And THIS is my response :B
(it's awaiting moderation on the blog itself, probably not visible yet)
Great write up, though a few points are off.... pitbulls need not be improperly trained/socialized or be abused to gruesomely maul someone out of the blue. They possess innate idiopathic aggression... which canNOT be tested for, predicted, trained out, or environmentally harnessed. It is NOT animal specific, man-biters were NOT culled and, if anything, pitbull fanatics today further pervert and contradict themselves by making such a false claim... all the while hysterically lobbying to free/save pitbulls that have savagely/fatally mauled people. That is certainly not culling "man-biters". As one of my betters put it;
[near-paraphrase/reworded in my syntax]
"They were bred to kill members of their own pack [ala dogfighting] and now that humans have been adopting them into their 'packs', the blood is flowing."
I strongly urge anyone and everyone, in furthering their reading about the truth of pitbulls, to use a source that is:
- --uses science, evidence, and logic (rather than knee-jerk emotional appeals and fluff),
- --proffers documents,
- --evidence (video, pictures, etc.), and
- --testimony of formally qualified/educated professionals like;
- ----animal control,
- ----law enforcement (who have to deal with these dogs day in and day out),
- ----formally educated animal behaviorists,
- ----veterinarians, and
- ----third party sources that do not have a vested interest in pitbull perception either way.
I also encourage reading multiple sources. I can name several pro-pit sites off the top of my head at any given moment. I can do the same for safety advocacy/truth-telling/ information/awareness/BSL sites.
The best site I've found offering any of this is http://dogsbite.org/ (which reports not just on pitbull attacks, but *all* SERIOUS--no superficial little scratches or cutaneous nips, but penetrating wounds--dog attacks).
The blogs and links are worth more than a gander too; as the tragic and agonizing gauntlet of pitbull mauling increases in frequency, so too, are there an increasing number of blogs on the issue. There are personal accounts of attacks and experiences (Confessions of Pitbull Victims, for one), and yes, some heavy emotion... however, these are blogs, not formal news sites, and many of the authors have been personally--self or loved one--attacked (in multiple ways; often harassed, bullied, stalked, identities stolen, false reports filed, etc. by pitbull extremists--I'm not kidding... check out http://fatherofdax.tumblr.com/ for some stomach churning examples), or have lost a loved one.
True, the founder of dogsbite.org is a pitbull attack victim herself, but having personal experience with a matter does not necessarily invalidate the legitimacy of their work. Susan G. Komen's Walk for the Cure and MADD come to mind. If anything, personal experience can help someone serve a greater purpose. That which is emotive and that which is real can be filtered through viewing/posting of external news, videos, reports, etc., which can imbue a cause with substance.
This issue is so so deep and complex, ...trying to explain it all would turn this comment page into an ocean of text that would better fit into volumes. Though dogsbite and its blog companions (17 Barks, The Truth About Pitbulls, and Craven Desires, in particular) address and thoroughly DEBUNK the myriad myths and propaganda that has thoroughly penetrated our society in the last 30 years... pitbull advocacy has succeeded in laundering the breed's image, so deeply that it becomes taboo to utter anything but praise for these animals. Anything else often makes one a social pariah and object of scorn.
The myths and fabrications they thoroughly debunk;
__pitbulls attack because they weren't properly socialized
__pitbulls attack because they weren't properly trained not to (note the innate vs. environmental contradiction in those two)
__BSL doesn't work
__BSL is more costly than no-BSL
__pitbulls are only dog aggressive
__pitbulls were once nanny dogs
__pitbull is not a breed
__it's all in how you raise them
__its bad owners not bad dogs
__pitbulls are just like any other dog
__the media hates pitbulls and never covers attacks from other dogs
__people misidentify pitbulls all the time
__pitbulls must be abused, neglected, or provoked to attack
__spaying and neutering will prevent attacks
__pitbulls are great family pets
__pitbulls are loyal
__man-biters were culled
__pitbulls are [appropriate] service dogs
__people who are attacked are attacked because they are idiots/ignorant and couldn't read the dog's body language
(pitbulls are unique in that they do NOT warn before they attack--no growl, no rising hackles, no lifted lip, no flattened ears, no tensing stance and tail, etc.. Dogmen--those that breed for and participate in dog fighting--call this sort of warning indicator a 'tell', and purposely bred it out of the animals to give them the element of surprise. A common feature witnesses/victims that survive attacks notice is how sudden, and how absolutely quiet an attack strikes.
