When Will We Learn That ‘Legislation, Legislation, Legislation…’ Is Not A Magic Bullet?

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.

5 comments for “When Will We Learn That ‘Legislation, Legislation, Legislation…’ Is Not A Magic Bullet?

  1. June 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    The real reason why these terrifying animals are kept within reach of small children is simply the truth that their owners have such a low IQ that they genuinely bond with these monstrous creatures.

    This post upon my own blogsite being a typical example, especially as this strange creature had been savaged by her own monstrous ‘pet’; but ‘forgave him’ because he is just a huge, soppy dog.

    I kid you not, the bloody dog probably has more intelligence than its truly stupid owner!

  2. Junican
    June 27, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    The problem here is one that we are becoming more and more familiar with – having to tiptoe through the centre ground between two monstrous extremes. On the one hand, we have people who own big strong dogs but don’t realise that these dogs need to be controlled, and on the other hand we have the ‘not worth the life of one child’ brigade.
    The essence of the problem seems to be what I call “The High Moral Ground” problem. Holding the ‘high moral ground’ seems to set people off into a spiral of outrageous demands for legislation and even execution, even though they are not in the slightest bit involved personally. These people seem to have no empathy at all. It never seems to occur to them that there are grieving parents involved who are racked with guilt.
    These sorts of problems need a cool head and careful consideration. The dangerous dogs act was a dog’s dinner. No individual dog is inherently dangerous, but, at the same time, all dogs are inherently dangerous. A person who acquires a tiger pup as a pet should realise that, one day, when it is fully grown, it might well jump on him and kill him.

  3. June 28, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Some neighbours of ours, back in the old country, had a dog of that ilk (A Rottweiler cross I think it was). It savaged one of their Grandchildren, scarring her for life. They never seemed to appreciate that a dog, any dog, will pounce on a member of its family or pack to establish a place within the pecking order unless it is reminded of its place from time to time. They forgot big dogs like to play rough and can’t read human submission signals.

    • Errol
      June 28, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Dogs don’t really respect size. A dog must be taught it’s place in the pack. it must be socialised with children. It must be taught that it is below the small person and gently introduced with the alpha (human) present. If the dog will not accept this, you keep the dog away from the child until the child is able to assert it’s own status.

      Frankly, when Brucie and Rosie (my dogs) first met my the new baby we did it in such a way that the dog lay on the floor and was slowly called to walk up to the little one. Any bounding and he was sent away. Pushing the muzzle too close had him sent away.

      It’s dominance training to tell them that their alpha thinks more of the small baby than them. They like to know where they are. Now the only danger is from being drooled on or buried under a shed coat.

      It all comes down to the human. Blaming the dog is like blaming a knife.

  4. Errol
    June 28, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I ‘own’ two Newfoundlands. These are full grown adults. I’m 6’4 and their heads sit at my waist. If they roll over my smaller wife, she can’t get up.

    Well, she can because you point, say ‘off’ and Brucie, the boy, will shift *because he was trained to*. If he hadn’t been, he wouldn’t know what to do and he would be dangerous.

    We’re talking about nearly 200kg of canine. Huge jaws. A bite that can dent their metal food bowl. Paws the size of my fist. Are these giant beasts ‘dangerous’? Well, as the 2 year old currently sat between them pulling their ears. He won’t sleep unless they are in his room. He tries to make them sleep on his bed but they won’t because I, their pack leader have said no.

    The simple, obvious truth is that dogs are not dangerous. Their irresponsible owners are.

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