario IS over the top crazy. HOWEVER, its no more over the top crazy than the current situation. Dogs and their owners get to assault us at whim and there is nothing we can do about it. Yes, it is "legal" but on the same note its interesting to consider that everything Hitler did was "legal" until we kicked his ASS in WWII. He made up the laws to suit him. Hitler was also a dog lover.

    1. AU, you've misunderstood! My lawyer friend was in NO WAY saying your post was racially discriminatory. He loved your concept of extending equal protection to people who don't own dogs. He meant that likely no court would adopt the idea because the courts interpret 'equal protection' as referring to discrimination on the basis of race and/or religion.

      This isn't any lawyers fault. Lawyers have sometimes done their best to get (for example) gender and sexual orientation included in equal protection. It's the courts that have declined to broaden the sweep of our 14th Amendment. Made it very difficult to get it applied to anything other than race or religion.

      See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Protection_Clause#Suspect_classes

      cos I didn't know this either yesterday, til my friend's reaction spurred me to go searching.

  5. I should probably add that Pit Bull breeding is often used as a "fundraising" tool by KKK, Aryan brotherhood, and a few other home-grown hate groups.

    Ironically, THEY accuse anyone who doesn't accept their dogs and what they do as RACIST. I guess it takes one to know one. The pit bull IS the pet of choice for criminals, hate mongers, and terrorists!

    1. Post on the pit bull breeding-hate group connection, please!

    2. There is a strong correlation between pit bull ownership and criminal activity. Approximately 60% of pit bull owners have a felony record.

      As far as the connection to triple-K and AB, there is a strong correlation there, too but I don't have any numbers on it. Its not just the breeding, but the related dog-fighting operation that is used to support the group.

    3. Sixty percent have felony record? As in, being charged and convicted of at least one felony, and not a misdemeanor?


      We're not dealing with the most exemplary people, that's for sure. Thanks for the additional data point, AU.

    4. I can't find the link on that. Perhaps I should edit to say "disproportionate".

    5. Here is an interesting article. I don't think it goes precisely to point, as this report was compiled from interviews, and is not a hard statistic. I want a hard statistic that divides the number of dangerous dog owners with actual criminal records by the number of people with those same dogs.

      Anyway, here is the article: http://www.scribd.com/doc/13073172/Vicious-Dogs-The-Antisocial-Behaviors-and-Psychological-Characteristics-of-Owners

      Each year, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs. Of those bitten each year, 386,000 are seriously injured and some killed. Conse-quently, many insurance companies refuse to issue homeowners insurance to owners of specific breeds of dogs considered
      or high risk of causing injury. This study examined whether vicious dog owners were different on antisocial behaviors and personality dimensions. A total of 869college students completed an anonymous online questionnaire assessing type of dog owned, criminal behaviors, attitudes towards animal abuse, psy-chopathy, and personality. The sample was divided into four groups: vicious dog owners, large dog owners, small dog owners, and controls. Findingsrevealed vicious dog owners reported significantly more criminal behaviors than other dog owners. Vicious dog owners were higher in sensationseeking and primary psychopathy. Study results suggest that vicious dog ownership may be a simple marker of broader social deviance.

    6. Also from that article:

      "Todate, only one empirical study has examined the characteristics of persons who choose to own their high-risk dogs (6). Barnes et al.reports that owners of Akitas, Chow-Chows, Dobermans, Pit Bulls,Rottweilers, and Wolf-mixes endorsed approximately 10 times more criminal convictions than owners of nonvicious dogs. "

    7. Interesting that you should mention those breeds, Animal Uncontrol.

      Why? Because I was looking at switching homeowner's insurance policies a few years back.

      One of the companies I considered was American Family. Agent told me flat-out that the company would not cover a property where the following dogs were present: Akita, Chow, Pit Bull, Rottweiler, and Wolf Hybrid.

    8. Re pit bulls and racism:


      Re criminal behavior of pit bull owners...

      Report of another study (2006):


      And a 2009 discussion by Stanley Coren of this Ohio study:


      And an LA newspaper report about cracking down on vicious dogs resulting in reduced gang activities:


    9. Re the KKK and dogfighting:


  6. Hmmmm... are they DISCRIMINATING against those breeds? Are they racist? LOL!!!

    Back on topic, approximately 6.5% of Americans have felony conviction records. About that many have served prison terms at some point in their lifetime.

    That would help support the ~60% of pit bull owners having a felonious background. I figure if there are 10 times more felons in that population, relatively speaking, then we might be in the neighborhood of 60%.

    Pushing that guesstimated percentage *down* would be the fact that many of those probably have more than one conviction.

    Pushing that percentage back *up* would be the point that, I'm sure there are more criminals in the pit bull crowd than there are among the rottweiler or doberman crowd. Pit Nutters are a class all onto themselves!!!

    It would be interesting to select, say, 1000 pit bull owners at random and background check all of them. That would be a very expensive proposition (I'm certainly not going to take that on) BUT it would be VERY revealing! Not just to see how many were felons, but to find out what types of crimes were common: Rape, burglary, drug offenses, etc...

    1. From Clifton's article on PBs and racism:
      "While there are human victims among all classes and ethnic groups, Afro-Americans,especially Afro-American children, have suffered most."

      It would be interesting to have some hard statistics on this, too...I thought.

      But then I checked out 'disparate impact' (unintentional discrimination) quote from Wikipedia:
      Justice Lewis Powell, writing for the Court, stated, "Proof of racially discriminatory intent or purpose is required to show a violation of the Equal Protection Clause." Disparate impact merely has an evidentiary value; absent a "stark" pattern, "impact is not determinative." (See also Washington v. Davis (1976).)
      The Supreme Court has answered that the equal protection clause itself does not forbid policies which lead to racial disparities, but that Congress may by legislation prohibit such policies.

      Which is to say, any stats on criminal tendencies and racial disparity in who pit bulls are mauling and killing, would only be useful in influencing public opinion and thus legislators.

      Gads, but even if that unlikely project were to succeed, you'd still be left with the barking dogs. Though I still think cracking down on vicious dogs would maybe tip the slippery slope back the other way...

  7. More on felony records: http://people.howstuffworks.com/criminal-record.htm

  8. How's this real life situation? I was in a bar watching a football game when a stray dog from a careless neighbor that came in through the open door in back. It got hyperactive like it just smoked a gram of crack. It kept jumping on my leg and I spent several minutes trying to shake it off, yelling at it. It finally (barely) got the hint and I kept having to tell it no.

    This dog almost became a field goal, but we know what I'd end up as, a person in jail trying to defend myself had I sent it through the uprights. One patron even had the nerve to call me the asshole, presumably for not assuming it's friendly until it bites. Don't I have a right to not be assaulted?

    It's enough to make you wonder what would happen if George Zimmerman shot a charging dog instead of Trayvon Martin. Since when do dogs get more rights than people?