Why Oh Why is Bluefield, West Virginia Considering a “Pit Bull” Ban When Their Existing BSL Isn’t Working?
March 27, 2013 update: Well I have to hand it to Bluefield city officials for being pretty sneaky. After the initial uproar over Bluefield proposing an out-and-out ban on “pit bulls” in addition to their existing BSL which isn’t working, Bluefield took the breed ban measure off their city council agenda. It looks like they were just waiting for the fury to die down though because once again this week the breed ban proposal was back on the agenda. Luckily it looks like Bluefield residents were wise to the scheme and came out in droves to protest the ban. Good for you Bluefield! Keep it up. And despite what the city council thinks, those of us outside Bluefield are watching.
When Bluefield, West Virginia was originally considering a breed-specific ordinance in 2007, the dog lobby sent countless letters offering evidence for why breed-specific legislation (BSL) doesn’t work. Yet Bluefield passed BSL anyway. Lo and behold, time has passed and sure enough Bluefield’s breed-specific restrictions aren’t working and so now, instead of acknowledging that BSL is failed policy (worldwide, not just in Bluefield) the Board of Directors is considering an out-and-out “pit bull” ban. Why? Why make existing failed legislation even more severe, especially when the local paper, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph has observed what the real problem is in Bluefield (Hint: It’s not “pit bulls.”):
The day after the [“pit bull” ban] brouhaha broke in Bluefield, I pulled into the Telegraph’s parking lot and spied a beautiful Siberian husky pup romping in the paper’s lawn. I watched as he ran up to the train tracks and began following a scent beside the steel beams. I muttered a prayer that he wouldn’t become a victim of a Norfork-Southern engine.
The next day, I saw a small black dog begging for scraps in the Hardee’s parking lot. He was feisty, playful and pitiful. I noted many French fries being tossed from vehicle windows.
He obviously knew how to get a free meal, but who was watching out for him?
Why, I wondered yet again, were so many dogs — big and small, pure breeds and mutts — running loose on the streets of Bluefield and throughout our county?
So, here the local media outlet has quickly and easily determined the problem: Free-roaming dogs of all breeds. Now what, pray tell, is an outright ban on so-called “pit bulls” going to accomplish?