Thanks to the marvel of the inter-tubes and the emotional investment of most of our supporters, we now have a situation where a certain columnist is fully engaged in baiting dog owners with greater and greater frequency.
The columnist in question, whose nickname is "Special", is the mother of the editor of the Comment page at the National Post, a newspaper that is struggling to survive financially and has been for some time.
This woman enjoys presenting absolute poppycock as factual, then sitting back to wait for the reaction. She has said as much on Twitter. She is thereby ensuring her future job security as a columnist while feeding her delusions at the same time. She may not even believe the nonsense she writes. It is entirely possible that she is more canny than we know and that this is a scheme to help the paper retain some relevance in the dog-eat-dog world that is modern news reporting. Attention equals ad revenue equals solvency.
The people who gather at her site think "breed" ha ha bans are about their cute little "pit bulls" when in fact, they are not.
Dogs are not affected by BSL. They can't be. They don't understand it, they don't read, they don't view the world the way we do. They are dogs and happy to be dogs. They don't know they are disliked because of their size, their colour, their perceived "breed" or any of the rest of it.
It is dog owners who are marginalized when BSL comes to town. The latest column, which I honestly haven't read (nor have I read any of the others beyond a quick skim and a head-shaking astonishment at how much codswallop one can actually cram into 600 or so words) apparently talks about "caninism" a nonsesne term which I suppose means racism in Doggyland in the mind of the writer and her ever burgeoning audience.
The thing is, racism is a fine word all by itself. In Europe they refer to dog breeds as races, although technically they are ethnic groups in most cases. There are three to five races depending on who you read, but that's not what this person is talking about. She doesn't know enough about the subject to speak with any credibility at all so certainly won't get into the fine details.
Which brings me to my point.
In reacting to this person, people are rewarding the behaviour. Attention is what she craves. Attention is what she is getting. Dog owners are rising to the bait like fish and the more fish she catches, the more bait she will cut.
As tough as it may be for those who are emotionally invested in this issue, the best way to shut this down is to ignore it. Let her play with the handful, and I mean handful, of low-information people who support the same silly viewpoint she claims to espouse.
Quite frankly, anybody who is still talking about "pit bulls" as if they are a breed and as if they possess any of the preternatural powers attributed to them by charlatans, wags and lowbrows is so out of the loop it's actually kind of sad.
The fact that a paper that at one point had a certain panache, the National Post, has to lower its editorial standards to get the kind of traffic it needs in order to stay in business is even more depressing.
Here's a thought that may cheer you up. We are doing very well lately in the anti-BSL arena. These policies are being removed and rejected outright in more and more places. We have all the evidence, all the science, all the experts on our side. We still have public opinion behind us as we have had all along. That rankles the haters as they become more and more irrelevant in most people's minds. In Edmonton, they did a survey and over 80% of people favoured lifting the ban.
That is the story, that is the news.
We are winning. Because we are winning, the handful of frothing ignorami who want to hate something, who thought they had it made when they could hide behind our only friend, the dog, will go down kicking and screaming and babbling in tongues.
We are the good guys. There is no doubt about that. It's time to act like it by rising above the nonsense. Let the trogs duke it out in the mud. We have other things to do that are more important and much more honourable.
In the interests of public service , here is today's column for discussion purposes.
If you have time on your hands, fact-check her column, write an Op-Ed and submit it to the paper, ask them to run it as a rebuttal. Or even just write a letter to the editor. I recommend getting somebody who knows their stuff to look it over before you send it in.
We are the ones with the facts. Never forget that.