America, we need to address pit bulls.
The internet is riven with intense debate over what should be done with these notorious canines.
Calls to ban the breed have met intense criticism from pit bull owners who claim their dogs are lovable creatures and pose no threat at all.
The anti-pit bull crowd counters the owners’ cute pictures with data showing the breed to be responsible for nearly two-thirds of all dog-bite fatalities in spite of only comprising six percent of America’s dog population.
I summarized this vicious debate with a tweet Sunday — which also generated animated discussion.
The great debate: pit bull attack data vs. the one cute pic you found of a pit bull pic.twitter.com/o5RC9MZUkh
— Scott Greer (@ScottMGreer) May 14, 2018
Based on the responses to my tweet, most “pit mommies” have terrible arguments in defense of their favorite dog. Some tweeted pics of their dogs along with violent threats, some claimed terrifying chihuahuas bite more and some replied with stats on whites and mass shooters to debunk conclusions on dog attack data.
Threatening violence against those who worry about violent dogs is the definition of a self-own. Arguing chihuahuas are a bigger threat than pit bulls is beyond silly. Only those who don’t understand the concept of “per capita” would believe the comparison to white mass shooters makes a good argument. (Whites are actually underrepresented in relation to their share of the total population, but I digress.) (RELATED: Despite Media Narrative, White Americans Are Underrepresented As Mass Shooters)
There were somewhat better arguments put forward by my critics. One is that the problem of violent pit bulls is an issue of bad owners, not bad dogs. The other is that the same concerns about pit bulls can be applied to guns — meaning gun rights advocates should not want restrictions on this assault dog. (RELATED: When Your Attacker Is A Dog)
It’s undoubtedly true many owners are responsible for their violent dogs, but that argument overlooks how pit bulls have been bred over generations for fighting. People who want a mean and violent dog don’t go for a golden retriever.
There’s also a pretty big difference between assault rifles and pit bulls. Namely, you don’t have to worry about your gun breaking out of your backyard and mauling neighborhood kids.
If you truly believe pit bull attacks are a result of bad owners and not the dog’s inherently violent nature, then you should want rules in place to make sure only people who will properly care for pit bulls are allowed to own them.
PETA — yes, that PETA — supports sterilizing pit bulls and restricting ownership of the breed.
“Pit bulls are a breed-specific problem, so it seems reasonable to target them,” a PETA spokesperson told Time back in 2011. “The public is misled to believe that pit bulls are like any other dog. And they just aren’t.”
Several localities throughout America prohibit the ownership of pit bulls, a fact that can only be explained by their lack of access to cute pit bull pictures.
But for those who want a compromise that would ensure kids safe and responsible owners can still have a pit bull, there’s the idea of national dog licensing. In order to buy a pit bull one must go through a rigorous process to do so — similar to what concealed carry permit holders have to go through.
They would have to pass a background check, take an exam on how to properly care for a dog, answer questions on why they want a pit bull and make sure the dog has all the necessary training. A very important part of this deal would be requiring the owner spay or neuter their dog, unless they are a certified breeder or have another good reason not to.
According to Time, only 20 percent of pit bulls are sterilized versus 80 percent of the total dog population in America. This is attributed to the “bad owners” who refuse to have this recommended operation done.
Potential owners who are willing to go through this process to obtain a pit bull are far more likely to properly care for it. This process may be a lot, but we only want those responsible enough to go through it with to own a pit bull, right?
The bad owners must be weeded out somehow. If its just the bad owners’ fault, then the good owners won’t object to it. Concealed carry permit holders don’t mind going through training and background checks before receiving their license, why should pit bull owners?
It’s certainly more in the interests of pit owners to support this idea than outright bans.
The fact is that the dogs need to be regulated due to their reputation and aggressive predilection. Sure, there are plenty of anecdotes showing well-behaved pit bulls who would not attack innocent people. But there are plenty of horrifying anecdotes of lovable pit bulls mauling their owners to death, such as a Virginia woman found dead by police last December while her dogs ate ate her rib cage.
Common sense pit bull laws seem to be the only solution. The safety of the most vulnerable members of our society should be of utmost importance. Making sure only upstanding citizens, not criminals and abusers, own pit bulls in the public’s best interest.
Why would pit mommies object to that?