Steve Brownstein's statements in "Born Bad?" are the cornerstone of the pit bull argument and reflect this city's response to damn near everything controversial: stronger law enforcement. Let's take a look at two other law-enforcement priorities in Chicago. The first, which is hinted at by Brownstein, is illicit drugs sale/use. I don't know about you, but the so-called war on drugs has made it nearly impossible for me to get any kind of narcotics in the city of Chicago. If only I could find somewhere to acquire cocaine, marijuana, or ecstasy in my neighborhood. I have to go all the way to a bathroom in a club in the Gold Coast to get my fix. The second, a crackdown on firearms through increased legislation and jail times, sure has kept our murder rate down. Chicago was the murder capital of the U.S. a few years ago. That has abated drastically since. We are now only in the top five.
People like Virginia Rugai would have us believe that pit bull attacks are an epidemic, that these animals run rampant through our streets and parks. Consequently, she will step in and save the public from this problem by increased legislation, fines, and punishments. I sure am glad that we have people like Virginia looking out for our best interests. Hopefully soon after laws are made to contain pit bulls, she can also apply those to German shepherds, rottweilers, and other "mean" dogs. Since more kids have died in swimming pools than from handguns and dogs combined in the last decade, I hope she creates legislation for that as well.
Truth be told, the pit bull "problem" has nothing to do with pit bulls or law enforcement. It is all about the papers that are sold, the "reporters" like Nancy Grace and her ilk, and a public that hasn't gotten straight facts about the issue. Have pit bulls been involved in attacks? Absolutely. Will increased legislation help? If our city's response to guns and drugs is any indication, don't hold your breath.