Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BSL Musing, numero uno

Do breed specific bans work?  I am contemplating legislation similar to that in Miami-Dade, Florida.  There have been NO DBRF’s in Miami since the ban was initiated, which lends some credibility to the notion that the ban has had positive effect.  I attempted to gather some statistics on dog bites and dog related nuisances in Miami to see if it there were any correlation there, but was unable to come up with anything conclusive.  If any reader has better information than I, feel free to elucidate us and I’ll put it in as an edit.  Consider that the Miami Pit Bull ban has been in effect since 1989, so comparing 2012 stats to 1988 stats is not a good comparison… The city’s demographics have changed, it is a different political and cultural climate, an entire generation of Miami citizens has turned over, etc…

Common sense would dictate that there is a lot of “low hanging fruit” in a Pit Bull ban.  In addition to killings and infliction of battlefield type injuries, Pit Bulls are involved in a large, disproportionate portion of “lesser” incidents that include nuisance barking, dog at large, dog crap everywhere, destruction of property, harassing wildlife, attack with minor injury, etc…

In the past, I wrote of issues I found with breed specific bans.  To that I would like to add the notion of “transfer of risk”:  That being, any animal, or group thereof, represents a given level of threat regardless of where it is.  I.E. Everything else being equal, simply expelling them from your jurisdiction (for whatever reason) doesn’t accomplish anything but endanger someone else in (transfer the risk to) another jurisdiction.  An individual dog represents the same danger in Palm Beach (or Topeka) as it does in Miami.

For example, due to the ban baseball player Mark Buehrle has been forced to house his pit bull “Slater” in Flagler County.  Therefore, if “Slater” has a bad day it will be in Flagler, not Miami, thus “preserving” Miami’s (potential) low incidence of serious dog bite.  Of course, this would not alter the overall perception of Pit Bulls in any way.

With that said, does it really MATTER if breed bans work?  Do we, either as a society or as individuals, need a reason to take affirmative action against Pit Bulls or ANY pet dog for that matter?   If banning the beasts is something we CAN do, then why not?

I don’t need a reason to assert my rights.  I assert them because I have them.  When I was having it out with the idiots across the street, I made it plain that the noise level in my home is for me to control strictly because it IS my home.  Why can’t their dogs use my yard as a toilet?  Strictly because it is my yard and I SAY SO!  THAT is the reason!

Similar to individual rights, electorates also have rights.  Harboring a pet dog in a human city is not recognized as a core civil right anywhere that I know of.  With that established, the privilege of keeping a pit bull, or any domestic animal, within city limits CAN be voted away… and it was!  63% to 37%!   The people of Miami have a RIGHT to decide what domestic animals may be harbored within city limits.  They can go ahead and ban beagles, too, if they want!

Face it, zoning restrictions of the sort indicated affects all sorts of potential pet owners.  Let’s say for the sake of argument that I want to adopt a horse.   Local zoning regulations dictate that I cannot harbor a horse in this neighborhood.  I am out of luck unless I move to a farm property or rent a stall in a commercial stable.  Ownership of horses is restricted in many places.  These horse restrictions are based on the notions that:  Horses have special needs that can only be met on farms or other large properties; While not fundamentally vicious, due to their size and strength horses may present a safety hazard when in close quarters with human beings; Owning a horse is not a fundamental human right and may be restricted legislatively.

Of course, (of course… haha!) almost anything you say about horses could be said about many pet dogs.   How is the danger posed by a single horse greater than that posed by, say, 10 pit bulls?  Are the needs of most dogs met when housed in a city or dense suburb?  Why is it “legal” to zone out horses and not pit bulls?  Sure, in the age of mechanized transport, no one NEEDS a horse, but no one needs a pit bull either!

The bottom line is that property rights are not absolute.  What you keep and do on your suburban ¼ acre MAY be restricted legislatively. Whatever you have or do MUST be entirely restricted to your space. A while back I was writing up some talking points useful when arguing with owners of yard barkers, in particular the “I can keep/do whatever I want on my property” excuse.  Oh, really?  How about I fire up my own nuclear reactor 30 feet from your bedroom window?   Oh, and neighbors?  I am going to set off one of these in my backyard next 4th of July Holiday!!!  Enjoy!

The vast amount of propaganda spewed by Pit Nuts regarding the ban is all lies and junk logic that has no basis in reality.  Every plank of their proverbial platform is rotten to the core.  Bottom line is, the Miami Pit Bull ban is totally constitutional.  As per my horse example, there is nothing truly exceptional about restrictions on Pit Bulls.  Hey Pit Nuts:  You abused your privileges, refused to self regulate, and those privileges were removed.  You refused to control your dogs, so that is now done FOR YOU… by killing them or shipping them to Flagler and Palm Beach!  Get over it!

The lesson here is that, if you don’t control your affairs, someone else WILL.  And, that someone else may not have your best interests in mind.  CONTROL YOUR DOGS!

I find it hilarious when the excuses pit nuts and dog fanatics spew are paraphrased and used against them.  Here is a good question:  Hey Pit Nuts, what do I think of the Miami Pit Bull ban?  Answers:  They are Miamians, and hating pit bulls is what they do!  Miami people banned pit bulls strictly because they are Miami people!  Anything Miami people do is acceptable because they are from Miami! They are well meaning!  You do not understand the behavior of Miami people! They were just expressing themselves at the voting booth!  They are Nanny Voters, and great with kids!  Those voters were provoked by dog attacks and Pit Nuts acting like idiots!  The ban is not bothering them!  They can do whatever they want in their city!  Pit Bulls are not allowed in Miami, so stop being anti-social and get used to it!  If you don’t like the pit bull ban, why don’t you just MOVE!?  Stop complaining and get a life!  Quit being so sensitive! Nobody can identify a pit bull, anyway, so what do you care!   Why do you need the State (legislature) to solve all of your problems for you?

And last, but not least… STAY OUT OF MIAMI’S BUSINESS!


  1. Your last paragraph had me howling with laughter!

  2. You add such a a higher level of thinking, for me,to this conversation.I look forward to your writings each week, and just like cravendesires, a sense of humor always helps to lighten our load. Thanks for adding your personality to our lives.

  3. haha! love the excessive use of !!!!!!!
    next time add ALL CAPS for greater emphasis.

    but seriously, your analogy of regulating horses is brilliant.
    under the scenario that you describe, the miniature is illegal but the dog is not.

  4. Good article. However Mark Buherle, his wife, Jamie, and his other dog, Slater, had to take up residence in "Broward" County, not "Flagler." I find it hilarious that last year before the people of Miami-Dade voted to keep the ban in place, Jamie Buehrle said something to the effect that "nowhere else" would the family have to put up with a place that didn't welcome "all" their family members, i.e., Slater, the hairy shark, wasn't welcome. Now Buherle has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and Slater can't live in Ontario either! I guess Jamie has found out that Miami-Dade isn't unique in not welcoming the family land-shark!

    The Buehrles are typical pit nutters. Mark Buehrle is such a white trash ignoramus that he couldn't even make it through Jefferson College, a community college in Missouri, and his wife Jamie has even less education. People in the Miami area who knew them personally called them "the Clampetts" behind their backs because they talked and acted like something from "The Beverly Hillbillies."

  5. Thanks for the correction, re: Broward... I thought he wound up in Flagler for some reason. I did hear about Buherle being traded to Ontario: Yes, funny they don't allow pit bulls THERE either. LOL