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Pit Bulls "Automatic Guns of Dog World"

tybrax
May 16th, 2006, 08:10 PM
Pit bulls 'automatic guns of dog world'
May 16, 2006. 06:50 PM
GILLIAN LIVINGSTON
CANADIAN PRESS


Government lawyers defended Ontario's controversial ban on pit bulls from a constitutional challenge Tuesday by insisting the law is a vital tool in the province's efforts to protect the public from what they consider dangerous weapons.

Pit bulls have a "predilection to attack," Crown lawyer Michael Doi said as he described the broad-shouldered, snub-nosed animals as the dog preferred by criminals who want an extra level of security.

"In many ways, pit bulls are the automatic guns of the dog world," said Doi, as some spectators in the courtroom groaned in disagreement.

Doi described cases in which police were forced to shoot pit bulls dead because the dogs attacked officers trying to execute an arrest or search warrant at the home of a suspect.

"With the criminal element, the dog of choice is a pit bull."

The challenge is being argued by lawyer Clayton Ruby on behalf of Catherine Cochrane, who owns a two-year old pit bull mix. She is mounting the challenge with the support of animal-rights groups.

In court, the Crown described in graphic detail cases where children or adults were mauled by pit bulls in unprovoked attacks and suffered severe injuries that scarred them for life.

Superior Court Justice Thea Herman agreed that the attacks were vicious, but in cases where police had to shoot the dogs, their owners were the main problem, she noted.

She also acknowledged a point made in earlier arguments by Ruby that if pit bulls are banned, irresponsible owners and criminals would simply choose a different breed of dog.

"It raises the question: is the problem the dog or is the problem the owner?" she said.

Doi countered that the validity of the law is not in question only whether it violates the Constitution.

"It's not the wisdom of the legislation that's at issue, it's the constitutionality of it," he said.

Just as there's no constitutional right to possess an automatic weapon, a banned weapon in Canada, "there is no constitutional right to own a pit bull."

The government has the right to take action against any threat to public safety, Doi noted.

Cochrane, who adopted Chess from the Toronto Humane Society as a puppy, said the ban has curtailed what she can do with her dog, who she says is friendly and not aggressive.

Documentation for the dog, whose bloodlines are unknown, classify it as a mastiff, a pit bull, or an American Staffordshire Terrier cross one of the breeds covered by the ban.

As a result, Cochrane has to muzzle the dog and keep her on a leash at all times when out walking. Cochrane said she fears these limits will make her pet less friendly with other animals and people.

"I feel as though I'm being put in a position where I need to prove that I'm not guilty," Cochrane said. "To me, that's a reversal of how things work here."

On Monday, Ruby argued that the ban, put in place last August, is too broad because it encompasses several recognized breeds, along with any dog with "substantially similar" characteristics to those breeds.

The onus is on the owner to prove that the dog isn't a pit bull, he said.

If affected dogs aren't sterilized and muzzled and leashed while in public, the owner can face a fine of up to $10,000 or as much as six months in jail or both.

Attaching a penalty of jail time to such a broad law is unconstitutional, said Ruby, who noted the law considers all pit bulls dangerous regardless of their actions and forces owners to take special measures as a result.

"I don't think it will prevent dog attacks," Cochrane said.

"Because it doesn't do anything to help people choose a dog that's right for them, or how to train a dog correctly, it just doesn't look at any roots of the problem."

Crown lawyer Zachary Green insisted the law is not vague or too broad, pointing to cases in Manitoba and Quebec where municipal pit bull bans similar to Ontario's have been upheld by appeal courts.

As long as the court is able to interpret the law, then it's not unconstitutionally vague, Green said.


tybrax

babyrocky1
May 16th, 2006, 09:04 PM
After todays court case, Im actually surprised by how balanced that peice is, it could have been alot worse if they had gone with the details that the crown was submitting, glad to hear the growns got in the paper LOL Actually thats the best thing Ive heard all night. The most frustrating thing is that we expected, as did Ruby, to hear our closing today! It wasnt supposed to go into another day so it was hard letting them have the last word. Just for today though,Thursday am the crown gets approx thirty minutes to an hour more and then Ruby closes.

