Sioux City, Iowa Bungles It Again
Editor’s note: Of course the logic, or lack thereof, of upholding Sioux City, Iowa’s “pit bull” ban when dog bites have only increased, is mind-boggling.Â An increase in dog bites where breed bans have been passed, which is a frequent occurrence, must be God’s little joke on those who knowingly pass impotent, expensive, unenforceable and unconstitutional legislation.Â And of course, the utter hypocrisy of Counciliman Aaron Rochester, whose own Labrador was declared vicious last year, is still just as astounding as ever.
From the Sioux City Journal:
The 3-2 City Council decision to maintain the pit-bull ban â€“ and do nothing to toughen penalties on irresponsible and dangerous dog owners â€“ may make some of you sleep better at night. But thereâ€™s no evidence it will make you safer.Â
In fact, the councilâ€™s actions on Monday night [June 28, 2010] are a failure on two fronts. Not only did they fail (again) to understand the inherent problem with any kind of breed-specific legislation, they failed to act on a measure that would have a significant impact â€“ harsher penalties for owners whose actions jeopardize public safety. We implore the council to at least reconsider passing such stricter laws.
Weâ€™ve written about this topic before, but breed-specific legislation does very little practical good. Any dog can bite; any dog can be declared and found vicious. Councilman Aaron Rochester, whose own dog was declared vicious last summer, should understand this better than any of us, yet he once again cast his vote in favor of the ban.
Why? Good question. Not only did the majority simply ignore a well-reasoned draft ordinance prepared by City Attorney Andrew Mai, the evidence Rochester and fellow councilman Keith Radig used to support their votes is at best inconclusive.
The two argue the ban has worked, and pit-bull bites are down.
In a report provided to council members by the Siouxland District Health Department for all of Woodbury County, figures clearly show that before the ban was enacted pit bulls accounted for 32 percent of dog bites. Since the ban, pit bulls make up just 18 percent of all dog bites.
Success, right? Not so fast.
On average, there were 1.85 pit-bull bites per month prior to the ban. Since the ban, there have been 1.5 pit-bull bites per month. Thatâ€™s a marginal decrease.
More concerning, the average number of all bites has increased over that time. Prior to the ban, there were 5.9 dog bites reported each month. Since the ban, that number has increased to 8.5 dog bites per month.
If anything, since the pit-bull ban was enacted, weâ€™ve had more â€“ not fewer — problems with dog bites. Data that once again supports the argument that bad owners are quite simply bad owners. If they canâ€™t have a pit bull, they will simply turn to another breed…
Read this article in its entirety here.
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