Dogsbite, 17 Barks, and Craven Desires have a couple of great exposes on the history of dogfighting and the emergence of the pitbull breed.)
__people who lobby for BSL are 'haters' (and granted, there are *some* who do hate the breed, though they are the minority AND they have suffered greatly, pets dismembered, people losing body parts, watching a loved one at the brink of death, or worse--faces torn off, limbs severed, decapitated, etc..) that "just don't like the way a dog looks"...
For most, this is NOT about hating a breed, but PROTECTING people--children comprise the majority of pitbull attack victims and most have not done anything to provoke the attack, many weren't even near the dog when it suddenly exploded like a rocket, crossing a great distance to rend and tear flesh (another attribute prized by dogmen--they call it 'scratching')--I personally actually think the animal is handsome in form,
...but I appreciate the dog the same way I can appreciate the beauty and strength of a tiger--from a distance. It does NOT belong in the living room, it does NOT belong in schools, it does NOT belong in backyards, it does NOT belong in a public park... you get the idea.
Pitbulls kill hundreds of other companion animals each year--and these perpetrators are just the socially integrated ones (i.e.pets), not counting the death toll caused by and within the dog-fighting circuit. They also kill and seriously injure livestock--animals as large as (surprise, surprise) bulls, horses, llamas, etc.. For small, family agricultural operations, this can represent a loss so large they lose the income to keep food on the table. Without BSL, they often have no legal recourse whatsoever, or that which is allotted is insultingly paltry.
I would like to add another point in how pitbull fanatics frenzied and fighting BSL actually works *against* the humane and compassion treatment of animals... the fact that continued integration makes it so so much easier to hide dog-fighting operations, enabling more growth in the illegal industry, and ergo greater animal suffering as a result.
Many can now boldly run in-sight by passing off the animals as domestic pets. They don't stand out among the neighbors anymore. To ban the breed would make the presence of pitbulls quite the giveaway. Limited in options and forced to sequester, dogmen would have a much more difficult time of operating--nonetheless expanding--their personal circuit.
Please note, a ban does not mean some form of canine Holocaust/genocide. Typically, banning requires spay/neuter of all existing animals, registering them, grandfathering existing pets from the ban, (so no..., no one is going to charge into another person's house, confiscate their animals, blow away their dogs with bazookas, round them up and gas them en masse, or whatever ridiculous scenario the fanatics concocted and are presenting now). Within fifteen years or so, these 'grandfathered' animals reach the end of their natural life and no more new pitbulls are to be acquired or created. For the interim, one must procure liability insurance, meet containment standards (these dogs are profoundly athletic and require more measures than merely fencing the average dog), have documented proof of vaccination, register their dog, and muzzle it in public.
I think you said it perfectly when you asked: "how does this punish 'responsible owners'?" Responsible owners should already be taking at least half these measures! People crying about punishment and see responsibility as a considerable and 'wrong' imposition is akin to someone claiming speed limits, traffic lights, and auto insurance punishes responsible drivers. Responsible drivers should *already* be operating with respect to those parameters... and therefore, have to make no changes and are in no way inconvenienced as a result formal regulation.
The people that rail about punishment and responsibility and so forth... are those who are *not* being responsible. If they were, why would they have a problem with making that responsibility formal (and thusly giving recourse to those harmed by the irresponsible)?