Wednesday, May 18, 2005
No Dog Bites Man, But Post-Dispatch Covers It Anyway
I predicted yesterday:
    So keep an eye on it, gentle reader: when the dog bites man, it will be news in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch if it's a pit bull doing the biting, and it will be one more anecdote to drive bad legislation.
Well, translated as augury, that means watch for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to grab hold of the pit-bull-attacks story with its teeth and not let go. Kind of like, you know, a pit bull.

The Post-Dispatch does not disappoint. Here's today's entry: Dog attacks: The solution proves elusive
    While the family and friends of the victims of two pit bull attacks in St. Charles County try to understand what caused the animals to snap, experts are divided about how to prevent maulings.

    Even pit bull advocates admit the dogs have an image problem.
Get that? Even pit bull advocates admit there's a problem. But they're only copping to an image problem. Ironic, ainna, that the admission comes in an article that casts pit bulls in a bad light.

But not to worry, citizens. The government is making its plans for the pit bull purge:
    Unlike Missouri, Illinois law makes it illegal to enact breed-specific ordinances that would allow the state's cities to ban certain breeds. A bill currently in the Illinois House, however, would change the law.
Furthermore, we get column inches lauding the bans:
    Merritt Clifton, of Clinton, Wash., editor of the newspaper Animal People, disagreed and cited laws banning pit bulls in Denver and one being enacted in Ontario.

    He said that dog-related legislation had historically allowed the dog one free bite before it was deemed a dangerous animal.

    "The problem with pit bulls and also with Rottweilers is that the first dangerous incident is very often the first fatality or life-threatening injury," he said. "So that one free bite doesn't work when you've got that level of capacity to injure, and the issue is no longer whether the dog bites often but whether the dog bites at all."

    He said that pit bulls made up about 5 percent of the dog population in the United States, but that more than 50 percent of the dogs involved in fatal attacks or maimings have been pit bulls.

    Delise calculates that pit bulls are involved in 21 percent of fatal attacks, the highest of any breed.
Well, what's a newspaper to do? We don't have sharks in Missouri. But we do have menacing pit bulls. It's a twofer for a paper: it can tell harrowing stories with human victims in the man-versus-nature style, and it can goad the government to further curtailing freedom on behalf of the Little Man and/or The Children.

To be continued, undoubtedly....

Ah, but you do have sharks in Missouri...occasionally.

Not only do bull sharks prefer low-salinity waters, they can in fact, thrive in completely fresh water. They have been found as far up the Mississippi River as St. Louis, Missouri.

Only until Missouri outlaws bull sharks.

But not mako.

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