Author: J. Thomas Beasley
Published on May 2, 2015Misunderstood Nanny Dogs?(http://amzn.com/150872671X) the new book by attorney J. Thomas Beasley, examines the horrors of pit bull maulings and fatalities and proposes common sense solutions to the "Pit Bull Problem."
I read this book, not once but twice. First time, a page here a page there. Second time, read end to end in one sitting.
Me, being who I am, I would like to review the other reviewers. Consider this:
The above indicates a very contentious social issue. There are 2 reviews: 1) Those that consider it the Book of the Dead, and 2) Those that consider it the Greatest Story Ever Told. Did any of these people actually read the book? Not ONE 2, 3 or 4 star review. Anybody?
Hell, *I* will be the first to give a third point of view. Perhaps I am the only person to actually read the book.
I will give it 7 out of 10. 3.5 stars. In my magnanimity, I may round that up to 4 stars.
The author wrote a very good, very readable primer on the dangerous dog problem. The writer has a good writing style, and I would read other books by this author. His research and statistical analysis is excellent. I would not debate anything presented in the book (unless paid to do so LOL!).
Any potential reader should consider that this is a primer. If you have been following this issue, there is not much new here. It does not delve into related social issues or root causes. The purpose of the book is to initiate the general public to the problem. The over-arching point is, these dogs do create a disproportionate amount of carnage, therefore prejudice against them at both a personal and societal level is wise. So, with that said, it serves its purpose well.
This is where I waver a bit... why a 7 and not an 8 or a 9? While this is a primer, I think that reporting on this issue without tying it to the larger dog culture (even if just briefly) short changes the reader. To the non-initiate, reading this book leaves the impression that this problem came out of nowhere and exists in a vacuum.
For example, at one point in the book (spoiler alert!) the author makes the point that toys such as "Jarts" have been recalled from use after causing 3 deaths in 18 years. Juxtapose that with the fact that Pit Bulls probably kill 3 people every month or so. However, the author does not delve into why Jarts are banned and Pit Bulls are not only still available, but promoted as great family pets? The "Pit Bull Lobby"!? What about the "Jart Lobby" promoting those toys as perfectly safe for kids? What Jart lobby? Why is there a Pit Bull lobby and not a Jart Lobby?
The Pit Bull problem evolved, and persists, because dogs are granted a ridiculous amount of social and legal capital. And, Pit Bulls are DOGS. For example: The one bite rule - it is a non-breed specific law designed to protect dangerous dogs and their owners from victims and complainants. The problem persists because dog attacks are protected behavior. Indeed, our society considers the victims the problem, NOT the dogs.
The author refers to the "Blame Machine": Victims of pit bull attacks are summarily blamed for the attack. I don't argue the existence of the "Blame Machine", merely that the exact same "Blame Machine" protects ALL bad dog behaviors! Consider this essay from a few years ago. Note that the dog in question was NOT a Pit Bull, yet the same Blame Machine launched a vicious attack against the victim, parents, authorities, and critics. Anybody who complains about any dog for any reason is mercilessly pounded to dust by the Blame Machine. I have been there many times.
In an equitable universe, the vile creatures would have been summarily banned decades ago. Farm animals are zoned out of most places, and the largest cat I can own without restrictions is a Maine Coon (avg. weight ~18 lbs), yet I may own a back yard full of 150 lb canine supermaulers? Anybody know why THAT is? Anybody? Bueller?
In any case, I digress (as I often do). Again, the book is an excellent primer for the non-initiate. Not everyone has the wherewithal to investigate all of this on their own.
So, buy the book and don't forget to visit my blog. THANKS FOR READING!