At the White House, the past week is going to the dogs. First, Obama introduced a puppy to the White House Monday, a black Portuguese Water Dog named Sunny, dominating an otherwise slow news day. Furthermore, the White House released a statement on its thoughts related to pit bulls, a breed of dog that has garnered controversy because of its supposed "aggression." Thankfully, the White House keeps up the pro-dog vibes, suggesting that legislation banning ownership of pit bulls and other breeds is a bad idea.
The statement, whose title "Breed-Specific Legislation Is A Bad Idea" pretty much sums it up, talks about recent state and local efforts to restrict or ban the ownership of specific dogs. Such legislation targets primarily target pit bulls, a big dog breed that has been the center of attention because of dog attacks and bites that have occurred. The White House, in its statement, cites a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 13 years ago, saying that fatal dog bites are so few in number, that it is basically impossible to figure out if a specific breed is naturally more aggressive than another.
Another point the White House makes, which concerns actual ownership, stands out:
The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren't deterred by breed regulations -- when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they're intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.
This paragraph, along with concluding that the CDC recommended against breed-specific legislation, says everything: The real issue with aggressive dogs is not the dogs themselves, but the owners who raise and train them. I have met many pit bulls who are sweet and gentle and kind, because their owner trained them as such. I have also met many dogs of different breeds, including poodles, who were vicious and scary.
The point is, aggressive dogs exist because their owners trained them to be weapons, or they failed to responsibly train them. In the former, the question must be asked why these people need to turn innocent animals into little machines, especially when there are better ways of defending oneself. In the latter, that situation happens with all pets. For every dog that is vicious, I can name three cats equally or more vicious, especially because those who raise cats tend to think training them is easy because they are "low-maintenance." Pit bulls are cool, and do not need to be banned. Bad ownership needs to attacked, not dogs.