Indianapolis BSL "Tabled" but Still Kicking

As I blogged last month, Indy was considering a bill discriminating against Pitbulls and low income owners. Council member Mike Speedy has a letter to the editor in the IndyStar which begins:

I continue to work diligently on the now-tabled At-Risk Dog proposal because the risk of being mauled or killed by a dog in our city is unacceptable.

Using this logic, one must ask why Mr. Speedy is not working just as diligently on proposals to counter the risks of being in a car wreck or getting hurt at work for example. Or are those risks acceptable in Indianapolis? Here’s the thing: In a free society, there are risks. There are people who behave irresponsibly out of malice or ignorance. Then there are accidents – some preventable, others less so. And there are unfortunate victims as a consequence of all these factors.

Mr. Speedy would possibly have us look at which models of cars are involved in a portion of accidents and which occupations represent a statistical hazard for injury. Those cars and jobs could then be banned. Would that solve anything? Would irresponsible owners of these certain cars be magically transformed into responsible citizens and behave as such with their new cars? Would supervisors and workers be instantly educated on job safety and perform differently at their new jobs just because their previous jobs were banned?

It makes no sense. Banning a breed does nothing to educate or reform owners any more than banning a car or job would affect behavior. And accidents will still happen, although through education, we can work to reduce the preventable ones.

BSL doesn’t work. It never has, anywhere it’s been tried. Instead of forcing Indy on board the Fail Train, why not try something proven like enforcing leash laws and educating the public? Rally the community. Save some lives – human and canine. Make Indianapolis safer and more humane. Anything wrong with that?

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