Letters to the editor

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Have something on your mind? Write a letter to the editor! Submit yours to westside@columbusmessenger.com.

 

Don’t we Westsiders deserve a nice, clean area?

I’ve lived on the Westside of Columbus for 50 years and I’ve never seen the freeway overpass by Westland Mall look so horrible.

It’s dirty and trashy looking with broken concrete, dead shrubs, broken down guardrails, and so on. Living and working by the freeway I have to look at it every single day and is disgusts me. Not only is it a matter of pride where people have to live, it makes me wonder where my tax dollars are going! This past rough winter didn’t help, but it’s beyond the winter look!

I’ve talked to a lot of people and they feel the same way. Hopefully something can and will be done about this in the very near future.

I’ve noticed from Dublin, Hilliard, and Grove City, the freeways don’t look as bad as at the Westland Mall area. So what’s up with the Westside? Don’t we deserve to live in a nice, clean area? This area used to be a nice, clean area years ago, but has just gone down hill year after year. I’d like to know when things are going to shape up. Why aren’t the people responsible for this area doing anything?

 Barb Jackson

Columbus

 

If a dog has teeth, it will bite

I have read your recent article on pit bulls in the Columbus Messenger and I am compelled to comment. I am a physician assistant working in emergency medicine. I have worked around trauma medicine for 21 years in four states and the District of Columbia. I have seen first hand the complete, unnecessary devastation of human life and limb that these animals are capable of. 

I was faced with the dilemma of having new neighbors with a pit bull in 2001. My neighborhood is in Canal Winchester and it doesn’t allow for a fence any larger than four feet. At the time, my children were ages 4 and 6. I researched pit bull attacks daily for four months. I found that pit bulls are prone to pack instinct no matter who their owner is.  The most famous last words from pit bull owners whose dogs were responsible for unprovoked attacks are almost always “he has always been a good dog, I never thought he would hurt anybody.”

I was able to pass a containment law regarding these dogs in 2001 in Canal Winchester which was covered by the Southeast Messenger. Unfortunately, this was the end of any potential friendship with my new neighbors. Being as informed as I am about pit bulls, I couldn’t get past the fact that that if something happened to anyone in my neighborhood it would be my burden for not acting to do what I could.

It is not enough for pit bull owners to say that these dogs are nice, or that they are good with children, or even that there was a pit bull in the Little Rascals TV show. These statements just don’t have any weight to their testimony.

An article I read states that human deaths and maimings are recorded in the United States and Canada from September 1982 to November 2006. Understand that when paramedics, police or dog wardens are contacted to respond to an attack, the attack becomes public record. In those 24 years, pit bulls were responsible for 1,110 attacks, 104 human deaths and 608 maimings. The next highest dog on the list is the Rottweiler causing 409 attacks, 58 human deaths and 203 maimings. Out of the 100 breeds listed, no other breeds were remotely close to the documented bad behavior of the pit bull. 

According to the Endangered Dog Breeds Association of Australia, a pit bull can exert up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch with their jaw. No other dog in the world is even close to this.

While I understand that not all pit bulls attack humans, the bottom line is this – there is absolutely no way to know which pit bull will attack and which one won’t. It takes a huge ego on the part of a pit bull owner to think that obedience training or handler experience will vaccinate their dog from ever attacking a human. 

There is an old saying regarding dogs – if a dog has teeth it will bite. The evidence is overwhelming that pit bulls are capable of great harm and many have lived up to their media billing.  

Harboring or owning a pit bull is a huge liability. In your article, Robin Laux said that we should “Ban stupid people – not the dogs.” It is impossible to legislate intelligence. Those wanting to do so for the sake of the pit bull are in danger of falling under the jurisdiction of their own law.

 

Brian Buck

Canal Winchester

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