THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 623, June 12, 2011
"The State is Crumbling"
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
I find myself increasingly disgusted with the calls to ban so-called "Pitbull" dogs, often coming from people who I would otherwise never have suspected of being crypto-fascist weenies. "Pitbull" seem to be the media's newest hysteric buzzword, akin to "assault weapon", upon which they pour their histrionics during the nightly "if it bleeds, it leads" sessions.
The first point that the talking heads and general public seems to miss is that there is no such breed as "Pitbull". Let me repeat that, THERE IS NO SUCH BREED AS A PITBULL. The closest candidate, the American Staffordshire Terrier, is sometimes referred to as the American Pitbull Terrier. These are muscular but medium-sized dogs of inoffensive disposition that few would find intimidating. It turns out that nearly any big, large-headed, muscular, and/or brindle colored dog can be classified as a "pitbull" by the average observer. Photo tests, such as the one found at http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html, demonstrate that most people can not pick an American Pitbull Terrier out of a lineup, and will mistake such dogs as Boxers, Rotties, Mastiffs, or even Labs and Jack Russell Terriers for "Pitbulls". In short, the increasingly common laws and ordinances banning "pitbulls" are precisely as logical, enforceable, and just as a city ordinance saying "No tough-looking gents".
Any person wishing to have a large with powerful jaws for whatever purpose can simply skirt the law by selecting a hybrid or a totally different breed of dog. There are many breeds of dogs which can be dangerous if trained to be aggressive. For instance, the Cane Corso mastiff has been implicated in a handful of dog bite fatalities, and already there are proposals to add it to the list of disallowed breeds. Undoubtedly piss-yellow dog grabbers of this ilk will ultimately have everything larger than a Maltese banned if unopposed.
If the locales passing anti-"pitbull" ordinances ever decide to "crack down" and actually attempt to enforce their feel-goodism nonsense, dog owners will face the prospect of having a government employee eyeballing their family pet and deciding whether or not to have it killed, based on arbitrary and inconsistent physical features that have nothing to do with the animal's behavior. The potential for abuse, harassment, and corruption inherent in this is apparent. Remember, when speaking of law enforcement, we are speaking of what increasingly amounts to a pseudo-military army of occupation charged with enforcing every absurd and despotic whim of a runaway government, staffed with sadists and bullies who have already demonstrated their taste for shooting harmless family pets, as numerous horror stories from across the nation indicate.
The snotty disdain and class-ism emanating from many regarding pitbull-ish dogs is unbecoming to Americans. At various times Rotweilers, Dobermans, and German Shepherds have been on the "hit list" of breeds considered dangerous, but none of these animals has drawn quite the rhetoric and legislative ire that so-called "Pitbulls" have. Is it coincidence that the media's most vilified breed of dog is associated with Blacks and Southern Whites in the popular mindset? I truly doubt it. The "pitbull" hysteria forms a convenient politically-correct outlet by which clueless urbanites may strike out at these traditional out-groups they are endlessly propagandized to fear. I have been especially disappointed to hear this crap from some gun-owners of the "I am the NRA" stripe. How dense do you have to be to notice that banning "dangerous dogs" is little different and even more absurd in a practical sense than banning high-capacity repeating firearms? Remember, the media stereotypes gun owners just as ruthlessly as they do "Pitbull" owners.
As far as the politicians go, it surprises me little they hate ANY dog which might fiercely defend their family's privacy and property from the agents of government, or from the burglars and home invaders who are close moral kin to those who existence depends on extorted tax revenue.
Perhaps the most disturbing factor is the extent to which it demonstrates the fear-mongering of the media, and the willingness of mainstream Americans to give up freedom and legislatively harass their neighbors in order to gain some sense of security from the silliest and most unlikely of "threats". According to all available evidence, there are approximately twenty to thirty fatalities due to dog attack in this country every year, from all breeds. Your chances of being killed by a dog are far less than your chance of dying by lightning strike, and certainly far lower than your chances of succumbing to criminal activity. As human beings, equipped with opposable thumbs, we have had the technology to deal with large carnivores trivially, and have had for some 40,000 years. What does it say about the decline of rugged American individual when we cringe in fear not only terrorists, criminals, immigrants, second-hand smoke, and etc, but also BIG DOGS? Instead of allowing government goons to confiscate and destroy our neighbor's pets, we should repeal every single law preventing individuals from buying, owning, and carrying weapons to deal with attackers, of both four-legged and two-legged varieties.
Today they come for politically-incorrect dogs. Will it will be politically-incorrect HUMANS tomorrow?