All decent people feel sorrow and righteous fury about the latest shooting of an innocent in Ohio. Law enforcement agencies are searching for motivations, including the vital question of how the shooter might have even learned how to use a gun. That is right and proper, because the shooter is a dog and dogs don’t even have thumbs.
But motives do not matter to the injured in Ohio, nor did they in Wyoming, Florida, Utah, and far too many other places. The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe but who place a higher premium on money and political power while ignoring an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more intelligent and violent canines.
It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally adopt dogs trained specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are animals of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as man’s best friend, and certainly not animals of insurrection. However, America’s elected leaders will not even offer prayers for dogs’ gun victims, but they will reject the most basic restrictions on animals of mass killing. They distract us with arguments about how he’s such a good boy, yes he is.. Let’s be clear: These shootings are all, in their own ways, acts of him being a bad boy.
Opponents of dog control are saying, as they do after every shooting, that that the dog must have knocked the loaded gun off the table and it went off. That may be true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the fact that it seems pretty much impossible for dogs to even learn how to shoot humans. Those challenges exist. They point out that good dogs obtained obtained training from very good people who know how to make dogs behave. Yes, they did.
But at least those owners are trying. Other dog owners are not. Worse, dog owners abet would-be killers by giving them treats even if they don’t sit when you tell them to, and the dogs allow those owners to think they’ll learn to behave one day. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of dog-on-man violence, and instead to reduce their number drastically — by sending these bad dogs to countries where they can be put to good use. Like North Korea.
It is not necessary to debate the ethics of seizing dogs from their owners. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.
Certain kinds of dogs, like rottweilers and pit bulls, and certain kinds of mongrels, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those dogs in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of dogs to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.
What better time than during a presidential election to show, at long last, that our nation has retained its sense of decency?