Akeeter
May 16th, 2006, 11:38 PM
quote:
"In many ways, pit bulls are the automatic guns of the dog world,"

Then what does that make Bryant & the Liberals?:evil: I think it can be said that they react without provocation, in mindless attack mode. They are relentless in their pursuit of owners & helpless dogs. They are singleminded in their attack, & won't break it off until -they are put out of their misery, :D (hopefully) at the next election.

twodogsandacat
May 17th, 2006, 05:05 AM
Pit Bulls are the automatic guns of the dog world. Too bad the Liberal government can’t focus on real automatic guns and dozens of lives taken by illegal guns in Toronto alone while they focus on this witch hunt.

Funny though that although they may be the automatic guns of the dog world in only one of the 23 deaths in over twenty years a pit bull was involved. I guess there must be a few rocket launchers out there that Bryant considers ‘not an issue’.

Nice that the judge noted that in cases where the police had to shoot dogs the owners where the real issue. How simple a fact lost on the Crown. If the police are showing up at your door with guns then you probably have to admit you may not be the most upstanding member of society to begin with. That is before the Liberals made dog owners criminals.

I’m also tired of the dogs of choice with criminals line also. I may do a study (Provincially funded of course) to determine the car of choice of criminals and then petition to have those banned too. Gotta go, somebody just told me criminals preferred oatmeal for breakfast. I’d better go eat my Quaker Oats now just incase Bryant hears about that too and bans it.

twodogsandacat
May 17th, 2006, 06:09 AM
Bryant and McGuinty are quoted below in an article published in TODAYS Toronto Star regarding the possible dismantling of the federally managed gun registry. Would they create their own registry? No.

Premier Dalton McGuinty said "the challenge here is making sure that we get a (gun registry) model that is affordable."

It would be difficult for Ontario to continue a gun registry on its own because of constitutional questions, Bryant said.

SOURCE: http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1147816220497&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154&t=TS_Home

Constitutional questions - go figure. Wouldn't public safety over rule any considerations of constitutional questions?

Listening to Bryant is very confusing. "Yes. No. Maybe. You weren't listening I clearly said Yes. No."

Luvmypit
May 17th, 2006, 09:17 AM
Ya I was so happy to hear that the judge pointed out that the owners responsible, I think she may be catching on.

Did Ruby showcase any attacks of other breeds? That would have been a good angle because obviously a big part of the argument is pit bulls do so much more damage. Ruby should show the judge some serious LAb bites (I only say lab b/c people do not see them in that way) just to highlight the serious danger any and ALL dogs can do.


Also I like how the lawyers for the govt. said we aren't challenging the validity of the law only if its constitutional. Almost as if he is saying Ya I know but thats not we are here for.

Schwinn
May 17th, 2006, 11:19 AM
I question the part about challenging the validity of the law...in other words, the judge could determine the law isn't valid, but it also isn't unconstitutional, so we could lose. Is that correct, or is the crown wrong? Anyone?

Overall, I think it sounds like the judge is onside. Anyone who was there have any thoughts? Did she make any counter-points with Ruby?

babyrocky1
May 17th, 2006, 05:24 PM
Ya I was so happy to hear that the judge pointed out that the owners responsible, I think she may be catching on.

Did Ruby showcase any attacks of other breeds? That would have been a good angle because obviously a big part of the argument is pit bulls do so much more damage. Ruby should show the judge some serious LAb bites (I only say lab b/c people do not see them in that way) just to highlight the serious danger any and ALL dogs can do.


