I received the above article tonight from Danny, in Arkansas, with the simple email stating,
"This is the kind of ignorance we have to deal with around here."
And Danny's right-on -- much more than Mike Masterson is in his article --
-- Danny didn't attack Mike, nor hurl emotion or hatred at Mike, whereas Mike used all the sensationalism and drama he could conceive to drive his point home -- that all pit bulls are killers of humans.
Mike's article is clearly written by someone who has had little to no direct interaction with pit bulls -- instead, he chooses to cherry-pick the "worst of" articles from around the country, citing the "who's who" of vicious dog attacks, where so-called "pit bulls" mauled, maimed or killed people.
What is a pit bull?
First off, Mike, what is a pit bull in these articles? Well, to the news media, the term "pit bull" is a seller -- it's a quick read where someone can glance at the headline and say, "Ahhh -- I knew it -- they're bad news " --
-- but in reality, a "pit bull" is not so easily identified, and the mis-identification of the reporter of a "dog attack" becoming instead a "pit bull attack" sells more papers, turns more heads, and becomes headlines -- thus, the name "pit bull" becomes improperly used.
What is a pit bull's breed traits?
Mike is also showing though his writing that he didn't do his homework before starting this editorial --
-- ask many cops, animal control officers and other public servants about pit bulls, and they'll unanimously say it isn't the pit bull breed that causes the end-traumas, it's the human mis-treatment of such dogs that ends in such poor results.
And for pit bulls, dog aggression is a breed trait, albeit an unfortunate one, whereas human aggression is not.
These dogs were trained back in the day (and often unfortunately today) to fight other dogs -- not people -- ever. They were never bred as guard dogs, nor to be in any way human aggressive. Typically, human aggressive traits would result in the "culling" of such a dog -- lexicon that "dog-men" use for "killing" the dog with the undesireable trait.
So, Mike has missed a critical distinction here -- dog aggression is not discussed whatsoever, whereas human aggression, which any breed can have, is focused on as a trait found in every walking pit bull -- every pit bull walking in Mike's world, that is. This blatant disregard for the facts is a sign of poor reporting, to say the least, and this failure to show both sides of his argument make this article truly his "opinion."
Where do we go from here?
Pit bull bashing has become very popular in the media in the past few years. I firmly believe there is an anti-pit bull bias, and Mike's "editorial" above reinforces my view -- his disinterest in presenting a balanced story shows strong personal bias, while he so desperately tries to convey the "killer" mantra to the general public.
In our forum, pb-smiles, we have a newsfeeder that runs searches on pit bull topics -- and you'd be amazed at what it pulls up -- day after day, loads of stories with negative sentiment are reported -- stories that are rarely confirmed, and stories that are never positive.
For a look at these stories, click here.
After looking at a few of these "reportings", you can see why neighbors and family members look at you like you have three heads when you tell them what great pets pit bulls can be -- :(
Articles like Mike's, and the milieu of others out there, show the strong anti-breed sentiment that exists -- and that's not okay. We as responsible owners to these magnificent pups have to keep up our end of the deal to our dogs, by disallowing such propaganda to flourish -- we can do that by writing anti-BSL letters, as the HSUS has done here, we can do it by web-sites and other mass media that show what great pups these dogs can be, as you're experiencing now -- and we can simply be responsible owners of these wonderful dogs -- really -- and that's something more than nothing, in the absolute right direction.
One hundred years from now, it would be really sad to have this breed a mere study in how towns across the US slowly destroyed these wonderful animals through fear and lack of understanding -- and as Mike had a right as a US citizen to write the article above, we too have a right to write his newspaper with our feedback, which can be done here.
Thank you all, who see what great dogs these pups can be, and who are willing to have a voice in supporting what you know is right in countering hollow arguments as Mike's above -- it does make a difference!