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Ignorance Vs. Injustice

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What is racism? I like Google’s definition, “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races” mainly because it states racism as a “belief”. While we are free to believe what we want, the average person acknowledges that racism is wrong, yet it still exists. According to the media, we want racism gone. So why are Breed-specific legislation (BSL) bans becoming more and more popular in towns and cities across the country? BSL bans are, simply put, canine racism.
In April of 1999 a man who beat his Pit Bull to death was sentenced to two days in jail. He had pleaded guilty, admitted to killing his dog, and his punishment for ending the life of another living creature? Forty-eight hours in a jail cell. Hardly seems right, seeing as Pit Bulls usually live to be around twelve years. Yet the dog in question was Pit Bull, possibly the most misunderstood breed there is.
When I say “Pit Bull”, what do you see? Like most people, probably a vicious, blood-covered killing machine. But why? Have you ever owned a one? Have you even met one before? Sure, you have heard of dog fights but the “animal” that you should be blaming is the two-legged one on the other end of the leash. Pit Bulls are some of the most loving and caring dogs, if properly raised, and some are even used for service dogs. Service dogs help disabled people with daily actives that they could not accomplish without their dog. But some people can’t even bring their service dog, dogs that are supposed to be allowed everywhere, just because he/she happens to be a Pit Bull or a Pit Bull mix.
So you might not be a dog-lover but what about the disabled people that are forced to give up certain traveling trips or even forced to move because of BSL bans on Pit Bulls? Would you want them to be restricted in life more than they already are because of ignorance? Families have been forced to give up their beloved pets and in places where BSL bans are enforced, “rescuing” a Pit Bull means taking it away from a loving home to ensure that the dog is not be euthanized, as is allowed by BSL ban laws. Shelters are always full of Pit Bulls because of BSL bans, misunderstandings and fees Pit Bull owners have to pay to keep their Pit Bulls.
BSL bans do not stop dog attacks. BSL bans only restrict specific breeds and mixes and in areas with BSL bans, dog attacks still occur. You most likely do not hear about these attacks as often because no one wants to hear, or can imagine, a fun, loving lab turning on helpless children or an old lady. Ban ignorance, confusion and fear, not the breed. Send letters to your legislators to re-verse or stop the effects of BSL bans. Take part in protests or maybe even adopt a Pit Bull yourself. Don’t let this wonderful breed suffer because of the stereotypes we have given them.



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