What have we learned in the past week?
Some pitbull owners don’t like bites by their beloved breed reported on, will question the media’s balance on reporting other attacks, and will accuse us of supporting a breed ban. All this because a columnist had some harsh words for owners who don’t question bad owners, a provincial cabinet minister said it’s up for municipalities to institute bans and a poll on our website asking if readers supported a ban.
In our paper’s editorial today, we clearly lay the blame where it’s deserved, for those who were wondering.
Based on some of the comments on my column this week, I’m not sure it will persuade some.
But in reply to a couple of commenters (yes, I am pettily furthering the argument), Michael Platt didn’t call for a breed ban in in his column August 20. He has written the opposite in the past, and has been the one who reported that pitbulls aren’t the worst offenders in terms of total bites.
He did say “other breeds bite more frequently, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dog with the bloody-minded tenacity of the pitbull: once they attack, they rarely stop. Hence the massive damage to their victims,” but he never calls for a ban.
His point, quite rightly, is that if bad owners cause enough problems for the breed, without a change in focus, the community could see a ban imposed.
“It’s bad owners who are behind the vast majority of dog attacks, yet pitbull defenders never seem to ask why so many of their chosen breed end up with people who couldn’t properly raise a goldfish,” he wrote.
If they want to snarl, maybe those who love pitbulls should snarl at the people ruining the breed.”
Some pitbull owners get it, as evidenced in some of the comments under my column and Platt’s. Some don’t.
The problem isn’t the breed, or any breed.
But, as the band Sloan once sang “It’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans.”