Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pass the pit bull ban

The City Council seems to be backing down on the pit bull ban, which is too bad. It's one of their best ideas.
After dozens of pit bull owners packed the city council chambers Wednesday to register their opposition to recent talk of banning the breed here, the likelihood of a ban seemed to diminish, as Councilman Robert Gilliam, who first brought up the possibility three weeks ago, said he was reconsidering his proposal. (source: Elgin Courier 4/13/06)
My guess is that most of these pit bull owners were from out of town. The article does say that a bunch of people were from an Elk Grove Village-based organization.
Linda Wyka, president of the foundation and the owner of two pit bulls, said that while "everybody makes them out to be a bad dog, a mean dog," pit bulls are "really a family-oriented dog."
Nobody ever disputed that they are family-oriented dogs. So long as you are in the family. In fact, how many dogs do you know bite the hands that feed them?

It's not even a matter of whether they're more likely to bite you or not. They're a tool of intimidation, favored by drug dealers and gangbangers. This isn't a constituency that the city council should be catering to.

Think of the image problem pit bulls create. Other communites with no histories of gang activity may get away with pit bulls walking the streets, but in Elgin they just serve as a reminder of the gangs that once plagued certain areas of the city. If Elgin is concerned about its image, then a pit bull ban will be effective, costless and disgruntle very few people.

Elgin's silent majority wants the ban. Pass it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are sorely mistaken on this issue. We are not just talking about dogs here we are talking about a person's protected right to own property. The Constituion of the United States reads "No State shall…deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Our dogs are our property and they cannot be taken away from us legally unless it can be proven that they constitute a danger to the general public. Bully breeds and Rottweilers, breeds most often singled out for BSL, have not been proven to be any more dangerous than any other breed of dog. As such, BSL infringes on citizens’ equal protection rights.

Further, because it is almost impossible to prove breed heredity, BSL also infringes on citizens’ due process rights. Every citizen has a right under the due process clause to attempt to affect the outcome of a municipal or state-imposed deprivation of property (in this case, citizens’ dogs). When BSL is imposed and the owner is penalized yet it cannot be determined that the dog is indeed the banned breed in question, the dog owner’s due process rights are infringed upon.

My wife and I who are both residents of Elgin run the web site and we were at the council meeting this week, My wife has been in contact with councilmember Brenda Rodgers to try and work out a resonable law that will be fair to all dog owners in the city of Elgin. Illinois has recently propsed HB4238 which increases pentalities for dogs that bite or are deemed viscious. These bills help local municipalities with enforement of the state laws. This is important in Elgin since the Animal control officer is only part-time. This bill is currently awaiting the Governor's signature to become law.

Lastly if you Ban "Pit Bulls" don't you think the gang members will move on to another breed? Perhaps Golden Retreivers or Labs? Maybe Elgin should concentrate on the Gang problem and not an imagined dog problem

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

While I understand what they're trying to accomplish with the ban, the Pit Bull breed isn't necessarily the problem.

Ban Pit Bulls and the gang leaders and drug dealers will start raising another large and strong breed to be mean.

7:22 PM  
Blogger frankwolftown said...

I beg to differ.

12:12 PM  
Blogger The Elginite said...

Thank you to all who left comments about the pit bull ban. You raise sound points and your argument is well-reasoned.

One of my concerns about pit bulls has to do with the disproportionate number of fatalities for which they are responsible. They may not be more likely to bite, but if they bite the statistics suggest that they are far more likely to kill. According to Wikipedia, in the period 1979-1996, pit bulls were responsible for almost a third of all fatal dog attacks.
The next most-dangerous breed was responsible for only half as many attacks as pit bulls.

I wouldn't agree with an outright ban that would deprive people of their pets, but the Elgin ordinance, as I understand it, would have banned new ownership and would not have affected existing owners.

Since pit bull bans in other cities in the country have withstood court challenges, I don't think a pit bull ban in Elgin would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're wrong. BSL has been overturned on grounds that it is unconstitutional. And never should an American make deals concerning their rights. We should never be pleased that our pets were not taken away but that there were severe and unjust strictures placed upon us as a kind of compromise. My rights cannot be taken so tyrannically. There is more than enough evidence that courts, like politicians, are bought and paid for. One must wonder if there is any democracy left at all.

Incidentally, the reason statistics concerning pitbulls are higher as reported by the CDC is because it is the victim who most often names the breed. With all the media hype surrounding pitbulls and rotties, what breed do you think the victim will say they were bitten by? That and the CDC does not parse out different breeds under the heading "pitbull-type dog." This characterization encompasses at least 20 different breeds, maybe more, which the CDC readily admits by the way.

And, as many breed fanciers are beginning to learn, animal rights groups have been behind alot if not all BSL, mandatory spay/neuter laws, and guardianship laws. Don't underestimate the power of these groups, many of whom are monitored by the FBI due to their extremism. They have stated that they want an end to all domestic pet ownership which is not limited to pitbulls or rotties or even dogs. Unfortunately, the AR groups represent a formidable lobbying force and have a lot of politicians in their pockets which is why we're seeing this rash of BSL, etc. The bottom line is the people behind all this are dirty. Don't buy into the media hype. Get educated and learn the facts. Otherwise you're just spreading hysteria.

I hope the council and others have learned from all this not to act capriciously when people's rights are involved.

2:08 PM  

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