What's interesting about the fear mongering that we see from the mainstream media, is that it has created demand for more laws to protect us from things that were minimally a factor in the first place. The end result is that there are unintended consequences of the new laws that actually make us less safe.
There is an interesting segment that ran on 20/20 about a month back (you can watch the 6 minute segment on YouTube here).
In the segment it talks about the push for bicyclist wearing helmets to combat the over 700 people who die annually in biking accidents. What the study concludes is that wearing a helmet actually makes people less safe in many ways. One, motorists are more likely to drive close to a bicyclist that wears a helmet, two, many bicyclists feel safer, and take more risks on a bike when they're wearing a helmet, and three, the fear mongering in other countries has actually caused bicycle ridership to decline -- which leads to more sedentary lifestyles and being overweight, which is significantly more dangerous than riding a bike in the first place.
Similar affects have been seen with the adoption of childproof asprin bottles (where people either leave the caps off because they're too hard to get into, or leave them out within child-reach because they feel like they're safer) and with anti-depressants.
It's an interesting piece...that sometimes making laws to curb obscure events have unintended consequences that are much worse for the public than the problem they are meant to solve.
Studies have consistantly shown that this is the case with Breed Specific Legislation...and yet many refuse to listen. Way too many resources are used gathering up dogs that were really no threat at all. People feel safer from from the percieved threat but really aren't. And bad owners often move on to bigger, more powerful dogs.