Is it because he was poor? Is it because tiny Reggie Blacklin was born into a poor family that his brutal death this week has already passed into distant news?
What..? What on earth does his parent’s annual income have to do with anything?
Soon only his mother and those closest to him will remember his blue eyes, his baby smell and the lips still too young to have even formed a smile.
The rest of us will simply have forgotten all about three-week-old Reggie, just like we forgot about six-day-old Eliza-Mae Mullane. And 11-month-old Ava-Jayne Marie Corless and four-year-old Lexi Branson and 14-year-old Jade Anderson.
Because for some unfathomable reason we are content for children to keep being killed by dangerous dogs and do absolutely nothing about it.
Well, no. We aren’t content. Hence the judicial system steps in and arrests the grieving father, courtesy of the amendment to the DDA so recently passed.
In fact, rather than the increasing tide of cases causing a crescendo of public outrage, it seems that with every new child maimed or killed by a dog we become a little more desensitised to it. A little more deaf to the sounds of the child’s screams as it is torn limb from limb by a crazed animal.
I haven’t seen any report that this child – or any other – was ‘torn limb from limb’. It sounds as though it was a single bite, as you’d expect from a relatively small single animal.
I wonder how different things might have been if Reggie had been a middle-class kid from a leafy suburban town, and his death had been caused not by his family terrier, but by something far posher, perhaps a top-of-the-range pram or an evil au pair.
I wonder how different things might have been if Reggie had been killed by a flying saucer or the Loch Ness monster. But he wasn’t. He was killed by a family pet.
But with these recurrent dog attacks you can’t help but feel there is a sense of national shoulder-shrugging, as if being a child on one of those estates where people insist on having dangerous or dodgy dogs is just one of life’s hazards.
What is a ‘dangerous or dodgy dog’, then? This was a Patterdale. Another case was a Yorkshire terrier. It’s not always pitbulls. With a baby, it doesn’t need to be.
… any child’s death which can be prevented MUST be prevented.
What, at any cost? Seriously?
And the killings and maimings of children, wherever they live and however stupid their parents, friends or neighbours might be for wanting to keep dangerous dogs in confined spaces, must be stopped.
Once again, define ‘dangerous dog’. Potentially, it’s all dogs around a child that small.
Extraordinarily, there are more cases of dog bites in Britain than the combined total of cases of measles, whooping cough and mumps each year.
But that’s because as a civilised society we’ve done something about those diseases.
But we’ve done nothing about dog attacks.
Yes we have. You can keep insisting this, but that won’t make it true. It’ll just make you look like even more of a hysterical fool.
The Dangerous Dogs Act has done nothing to protect children.
Yes it has. I see you do intend to keep insisting this, you hysterical fool.
Why aren’t there greater tests for those people who want to keep dogs that pose the most threat? Why aren’t there checks to ensure that those with these breeds are keeping them well away from children?
Because as I’ve already pointed out, the ‘dogs that pose the most threat’ would be all dogs, and where on earth are we going to get the army of meddlers who’d have to be employed to check this? How could we afford them?
And what next, checks to ensure Mummy puts the bleach on a high shelf?
The Dangerous Dogs Act has failed from the moment it was introduced.
New legislation that works must finally be made to save the next child who otherwise is simply waiting their turn to become another forgotten victim.
Legislation will never, ever provide 100% safety for the same reason strict gun laws haven’t prevented anyone from being shot in the UK – people don’t always obey laws.