"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
~ Nelson Mandela

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September 27, 2007

I've heard that there was a town hall meeting in Atlanta a few days ago hosted by ESPN and that it was open to anyone from the public who wished to attend. My understanding is that the majority of citizens in attendance had a straw poll taken at the end of the meeting and that they overwhelmingly disapproved of dog fighting being illegal. I think most of those people (and the public in general1) recognize that this is not a crime against humans and that this is just a hot button, emotionally provocative issue; one which the hsus and peta have and will use as a stepping stone towards their ultimate and eventual goal of making any and all animal use illegal2.

The problem is that the "humane" societies have an enormous amount of funding and are organized to promote their position while those that sport animals (and by this I mean dog racing, pulling, hunting and/or fighting, horse racing, pulling, cockfighting and any other animal venture I cannot think of this moment) have no main, singular, organized lobby, no Animal Owners' Rights Political Action Committee. They're fragmented individuals pursued and persecuted by an organization that is very, very organized with a LOT of money, with a whole division dedicated to the singular purpose of their destruction. They've been funded by those that have sent in checks wanting to help care for animals (food, shelter, spay/neuter) and those folks have in many cases unwittingly funded a small group of extremists furthering a position with which most Americans do not agree.

Another problem in this issue is that the media, being driven by ratings rather than righteousness, have also used this subject to promote their own agendas (higher ratings=more advertising dollars) at the expense of liberty and fairness in my opinion. Like so many things in life, one needs only to follow the money trail.

After hearing of this recent town hall and the subsequent fallout I investigated a bit and found that the ESPN comment section about this issue is going overwhelmingly towards people allowing others to do as they wish with their own property or at the very least not condemn people found guilty to sentences exceeding those of child molesters and the like. Prisons in our society do not improve people and those found guilty of these minor (although emotionally inflammatory) crimes spend life-changing years of their lives living with and around real criminals. Decent people's lives and those of their families are ruined, often beyond repair. Find the debate HERE.

One big argument against vick in this situation has been how they killed the animals. Well, I will remind people that were this not illegal people could get care for dogs if and when needed without fear of prosecution. Many dogs would be put down in a more humane fashion when necessary. Also some dogs could be placed for adoption whereas now that would be nothing but evidence to possibly invite prosecution down the road. Those that live in populated areas cannot just shoot a dog without the noise drawing attention or without physical risk to other HUMANS and they cannot bring a vet to the show to assist in treatment or humanely euthanizing them either. Some say you cannot compare it to horse racing for just some of these reasons, but let's remember, horse racing is not (yet ) illegal and so they have such options available to them. I do not agree with the hanging or beating to death of dogs or any animals. However, first, it's not my business except as it might be evidence of mental instability which could lead to infringement upon my life, property and rights. That's for a psychiatrist to decide, perhaps as directed by a Court, but not by me, you or the "humane" society. Second, as I have said in the past, if not hidden by the secrecy of illegality many such things wouldn't happen, as when something is made illegal criminal-types and lesser strata overtake the good people that were once involved (look at abolition for just one example). Those behaving in such a manner could, and likely would, be ostracized for such actions were it not for the veil of secrecy placed over the entire realm due to it's currently unlawful status.

By typing these words I've likely been added to the hsus 'database', if I hadn't been already, in just the McCarthy-like fashion I described in an article below. To be perfectly clear, I engage in no illegal activity, involving dogs or otherwise, but as an American Citizen, and perhaps insofar as this site may make me a journalist, I assert that it is my right to discuss this, or any, subject and think that it's a shame that people are afraid to even advocate such a position for fear of reprisal by the well funded humane societies' manipulation of law enforcement agencies.

[1] Here's from the ESPN poll results:

A consortium of animal rights groups has recommended a prison sentence of 4 years, 9 months for Vick. What is your opinion of this sentence?
53.1% Too harsh
24.6% Just right
22.3% Too light

* notice the ratio is almost two and half to one believing the sentence would be too harsh as opposed to too light, and this is ESPN, not some gamedog oriented site.

[2] One needs only look at the rss feed to the right on this page to see evidence of this:

"Ask the Denver City Council to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages"