The title of this post is directly taken from an article written by “journalist” Dan Rodricks, a man who apparently prides himself on perpetuating stereotypes and writes for The Baltimore Sun. In an unabashedly biased, non-factual report titled: “Pit bulls: Own them at your own risk“, Rodricks talks uses his experience as a judge at a costume event for animals as a pedestal to speak out against pit bull ownership.
I realize this article is written as a commentary and Mr. Rodricks is certainly entitled to his opinion. However, most leisurely wanderers of the internet will see this article’s placement on The Baltimore Sun’s website and mistakenly assume that what he has written is a factual account of the pit bull breed, instead of an admittedly skewed perspective.
Prejudice notwithstanding, Rodrick’s poorly constructed article misses the point. The fact that the recent findings of the Maryland Court of Appeals are in agreement with his negative opinion of the pit bull breed does not prove, or even suggest, that there is anything wrong with responsible pit bull ownership. The “if we get rid of the pit bulls no one will get hurt“, brand of logic has grown tired considering its serious lack of factual supporting data.
Want to know the truth?
In places where pit bulls have been banned, dog bite statistics and mortality rates have remained unchanged, as demonstrated in balanced and scientific studies done in Denver, CO, The Netherlands and Spain. Getting rid of the pit bulls didn’t solve the problem, but I guess Maryland wants to find that out on their own.
Furthermore, imagine if we extrapolated this nonsensical logic and used it to ban other dangers like guns or automobiles. Do you think we would be safer if we prohibited people from owning Remington brand guns? Of course not. For further reading on the dangers of pit bulls I suggest Ban Bath Tubs, Not Pit Bulls.
Being eager to place blame on the pit bulls only serves one purpose – to make the ignorant and afraid “feel better” with a quick fix. In reality, blanket bans and breed specific legislation do not actually solve any problems, because the REAL problems are too great for anyone to want to tackle. The greater issues that lie behind dog-related violence including poverty, discrimination, lack of education, drug use, crime, are certainly a lot less sensational than a headline about a bloodthirsty pit bull (reference – American Bar, Report on Media Bias).
The final truth is this -all pets come with risk – regardless of breed or animal. There is always a risk for unpredictable behavior, and to call out one particular breed as a ticking time bomb is ignorant, irresponsible journalism at its finest. Perhaps that’s what Rodricks was going for anyway – a controversial piece guaranteed bring some readers, a stark contrast to his usually barren comments section (examples: I look forward to … growing up and Tire wars: Local Joe wins rubber match.
Punish the deed, not the breed.
Feel free to drop Mr. Rodricks a line at firstname.lastname@example.org