I posted a comment on Craven Desires today, and I thought it was worthy of its own blog post. This is the link to Craven's blog article.
(Not so) interestingly, the article generated many comments, several of them from Pit Bull aficionados defending the breed. The usual laundry list of "Retorts" from this crowd spewed forth, such as:
- What dog bite epidemic? If 800,000 people sought medical attention for any other affliction, it would be considered an epidemic.
- You can't identify a Pit Bull! OK, genius YOU tell me what kind of dog you have!
- My Pit Bull never bit anybody! If a pit bull cannot be identified, how do you know your dog is a Pit Bull?
- Stronger laws holding owners responsible is what is needed. I agree with this, though it does not invalidate the pro-BSL position. What policy positions are they putting forth (other than blame-the victim)?
- I do not have the time to read all this nonsense. Possibly, but you certainly have time to write plenty of it!
So, anyway, here is what I wrote, I have made a few updates indicated in bold.
To FFYR and the other Pit Bull lovers commenting on this article:
We have a dog bite epidemic not only in this country, but the world. These "Bites" (attacks), levered against humans and other animals, are increasing in number AND severity and there is no end in sight. A disproportionate amount of this carnage can be traced back to various "power" dog breeds such as Pit Bulls. This is a real problem that needs to be solved.
Now, BSL may not be a perfect solution. I have written extensively on my blog about the shortcomings, inconsistencies, and other issues these laws may raise.
With that said, at least the BSL crowd is coming to the table with a solution. An imperfect solution, perhaps, but the world is not a perfect place.
So, the question I posit to you Pit Bull, power dog, and even dog lovers in general is this - what policy proposal would you put forward to ameliorate this problem?
If you were smart, rather than slamming the BSL folks, you would posit an alternate solution that might reduce the number and severity of dog attacks. Do you have such a policy position?
Now, if I were you, I would posit the following: Rather than ban or severely restrict the breeds, I would put forth a policy where ANY dog that mauls and kills is summarily destroyed, and the owner jailed, fully liable for enhanced civil penalties, with the following minimum sentencing guidelines:
- Maim or permanently disfigure a human being, 10 year minimum prison sentence.
- Kill a human being, 20 year minimum sentence.
- Kill another domestic animal, one year in prison.
- Any off property attack on human or other animal resulting in ANY injury, 2 years probation. Any animal code violations within the probationary period result in 1 year in prison.
- Strengthening of self defense laws. Dog attacks, including off leash "charging" by any dog over 40 lbs to be considered a projection of lethal force. Castle Doctrine and Stand your ground in full force. Self defense using any legal article, including firearm, completely legal.
- Update civil codes so statutory civil penalties are in force. Dog owner 100% liable for all medical, veterinary, and property damage caused by their animals. Dog owner shall also be liable for a minimum 200% punitive damage in all cases. Civil damages may not be discharged in bankruptcy. i.e. if there is a $5000 vet bill incurred as a result of the attack, the owner of the attacking animal is 100% liable for $15000 in damages that may never be discharged in bankruptcy.
- All of the above result in loss of pet privileges for life. Violators to receive an additional 10 years in prison for any violations.
All sentences above to be served CONSECUTIVELY in the case of multiple attacks, i.e. if your dog kills 5 sheep then that is 5 years in prison with no possibility of parole.
However, I doubt you [pit bull owners] are going to promote or even tolerate a regime like that since many of your ilk not only defend the breed, you give overwhelming support to *individual animals* that maul and kill (i.e. "Mickey"). I almost never hear a call to jail the owner of one of these known maulers from your camp.
Therefore, if you are going to circle the wagons and defend the absolute worst among you as a *group*, then you will be treated as a *group*: If you keep standing as one, you will go down as one. Either throw the worst among you (human AND canine) under the bus or you will ALL burn together.