Sunday, June 3, 2012

Don't let fear from disinformation dictate your decisions

Fear based decisions are not the best kind to make. Fear based legislation is even worse. When you think about all the laws we have to protect us from ourselves, the list is staggering. We have laws for seatbelts, bicycle and motorcycle helmets, and what breed of dog you can own.
The last time I looked, I was a tax-paying citizen. I made decisions based on my life and the things I did with my life. This included growing up riding a bicycle with no helmet, traveling in cars with no seatbelts and having a family dog of indiscriminate breeding, born under a house in Altus, Oklahoma.
I am not arguing the point, some of these laws save lives. I am simply saying to not let fear of something happening to control your life.
I noticed on my way to Home Depot this morning the number of dogs being walked by responsible owners. It is nice weather in the mornings and the different kinds of dogs numbered well over ten. I saw Yorkies and Chihuahuas, a Springer Spaniel and a mixed breed shepherd. I also saw a Rottweiler and a couple of pitbulls all out for a morning stroll.
The fear the local governments uses to control what breed of animal you can own continues to astound me. When one irresponsible owner allows their dog, whatever breed it is, to create havoc, the dog or the dog's breed is punished instead of the owner.
I know a dog who lives in Englewood. I had the pleasure of working with him while at the humane society I volunteered at. He was an awesome, friendly, fat, tennis ball-chasing pitbull and everyone loved him.
He lives with a German Shepherd and his mom and never causes anyone problems. One day while his Mom was riding her bike, with him on a leash beside her, a dog came out of nowhere and attacked him. His Mom dropped to leash to prevent being pulled off her bicycle. When he tried to protect himself, the unleashed dog's owner began kicking him and trying to stop the fight. He never approached the man with the unleashed dog even while being kicked.
Now the irresponsible man with the unleashed dog is trying to sue his Mom because he says he was bitten. He wasn't following the laws, he kicked the dog who was attacked and now he wants to sue. Why? Simply because of the breed of dog he is.
Please use your common sense when anyone tries to pass laws which impact the choice we have in making our own decisions. We are not sheep and should not be so easily led by fear. After the fear based decisions made in Dade County 25 years ago, the ordinance against pitbulls is finally going back to the people for a vote. It is a proven fact that Breed Specific Legislation doesn't work. It is a shame it has taken Dade County 25 years to finally listen to the citizens about changing the laws.

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