For the second time since Saturday, a man has been attacked by unleashed, aggressive dogs in King County, the most recent incident occurring Monday in Kent.
In the aftermath, public reaction is not unlike that unleashed against firearms and their owners following a high-profile shooting.
Yesterday’s incident, according to Tuesday morning’s on-line Seattle P-I.com, left the unidentified victim with three dog bites and injuries to his right leg and abdomen. The suspected pit bulls responsible for the attack were rounded up, but their owner has not been identified.
Following Saturday’s incident at Kirkland’s Juanita Park, which this column discussed yesterday, public sentiment is clearly running against the dogs, and their owners. People support Kirkland resident Tim Lewis’ decision to shoot one of three dogs attacking his own pet, a German shepherd.
The unidentified Kent man victimized in yesterday’s attack did not have a gun. He was walking to work.
In the wake of Monday’s incident, public comments on KOMO and now at the Seattle Times about dangerous dogs and their owners has approached the vitriolic, and it is eerily reminiscent of remarks people make about firearms and gun owners after some violent act. Here’s a sample:
Two pit bull attacks in two days by a total of 5 pit bulls. When are the “authorities” going to wake up and do something about this? There is absolutely no justifiable reason to tolerate this dog breed any longer. All pit bulls and probably their owners, should be put down.—“Tizzy”
Letting people own pit bulls is like letting them own tigers or alligators. We have plenty of incidents like this to justify banning them. Your right to own a dangerous animal like this ends at the community’s right to safety.—“Johnsondasw”
Compare them to another comment, about guns, below.
There are similarities, and one considerable difference, between owning firearms and owning potentially dangerous dogs. Both require a degree of responsibility on the part of the owner. However, firearms are inanimate objects. Dogs are very animate, especially if they are biting you. The case this column discussed a couple of months ago and mentioned yesterday about retired Cincinnati Police Lt. Harry Thomas, now living in Indiana, underscores that.
In this state it is legal to defend one’s self against attack, and one may stand his/her ground if attacked in a place where he or she has a right to be.
Some eyebrows have been raised on gun forums about a brief image of Tim Lewis’ concealed carry badge. Those things are considered by many to be a nuisance at best, and at worst, an attempt to impersonate a police officer. They are not issued by the state; they have no legal importance, and in the wrong situation, can cause a lot of trouble. Read this forum and this one to understand the thoughts of veteran gun owners.
MEANWHILE, the FBI’s preliminary report on crime for 2010 shows violent crime continues to decline across the country, even though, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, gun sales and recreational shooting activity has spiked over the past couple of years.
In its weekly Bullet Points e-mail alert, NSSF noted, “Firearms ownership and use has been increasing, putting the lie to anti-gun organizations’ claims that more guns lead to more crime.”
“The largest surge in firearms sales occurred from late 2008 into 2010,” NSSF reported. “An estimated 34.4 million people went target shooting in 2009, the largest number ever.”
In Seattle, according to this morning’s Seattle Times, homicides are down 50 percent from this time last year, and 2010 produced only 19 murders in the Jet City, a 54-year low.
Yet, there are approximately 270,000 active concealed pistol licenses (CPL) in the state, and a small but growing Open Carry movement.
The problem is one of perception, real or invented. Washington Ceasefire would have us all believe that average armed citizens are like the man who negligently discharged a handgun on a Metro bus last week. It brought out reactions like this:
This is another prime example why guns should be illegal and stiffer penalties for ANYONE except law enforcement and military who uses one to shoot another human.—“RevzLove”
Here’s a bit more about the fellow with the gun, according to law enforcement sources. He is a convicted felon, under Department of Corrections supervision. He cannot legally have a gun, much less carry one, because he cannot possibly get a CPL. The handgun was stolen. He is now in jail awaiting formal charges.
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