Also I like how the lawyers for the govt. said we aren't challenging the validity of the law only if its constitutional. Almost as if he is saying Ya I know but thats not we are here for. LOL a few times he actually said "wisdom" so even if the law is dumb, the positon is that they can make laws lacking wisdom if they want to! Ruby still gets to close on Thursday and alot of the evidence and testimony, infact most of it has already been presented. We dont know exactly whats in that but we do know that if were asking the questions, that Ruby did as well, and we also know what kind of stats are out there and since there all in our favour, I think we can assume that those stats are in the previous testimony.

babyrocky1
May 17th, 2006, 05:26 PM
I just remembered that Ruby did use the fatalites statistic on Monday. The Canadian stats, showing only one "pit bull type dog" has ever killed and I think he used the dog bites stats as well, the ones that show "pit bulls" way down on the list.

babyrocky1
May 17th, 2006, 05:28 PM
I question the part about challenging the validity of the law...in other words, the judge could determine the law isn't valid, but it also isn't unconstitutional, so we could lose. Is that correct, or is the crown wrong? Anyone?

Overall, I think it sounds like the judge is onside. Anyone who was there have any thoughts? Did she make any counter-points with Ruby?I was only there on Monday afternoon, but when she asked Ruby a question, it didnt seem like a counterpoint. It was more lke asking for either more info or askng about other evidence. Certainly not the way she did with the crown. The crown was rude to her in court too...interupted her when she was speaking etc.

babyrocky1
May 17th, 2006, 05:33 PM
Schwinn, on your other point, it seemed that the crown was saying that the court did not have the power to rule on whether or not the law is stupid, only if its unconstitutional and I dont know if thats true or not. But thats what I was always most afraid of. That Bryant can be legally stupid!

LavenderRott
May 17th, 2006, 05:36 PM
"In many ways, pit bulls are the automatic guns of the dog world," said Doi, as some spectators in the courtroom groaned in disagreement.


Well, let's look at this statement for a minute. Anybody with a lick of sense knows that automatic weapons don't kill people - the person holding the gun and pulling the trigger is the guilty party. I am sure that there are plenty of responsible gun owners that own automatic weapons that are never used in such a manner as to cause harm to a person. MUCH like our beloved pets.

seeker
May 17th, 2006, 06:30 PM
If pits are the automatic weapon , which breeds could be equated to a
45 Magnum
9MM
Pump action shot gun ?
None of these are automatics yet all are capable of killing if aimed properly and the trigger is squeezed .
HMMM
Aiming properly in gun terms could be equated with attack training in dog terms.
Pulling the trigger probably equals given command to attack . All commands and training wether dog or gun given or controlled by a HUMAN .

Watchdog
May 18th, 2006, 12:27 AM
If pits are automatic guns then we better get missle defence before its safe to go camping in bear country.

pitbulliest
May 18th, 2006, 12:05 PM
Schwinn, on your other point, it seemed that the crown was saying that the court did not have the power to rule on whether or not the law is stupid, only if its unconstitutional and I dont know if thats true or not. But thats what I was always most afraid of. That Bryant can be legally stupid!

That's what I heard too.

BernerLver
May 18th, 2006, 12:51 PM
Pit bulls 'automatic guns of dog world'

Is it me or does anyone else find this statement a tad dramatic? I don't own a pit so I don't normally comment on this particular issue however this is just ridiculous.

Don't we have bigger problems with actual guns? Yes I think Pit Bulls can be dangerous if not owned by a responsible owner but the same can be said for most dog breeds.

I just think we have bigger problems in Ontario that the gov. should be devoting its efforts towards.

Dukieboy
May 18th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Its just drama and hysteria which is what has driven this B*llS$$t Legislation from the beginning. I hope the judge recognizes that in her decision. I am dieing for news on what is happening there today.

Dukieboy
May 19th, 2006, 01:43 PM
I was just thinking I guess they will have to change bail and probation forms in the dangerous weapons section to: Not to be in the possesion of any guns, knifes, crossbows or Pitbulls.;)