Monday, November 07, 2005
Running of the pit Bulls
Were Ernest Hemingway alive today what topics might he write on? In today's modern, globalized world what is indeed "exotic" anymore such as the Running of the Bulls which Hemingway introduced to the world? This question of what is exotic led me to wonder about a more basic theme -- what is truly unnecessary as a social custom?
Perhaps Mr. Scott Sword of Cary, Illinois will help drive this debate given the Associated Press (A.P. - November 7, 2005) story he was responsible for -- "Escaped pit bulls attack six people" -- which focused on Mr. Sword's three (3) pit bull dogs which escaped from his home to ultimately attack a 10 year old boy who now lies in critical condition.
Unfortunately the main stream media sources such as the A.P. don't offer a lot of background information with such stories so we don't know much about Mr. Sword -- perhaps he needed THREE pit bulls for some reason although given their reputation (rightly or wrongly) for savage attacks I have to believe that one potential attack dog (aka "law suit") would suffice.
This story intrigued me for a number of reasons especially since my heart goes out to the 10 year old boy who faces a long, painful recovery assuming he survives but beyond this obvious point let's consider these elements:
1.) The search term "pit bull" on Google provides nearly 6 million found items and the term "pit bull attack" on Google provides just over 2 million results.
2.) The negative reputation of pit bulls has inspired at least one website to "promote a positive image" of this dog breed -- http://www.realpitbull.com/
3.) Governments at various levels are taking action to ban pit bull ownership, mandate the sterilization of pit bulls, etc. -- http://www.dispatch.com/pets/pets.php?story=dispatch/pets/pitbulls.html -- which is noted in these examples; City officials in Denver have rounded up hundreds of pit bulls and euthanized about 350 in the past three months as part of a citywide ban on the dogs. Responding to pit bull attacks in the San Francisco Bay area, California lawmakers approved a measure that would allow cities to mandate sterilization of pit bulls and potentially dangerous dog breeds. In Canada, the government of Ontario has begun to phase in a provincewide restriction on owning pit bulls, making it the largest governmental unit in North America to regulate the animals.
4.) Gun control -- how many of Mr. Sword's neighbors own guns I have to wonder because the AP story noted that six (6) people total were attacked by the 3 pit bulls until the local police "shot and killed" the dogs. No where in this story did it mention anyone in the neighborhood utilizing any kind of weapon in this incident. I am not at all comfortable waiting around for the police to appear (they are probably busy in some cases distributing gasoline reward coupons (see the posting here, "Petrol Police" -- http://spacebeaglenotes.blogspot.com/2005/11/petrol-police.html - which delays their response time when pit bulls attack).
CENTRAL QUESTION: Of course I am not going to advocate the creation of some government-managed "dangerous pets" registry but isn't such a concept really an extension of our current sex offender registries which allow you to search your neighborhood so you know where sex offenders live? It seems to be an easy database operation to add pets deemed "a menace to society" to such a registry system.
What I do advocate though is the creation of home owner associations/neighborhood associations so neighbors get to know each other better and can pursue mutually agreed, non-government solutions and peer pressure/guilt if needed such as --- "hey Fred, I have 2 young children and you own 6 pit bulls, if you don't mind may I offer to buy muzzles for them to wear so I have a better sense of security for my children when they are riding their bikes in the neighborhood.............?"
5.) Village of Cary, Illinois' policy on dogs -- http://www.caryillinois.com/ where Mr. Sword's dogs attacked the 10 year old boy this week. Dog Licenses All dogs must have rabies shots and tags. Effective January 1, 2004 Village residents will no longer be selling dog tags. State Regulations now require that veterinarians issue these licenses. Residents may purchase a McHenry County dog license from a local veterinarian.The number for McHenry County Animal Control is 815-338-7040. The McHenry County Animal Control is the agency in this County responsible for lost pets.
Beyond that let me encourage readers to exercise their Second Amendment rights by purchasing a shot gun (also, be sure to attend the "ATF Party" in Colorado in June 2006 to celebrate liberty at http://www.i2i.org) and if that is too much for you let me introduce you to "cattle prods" for those of you that have never been on a farm which should be useful for "encouraging" attacking animals to leave the area via several thousand volts of old-fashioned electricity :)
The Lord loves those who help themselves,