The West Allis Common Council recently unanimously approved (9-0 with one Alderperson abstaining) a Pit Bull ban in the City of West Allis. Thankfully, the Mayor of the city, Dan Devine, has promised to veto the legislation. As you may have guessed from the tone of this paragraph, my wife and I are pit bull owners.
Bailey is a Pit Bull/Lab mix, and we rescued her from the Wisconsin Humane Society. We chose her because there were no Grizzly Bear/Great White Shark/Rattlesnake mixes available on the day that we went. I’m kidding of course; we chose her because she was sweet, smart and eager to please. Afterwards, on walks and such, we noticed that people don’t have a neutral opinion of Pit Bulls; they either cheer you or fear you. They either applaud you for extending kindness to a much maligned and misunderstood breed, or they assume that you’re on your way to the hospital maternity ward for its afternoon feeding.
Irrational fear of dogs is certainly nothing new. In the 70’s, it was the Rottweiler, in the 80’s it was the Doberman Pinscher, in the ’90’s it was the German Shepherd and now it’s the Pit Bull’s turn.
The fact is that no dog, Pit Bull or otherwise, is inherently aggressive. It’s not like God said: “Man and dog seem to make for fast friends. Hmmmm, I know what I’ll do, I’ll create a really mean one that will turn on its owner when the owner least expects it. Ha!”
Of course, that’s patently absurd. It’s the human owner that creates instability, insecurity and aggression. The Pit Bull (which is actually a blanket term for several breeds) is like no other dog in its eagerness to please its human owner. Unfortunately, this means that if the human owner wishes to use the dog to intimidate, terrorize or harm, the dog’s loyalty dictates that that’s exactly what it will do. It doesn’t conspire or scheme or judge, it merely wishes to please that which it views as God: Its owner.
But I realize that fans of Breed-Specific Legislation (B.S.L.) are not going to go away quietly. Therefore, let me offer a breed that rabid legislators should ban; namely the North American Douchebag. This breed is extremely insecure and often aggressive. In an attempt to extend its machismo, street “cred” and obtain superficial respect, nearly everything, including another living creature, becomes a weapon when under its control.
To the West Allis Common Council: Alderperson Gary T. Barczak, Alderperson Michael J. Czaplewski, Alderperson Kurt E. Kopplin, Alderperson Thomas G. Lajsic, Alderperson Richard F. Narlock, Alderperson Rosalie L. Reinke, Alderperson Daniel J. Roadt, Alderperson James W. Sengstock, Alderperson Vincent Vitale (the author of the West Allis Pit Bull Ban Legislation) and Alderperson Martin J. Weigel, I implore you to consider this proposal to ban the North American Douchebag…or we can just go ahead and punish the deed and not the breed.
And to Mayor Devine: Thank you for keeping a level head amidst the misguided posturing and hysteria.