Wikipedia can be a suspect source at best (I know, I use it often). A lot of controversial contain "facts" that are skewed in whatever direction the majority of editors are leaning, which becomes obvious when you look at the debate sections.
I had a set of arguments, but I'll use the sites that you have for reference.
From your first link referencing the JAVMA--
Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates.
(emphasis mine) Because of difficulties inherent in determining a dog's bred with certainty, situtional [sic] and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bit injuries to humans and public policy concerning dangerous dogs."
And from this link(http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/danger.htm#statistics)
, also from the site referenced in you post--
"Unfortunately, however, there are serious gaps in the data on this subject, leaving our assumptions and conclusions open to doubt."
And further down the same page, a court ruling--
"Our review of the record reveals no current statistics since 1996 were presented to support the notion that pit bulls have continued to be involved in a "disproportionate number" of attacks or fatalities. In our view, despite its own factual finding to the contrary, the trial court improperly relied on an outdated, irrelevant, and inadmissible source of factual information to revive the "vicious" pit bull sentiment and justify the finding that the statutes and ordinance are constitutional."
The fact remains that it would be next to impossible to find a true expert who would suggest that pitbulls in and of themselves are vicious, or prone to attack human. As a matter of fact, during the Ontario hearings, not one canine expert testified for the fact that pitbulls are aggressive towards humans. Instead it was a grandstanding city official who ignored the fact that bites INCREASED in his city once pitbulls were banned, a self-proclaimed expert who is actually a dog groomer who never handles pitbulls, and a lot of anecdotal evidence from the general public. Yet those in opposition to the ban included the head of the OSPCA, several veterinarians as well as high up members of kennel clubs.
Originally Posted by Dingo
In the case of Pit Bulls there are two problems. Pit Bulls and their relatives were created as fighting dogs, so understandably they're often dog aggressive. They're often described as "dominant," "suspicious of strangers," "natural guard dogs" and other euphemisms designed to distract from their general tendency towards aggression.
Now THAT'S disingenuous. One of the breeds labled "pit bull" (and banned in Ontario) is called the Nanny dog because of thier gentleness with children. As a matter of fact, both the CKC and AKC list breeds referred to as "pit bulls" as "good with children" and go as far as to say "human aggression is rare with this breed, and discouraged in showing".
The other problem? Every dog that "attacks" is called a pitbull. This was evidenced by our illustrious former attorney general when he proclaimed that he was banning pit bulls to protect that poor child in Cambridge. The problem? When the OSPCA seized the dog, they determined it was a mix of several breeds, including whippet, yet had no "pit bull" in it what so ever. Of course, he forgot to mention that. Probably blinded from standing in front of the media lights so much.
We can agree on one thing, though. There is something going on. My argument has always been, why have pit bulls, who've been around for a couple of hundred years, only been a problem since the early '90's? Before that, it was rottweillers, before that doberman's, and before that, german sheppards (like the one who did, literally, rip off a part of my sister's face, and at that time, there was a massive movement to ban them). And lastly, if this breed is such a danger, why are they used as therapy dogs (in Ontario, right up until the ban) and as police dogs in some states? I'm at work, and normally don't post from here, so I don't have time to look up the reference, but it's on here somewhere of one pitbull who was sent out of Ontario to avoid being destroyed, only to become a police dog in Washington State.