Friday, April 8, 2011

Still not quite done: Part 3!

Photo: Tango (pictured playing with puppy-Zelda), is a mixed breed dog who, because of his blocky head and short hair, would likely be targeted by any type of BSL. Despite being one of the most mellow, friendly, wonderful family pets I've ever met.

Here's part 1 and part 2 of my take down of Skeptifem's un-skeptical essay supporting BSL.

(Paragraph 1): Teaser line
(Paragraph 2): Ad hominem argument involving unethical actions of a pit bull owner.
(Paragraph 3): Same, continued.
(Paragraph 4): Criminals use code words and do other sneaky things to hide their illegal activities.
(Paragraph 5 - 9): Ad hominem argument involving unethical actions of a pit bull breeder.
(Paragraph 10): At last, the point:

"This isn't to say that everyone who is anti-bsl or a protester is okay with or involved in dog fighting, most will express that they hate dog fighting and people who abuse pit bulls. I believe them. What I am trying to say is that they are helping dog fighters and are doing nothing to flush them out of their own ranks"
She has a tiny bit of a point: if you defend all pit bulls and their owners, you run the risk of defending a dog fighter unknowingly. There's no escaping the fact that pit bulls are the current breed(s) of choice for dog fighters in North America. How this helps dog fighters continue their already illegal activities, I'm not really sure, and Skeptifem hasn't really made a good case.

And what exactly does she expect pit bull advocates to do to "flush dog fighters from our ranks"? Do a background check and home inspection of everyone who makes an anti-BSL blog or joins a pit bull forum? Shouldn't we bend over backwards to flush out other types of criminals as well? There are a lot of pit bull owners out there representing a wide swath of humanity. I'm positive some of them are also shoplifters or car thieves or embezzlers or partake of illegal substances. Why are we responsible for criminals who happen to agree with our anti-BSL stance? I thought that was the job of law enforcement to, you know, enforce laws?

The one thing that all pit bull advocates agree on (treating dogs with short hair and big heads the same you would any dog), doesn't have anything to do with dog fighting. It's already just as illegal to fight German shepherds as it is pit bulls.

"BSL can include things that make it difficult for dog fighting to continue, like limits on how many can be owned and standards for containment."

Yes, because people who are already breaking the law are going to take one look at these new laws and go, "oh, well, these ones I'll follow, by golly!" Especially when there's barely enough funding to enforce the animal control laws we already have.

She does acknowledge that it's impossible for a law to distinguish between "good" pit bull owners and the "bad" ones it's trying to target. But that's as far as she goes in the discussion of the drawbacks and difficulties in enforcing BSL.

(Paragraph 11): Best Friends Animal Shelter did some possibly unethical things with high profile rescue pit bulls. I don't know how this argues in favor of BSL.

(Paragraph 12): A bunch of ipso factso stuff with no references:

"Most of the problems involved with pit bulls and shelters stem from the fact that there are too damn many of them being bred"

I suppose this is possible, though I quibble that there's a "problem" with pet overpopulation in the first place, let alone it being the fault of breeders. But that's a different discussion.

"[breeding] is where dog fighters really make their money"

It is? I'd love to see evidence of that, but she provide none. I thought it was all the illegal gambling. I'm also confused. Just a second ago she said the dog market is flush with "too damn many" pit bulls. How can anyone make money from a breeding a type of dog that's overflowing at the shelters?

"The advocates ... are supporting breeding groups like kennel clubs and breed associations."

I'm confused again. Is she saying all breeders of pit bulls are dog fighters? And/or that all breed clubs are bad? It could just as easily be argued that breed clubs provide the type of scrutiny that dog fighters tend to scuttle away from.

"people with an ounce of curiosity can see that the massive amount of information about being a Responsible Owner is just a bunch of disingenuous bullshit.

When in doubt, label the people who disagree with you as "disingenuous". There's no way to argue against it!

Um, also, I'm pretty sure every dog trainer on the planet would tell you being a responsible dog owner is important to prevent dog bites. It's not just pit bull advocates who say this.

Sigh. Looks like she has a Part 4 in the works. I'll be there.


Dude, I said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DubV said...

Hint: people who actually "take down" an argument do not have to announce it to the world.

I invite your readers to go to skeptifem's posts and read them, read your replies, and then read what others replied to you.

Anonymous said...

And what exactly does she expect pit bull advocates to do to "flush dog fighters from our ranks"?

Um, YES!! When Dobermans had issues back in the 70s (BTW, pit bulls were still causing more issues than Dobbies back then) and there was chatter about BSL for them, their advocates, breeders, and owners got together and fixed the breed to make sure BSL didn't happen to them. Contrast that to pit bulls where BSL has been around since the 80s and advocates like yourself are still thinking that it isn't your problem or your business to help a breed you supposedly love. Pit bulls are a problem - the maul more often and cause more damage when doing it, they instinctively (no training required) want to fight and kill other dogs (our pets), and are severely over populated. Instead of wasting time and money trying to convince the "ignorant" public that pit bulls are lovely bundles of fur, why not try doing something that might actually make a difference? Police your own! Pit bulls chained up in a yard, go educate the owner of those dogs, not the neighbors that rightly live in fear of them. Backyard breeder with an ad in the paper? Educate them on how only 1 in 600 pits gets a good home and a full life. Shelters and pit bull rescues can do these things, and it will save lives and decrease incidents. You could also support some measures of BSL that have been proven to work and would actually improve things for pit bulls. Or you could continue to keep your head in the sand, call us all haters and watch us ban your dogs. If it were my dogs. I know what choice I would make: a positive one that the public could support.