I saw one of these posters at 6th and Josephine the other day. They're put up by a group called denverkillsdogs.com, which opposes Denver's ban on pit bulls. I found the ad pretty confusing when I first saw it. (Actually, the one I saw showed a picture of a woman hugging a dog, and I wasn't sure if the ad was insulting the woman or suggesting that she was going to be killed by the city or something.)
Then there's the ill-considered tag line, "Repeal your breed ban!" It's the "your" that really sucks, making it quite transparent that there are some people outside of Denver who disapprove of its laws. Anyone who understands the ad and might be vaguely sympathetic to its message will probably be put off by the outsiders telling us how to live. "Repeal the breed ban" might have been more effective and less off-putting.
Finally, I recognize that I'm not a dog owner and thus am not likely to be persuaded by this ad in the first place. But I also recognize that there are some concerns out there -- overhyped, perhaps, thought probably not completely fabricated -- that pit bulls are dangerous. The photo above of a pit bull with a cute little kid doesn't make me feel sympathetic to the dog; it makes me worry about the kid.
It's still a bad ad for the reasons you note. I don't like pit bulls; they're... weird. But breed bans are somewhere between useless and actively counterproductive.
If you want a simple reason, consider that for all their faults pit bulls (& similar) are both relatively small and relatively controllable. Historically they've been bred for a temperament that's very dog-aggressive, but human-tractable enough that you can step into the dog ring to break up a fight without getting mauled. And your basic pit bull will probably be in the 40-50 pound range.
Ban them, and overmacho dumbasses will still want overmacho dumbass dogs. If they can't buy a relatively controllable 50 pound pit bull, they'll get a presa canario, fila brasiliero, or cane corso -- all dogs that start around 100 pounds and breeds in which human aggression has been historically tolerated or encouraged.
So we'll ban the 50 pound dog with a few hundred years of breeding against human aggression behind it, and end up with 100--150 pound dogs bred for human aggression. [wilecoyote]Soooo-pah geeeee-nius.[/wec]
No argument here. The critiques of the breed ban that they list on the group's web site are pretty persuasive. The idea of holding owners responsible for the behavior of their dogs strikes me as much better than simply euthanizing the "bad" ones.
My point was that they could have made this argument much better in their ad campaign.
Indeed, they would be hard pressed to have done worse without directly insulting Denver and its -ites.
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