In light of recent events, it’s become apparent that the public’s opinion of law enforcement is rapidly falling apart. Technology is partly to blame for giving the average citizen the ability to film police encounters at a moment’s notice, and post these videos on the Internet for the world to see. There’s always been bad cops, but now their antics are being exposed more than ever.
Of course, that’s not even the half of it. The police wouldn’t get any bad exposure if they weren’t caught doing terrible things in the first place. A cursory look through a Facebook group like Copblock will give you page after page of cops being stupid, trigger happy, petty, and negligent (and those are just the links gathered from the last 24 hours).
But I don’t think anything has sullied the reputation of American law enforcement more than their propensity for killing dogs. For most dog owners, their pets are members of the family. They treat them like their children. To walk onto someone’s property and shoot their dog is like shooting their kid. And yet these cases are rarely, if ever, brought to court. It’s hard enough to convict a cop for murder. To the courts, reprimanding them for killing a dog would be laughable.
A recent bill being proposed in Mississippi may make it even more difficult to hold the police accountable for these crimes. Specifically, if that dog is a pit bull. If this legislation passes, then anyone in the State of Mississippi who owns a pit bull may have their homes searched by the police without a warrant.
Dubbed, the Mississippi Regulation of Dangerous Dogs Act, it also grants police permission to kill your dog if certain criteria are met. If the dog is not “under proper restraint when on the premises of its owner,” isn’t wearing any vaccination tags, and if the police have failed to peacefully subdue the dog, then they would have every right to shoot.
I think the first category is the most egregious. What exactly is their definition of “proper restraint?” And, more importantly, what does this mean for dog owners who don’t keep their pets on a leash in their backyard? I mean, how many of you reading this are dog owners, who keep their dogs kenneled or leashed at all times? I’m sure some folks do, but unless your dog has a reputation for being violent or escaping, then doing so sounds kind of cruel. Leashes are for going on walks, and kennels are for going to the vet or the dog park. They shouldn’t be necessary on your own property.
They’re basically saying that if you own a certain kind of dog, they have every right to enter your property, which practically guarantees that the police will have an encounter with your dog. And since most dog owners don’t keep their pets restrained at all times, it practically guarantees that your dog will be killed by the police. This bill should be called “The Mississippi Kill All Pit Bulls Act,” but obviously that wouldn’t go over to well with the public. So they’re hiding their intentions behind a facade of safety and benevolence.
And don’t get me started on the whole pit bull debate. I don’t believe for a second that a certain breed of dog is more prone to killing people than another breed. I’m sure there are certain breeds that are easier to train for that (like, I don’t know, maybe the German Shepherds the police use), but pit bulls don’t just attack people for no reason (at least no more than any other dog). My brother has owned a pit bull for about 5 years, and that dog has never attacked anyone. So to me, saying a domesticated dog breed is more likely to attack someone is like saying Asians are good at math, or Africans are inferior.
When this flawed logic is applied to humans, we rightfully call it racism. When it’s applied to dogs, we start treating each breed like they’re a separate species. We forget that all domesticated dogs are from the same species (Canis lupus familiaris), and their differences are marginal at best.
Granted, each breed has some slightly different genes, which makes them better suited for certain tasks, but we have the same thing with humans. Like people from Nepal who can live with less oxygen, or how Europeans are better at digesting dairy than Asians or Africans. But no sane person believes that certain human races are more prone to violence because of their genetics. This whole debate on the aggression of pit bulls is completely asinine.
So what we have here is a piece of legislation that is designed to violate the rights of law-abiding citizens, gives police permission to kill their dogs without provocation, and is based on an argument that is more akin to an urban myth.
In my mind, this reveals the linchpin of the police state’s strategy to take away our rights. When they fail to take away our collective rights in one fell swoop, they will try to whittle them away by criminalizing every community, every opinion, and every activity, one at a time, until they’ve captured us all. Someday everyone will be a criminal, if they aren’t already.
And when that day comes, they’ll be at liberty to pick and choose who goes to jail, and who gets to enjoy the illusion of freedom and privacy. Welcome to the new America.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .