Let's stop fighting about pit bulls and look for solutions

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
September 19, 2018 - 10:18am Updated: September 19, 2018 - 11:07am
File photo
File photo Image Credit: The Canadian Press

ANOTHER FATAL PIT BULL ATTACK, this time in Calgary, and once again the question of whether to ban the breed comes up.

It’s a little like the gun-control debate. Every time there’s an incident, the argument begins all over again, and there’s never any solution.

In some places, breed-specific bans have been legislated, in others, they’ve been rescinded. In Kamloops, civic legislators just don’t want to go there.

The arguments against banning pit bulls are as many as pit bull lovers can come up with — claims that the breed is involved in a disproportionate number of tragic incidents are exaggerated, they’re actually great family pets, breed-specific bans are unfair, and so on. There’s even disagreement on what a pit bull is.

Instead of arguing pro- and anti-pit bulls, pro- and anti-pit bull bans, let’s for once talk about alternatives.

Instead of questioning statistics, let’s just acknowledge there are too many headlines about people being mauled, disfigured and sometimes killed by rampaging pit bulls. Even one attack would be one too many, but there have been more than a few, right?

The argument is frequently made that whenever a dog of any breed creates problems the ultimate responsibility must be put on the owner. If that’s true, penalties against owners need to be significantly increased, but I don’t think owners can be expected to take all the blame.

I do think they can and should be part of the solution, though.

I’m a dog lover, but when dogs of one breed cause problems, why is it so hard for us to look at it objectively? And if banning that breed isn’t the answer, what ideas do the owners have?

My own views on pit bulls are no secret but I’m not interested in going on a rant on the subject or hearing one from anyone else. Instead of protests and counter-protests and anger, why can’t we get together and talk about practical solutions?

Let’s stop fighting over it, take our heads out of the sand and solve this.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.