Chicago and Its Media Continue to Push Farce that Dogs in 3 Year-Old’s Attack Were “Pit Bulls”

As I’ve been writing, so-called “pit bull” attacks that occurred repeatedly in California (almost all of which were drug-related, but which were reported by the media as due to “pit bulls”) coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally, happened just as Riverside County was considering a mandatory spay/neuter law and as it was suggested that California should overturn its statewide prohibition of BSL.   Now Chicago seems to be a target city for pending legislation as well.   Chicago has many times attempted to pass a “pit bull” ban, claiming its home rule status as supposed authority, though home rule should never trump the statewide prohibition of breed-specific legislation in Illinois or any other state.   Judging from the latest so-called “pit bull” incident in Chicago wherein a 3 year-old child was mauled by two supposed “pit bulls,” one of which was pregnant, it appears as if Chicago may be seeking a breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter law in direct violation of the state’s prohibition of breed-specific legislation.  

As we say so often on this blog, “pit bull” is not a breed, and the the dogs that mauled the 3 year-old Chicago boy on Monday were not even the ‘usual suspect’ breeds that “pit bull” haters list when BSL is proposed.   But since when did the media ever care about truth in reporting?  


Photo, ABC 7 Chicago


Photo, CBS 2 Chicago

As you can see, the dogs in the Chicago incident were mixed-breeds, but then, since “pit bull” haters can make a “pit bull” anything they want it to be, and consequently ban or restrict any breeds they so choose in calling any medium- or even large-sized breed a “pit bull,” then what’s one more lie?  

For instance, back in 2009 when Highland Park, Illinois, was considering a “pit bull” ban, state Rep. Karen May from Highland Park told the Chicago Tribune that,

…she believes home-rule communities such as Highland Park can legally ban a breed of dog, based on an informal opinion in a letter from the office of Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan.

The letter, addressed to the general counsel for the Department of Agriculture and dated March 16, 2007, states that under appropriate circumstances, “a home-rule unit is not prohibited…from regulating or banning the keeping of specific breeds of animals.”

That’s interesting, because I received a very curt letter from the Attorney General’s office as well saying they did not involve themselves in matters of breed-specific legislation.   How unlike an Illinois politician, or her office, to lie!  

In truth, the Attorney General’s office has no business saying that home rule units are not prohibited from passing BSL.   While yes, home rule units can decide matters of public safety, it has not been scientifically proven that that non-existent “breed” “pit bull” is an inherent threat, which means there is no rational basis to pass BSL, and certainly not in direct violation of a state law prohibiting BSL.  

Saying that a home rule unit is not prevented from passing BSL despite a statewide prohibition of BSL, is opening up any home rule city that passes BSL to a lawsuit.   Highland Park seemed to know the increasing likelihood of a lawsuit back in 2009 when they steered away from a breed ban and Rep. May publicly stated that,

“The problem is there are some rabid animal-rights activists who are just waiting to bring suit,” said May…

May had that backwards.   Those rabid animal rights activists she cited have historically been the authors of and lobbyists for breed-specific legislation as part of their end-goal of ending domestic animal ownership.  

Indeed, radical animal rightists seek to scrutinize animal ownership so severely that no one will be able to own domesticated animals (including livestock used for food).   Breed-specific legislation is just one of the ways “rabid animal-rights activists” endeavor to end domestic animal ownership.   In fact, they have long lobbied elected officials to push their unconstitutional breed-specific legislation.   The question is, are the politicians aware of the radical animal rightist end-game, or are they really that ignorant about the history of BSL, even as they’re proposing it?  

Highland Park Mayor Michael Belsky made similarly ignorant comments at the time saying,

“The bottom line for this community is not to get into a fight with dog owners. It ´s to protect our public and to protect our young,” Belsky said during the meeting. Later, he described the opposition as coming from out of town and said Highland Park residents who contacted him agreed with his proposal.

Isn’t it interesting that the dog lobby repeatedly hears the same thing from politicians, that the opposition is coming from out of town.   Well, as I so often ask, Do you all have a different Constitution up there in Highland Park as the rest of the state or the country?   Because an infringement to the Constitution in one place is an infringement to our Constitution everywhere.   In other words, there is no such thing as negating or infringing the American Constitution in a vacuum.  

Nor should lawmakers be so flippant about negating the very Constitution they swore an oath to uphold.   Perhaps they should read the Constitution.   Within the context of this post, perhaps Chicago politicians in particular should read the Constitution, paying close attention to the 10th amendment regarding states rights.   Notice how the 10th amendment clearly says that rights not delegated by the Constitution are reserved for the states and the people, not home rule cities.

Despite the fact that BSL is unconstitutional on many levels, BSL-proposing communities continue to claim that safety trumps the Constitution, even as they are unable to prove that BSL actually keeps communities safer.   Communities like Highland Park and Chicago have claimed to care so very deeply about public safety, yet they seem unwilling to research, or even be educated on, the efficacy, or in the case of BSL, inefficacy, of the legislation they are proposing.   Mayor Belsky for instance claimed that Highland Park,

“received e-mails from people that feel like I mischaracterized these dogs,” Belsky said. “They have a right to their opinion, and I have a right to mine. The City Council just wants to do what ´s best to protect people and they’ve asked the staff to look at all options.”

That’s just what people want in their elected representatives right?   Someone who makes public policy based on nothing more than his opinion.    

The dog lobby demonstrates repeatedly that the dogs erroneously called “pit bulls” are indeed mischaracterized.   Just like when the media first reported on the 3 year-old Chicago boy mauled by supposed “pit bulls” Monday.   An initial report described the dogs as 150-pound “pit bulls.”   The truth was that the dogs were nowhere near 150 pounds and were mixed breeds, yet the media continues to maintain these dogs are “pit bulls.”  

That’s what the dog lobby means when we say the media, politicians, and rabid animal rights activists (like Merritt Clifton, who has commented on the Chicago incident with his usual misrepresentations and wildly skewed statistics, likewise insisting that the dogs in question are “pit bulls”) mischaracterize these dogs.   And “mischaracterize” is a nice way of saying, they lie about these dogs because they have an agenda.   Only time will tell what the agenda in Chicago is, but it looks like it may be another attempt at a breed-specific ordinance, most likely a mandatory spay/neuter law for “pit bulls,” just like they are pushing now in California, despite the state law in California likewise forbidding breed-specific legislation.

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