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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Avoid the Stereotyping

I'd like to comment on last week's WTF about Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls have been given an undeserved reputation due to irresponsible owners. I am



I'd like to comment on last week's WTF about Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls have been given an undeserved reputation due to irresponsible owners. I am the first to concede that Pit Bulls were not bred to be lap dogs. A number of other species have been bred for attack dogs and in fact are responsible for more attacks. Yet the other breeds do not have the same reputation. More people have been killed this year by cigarettes, cars, McDonald's, and booze than all dogs combined since records have been kept. In fact, far more children are killed by their parents and faulty cribs each year than all the dogs combined. Yet I don't see any anti Big Mac legislation on the horizon.

We have owned a Pit Bull and have known other families with Pit Bulls as family dogs. I went about life with the same stereotype of Pit Bulls until I met responsible people who raised and trained their dogs to be good. When put into a good environment, Pit Bulls are some the smartest, kindest and loyal dogs I have ever experienced. The irresponsible actions of non-reputable breeders and individuals who get a "tough dog" to make up for their insecurities have contributed to this stereotype. We need to judge the deeds of irresponsible pet owners and not the breed.

So let's stop proliferating stereotypes and address the issues of laws and litigation without all the typical Pit Bull rhetoric. Stereotypes just create fear and hatred. Many people carry a media stereotype of twisting context and issues to create patterns of fear and mass opinion. It's all good though, that won't prevent me from reading your paper or owning another Pit Bull.


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