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Is that a pit bull in your pocket?

Posted by Richard on May 14, 2005

Denver recently re-enacted its idiotic ban on pit bulls, and GeekWithA.45 sees an interesting parallel to guns in a post entitled "Registration Doesn’t Lead To Confiscation. Sure. Yeah. Right." He quotes from Bill Johnson’s column in the Rocky Mountain News (which is highly critical of Denver and worth a read), and then makes two observations (emphasis added):

What this article doesn’t mention, of course, is exactly how the police know where to go round up dogs of a given breed.

I’ll betcha the usual dollar that it’s dog licences.

That, and "anonymous informants":

Quote:
————–
"There ain’t no dogs in the basement!" she yells as the uniformed man and woman, responding to an informant’s report of a pit bull, interrogate her. Outside, squad cars filled with police officers wait to see if they are needed.
————-

So, here we have the animal control officers, backed up by men with guns, operating on a tip, and apparently without a warrant.

The only thing we need to complete the scene is a refrain from the Nuremberg chorus.

Oh, wait! Here it is!
————–
"I’m just doing my job," the woman officer later laments.

————–

There are parallels between the irrational fear of a specific breed of dog and the irrational fear of a specific kind of self-defense tool, so I’m sympathetic to these dog owners and their pets (even though I’m firmly a cat person). But I must note that my firearms aren’t likely to escape from my property and tear up the neighbors’ yards or frighten their children and pets. But then, they’ve been properly trained.

On a different issue, Bill Johnson’s column touches gingerly on something I’ve thought of:

And then he raises an issue I had not contemplated, and which I do not lend much credence to. But I will give him his say because it matches what has happened the last two days in the city:

"There appears a racial end of this," Bill Suro says.

"Look at the dogs that have been impounded, and the surnames of their owners. . . . They aren’t killing dogs from Cherry Creek. They pick on the easiest people to pick on, the ones who give up easiest," he said, adding that he has forwarded this claim to the American Civil Liberties Union.

I’ve seen several TV news stories on this, which included video of maybe 6 or 8 pit bull confiscations in total. Every single one was from a Hispanic or black owner. And where the video made it possible to judge the homes, they seemed to be, shall we say, rather modest.

Now, pit bulls may be significantly more popular among low-income minorities — I don’t know. But every single one? Are there no white, middle class pit bull owners in Denver? Or were they spared the media ride-alongs and surprise visits for some reason?

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