May 22nd, 2006, 11:17 AM
the sun is having a column writing contest . might be a good chance for a creative writing pit owner to make a point.
June 1st, 2006, 10:26 PM
I entered it last year, but didn't win. I was told that it was probably because they were tired of hearing about the pitbull issue.
My entry from last year...
The pitbull ban has passed, labled as a fight between those who are for the victims, and those who are for the dogs. But is that really the case?
The committee meetings said otherwise. People for breed-specific legislation (BSL) have uttered that “the anti-BSL people are well-organized”, which is true. The Ontario Veterinary Association and the OSPCA, to name two. We heard that people who argue against the ban do so out of emotion. Fair enough, eliminate all emotional argument, for and against. Who’s left? Politicians and experts (vets, trainers, etc). How do you know which is which? Easy, only the politicians are for the ban.
We’ve heard that the anti-BSL people aren’t concerned about public safety, but this isn’t true. Donna Trempe, her daughter tragically killed by a neighbour’s dog, not a pitbull, wants nothing more than to prevent another tragedy like she has suffered. And if you talk to most pitbull owners, they, too, want to prevent senseless attacks. They’re also victims (to a lesser extent) of dog attacks. Everytime someone’s dog attacks, claimed to be a pitbull, responsible owners feel the rage of the public. Ask the woman who was knocked down, her dog kicked, because it was a pitbull (ironically, her “ticking time-bomb” didn’t go off). Ask the woman who had a passing car throw an empty vodka bottle at her dogs, or when some teenagers confronted her about the biggest pitbull they’d ever seen. Her dog is a bull mastiff, which outweighs the average pitbull by about 100 lbs. Which leads to another point—how often are the attacks by pitbulls? Twice we’ve seen the “honourable” Attorney General proudly display his mug on television to proclaim that he wants to make Ontario safer from these vicious “pitbull” attacks, only to find out that they weren’t pitbulls (the first in Cambridge, determined by the OSPCA to be a mix of several breeds, none pitbull, and then Ottawa, later determined they weren’t pitbulls, but bull mastiffs). Ironically, he’s been the best example of what’s wrong with BSL—his own examples of people he wants to protect, are not protected by his ban. What everyone wants, including pitbull owners (who include lawyers, doctors, bank mangagers and, yes Mr. Fantino, even cops) is legislation to protect the people of Ontario from all attacks, pitbull and otherwise.
But instead, one breed was made the scapegoat. Why? Remember, this is the government that promised no new taxes, and brought in the health tax. Promised to improve health care, then eliminated services like chiropractic care, physiotherapy, and non-essentials like eye exams (maybe we can all get seeing-eye dogs, as long as they aren’t pitbulls?). They promised to improve relations with the teacher’s union, which is now threatening to strike. The 407, the Oak Ridges Morain, on and on. What better way to improve their image than to find something they can get everyone to rally around? Newspapers love headlines, and pitbull attacks make good headlines, so what better cause to champion than the elimination of pitbull attacks? Never mind that this is like saying there’s a problem with peanut butter allergies in schools, and after eliminating Jiffy Peanut butter, proudly proclaiming that we no longer have a problem with reactions caused by Jiffy. Of course not, but that doesn’t really solve peanut allergies, does it? No, but you can’t refute the statement “there will be no pitbull attacks”.
So, will this end the problem? Sadly, no. Pitbull attacks have only recently been an issue. Before that, it was rottweilers, then Dobermans, proceeded by German Shephards. Since the dog has been around for a couple of hundred years, logic tells us that people are the problem, not the breed. So when the pitbulls are gone, and another breed takes its place, will they eliminate those too? The Liberals have assured us no. And after all, they wouldn’t lie to us, would they?