Last week, Hawaii Senate President Colleen Hanabusa introduced a bill to the Senate that would ban all 'pit bulls' from the state. The bill has gotten a lot of headlines over the past couple of weeks, but it doesn't sound like it has much support from the Senate, or even really from the person who proposed the bill.
Hanabusa herself said that the bill was drafted by the request of a constitutent, but that the bill isn't likely to go very far.
"I do not believe that this is a bill that has a high priority, but it's going to be up to the Judiciary Committee chair. I have not hear of anyone asking or pushing the measure," she said.
According to the newspaper report, pit bumll attacks in Hawaii are infrequent, although the bill was introduced after a pit bull mix killed an infant in her home.
In spite of the infrequent attacks by pit bulls on the islands, it hasn't stopped the media from finding a couple to report on. "Coincidentally" there were two reported bites this week just as the bill was introduced. Interestingly, the exact same thing happened last week in Montana - -they proposed (and quickly killed) a state-wide ban, and the next day there were two media reports of 'pit bull' bites. Just doing their part, right?
In spite of a large amount of opposition, Lancaster, CA passed their ordinance mandating the sterilization of all "pit bulls" and Rottweilers this week. Mayor Rex Parris has spent a lot of the past couple of weeks talking about his desire for this law to combat "gangs". Even during the meeting, many voiced criticisms that the new law could lead to racial profiling that would unfairly accuse black or Latino males seen with a pit bull as gang-bangers.
I posted about this earlier this week, but think it deserves to be noted.
In the 2000 census, Lancaster has about 119,000 residents, 63% of them white (75,000).
In 2008, the city has approximately 147,000 residents, 52% of them white (76,500).
So while the population has grown 25% in the past 8 years (about 30,000 residents), it has come been almost exclusively minorities that have been moving to the city.
I still don't think this law has anything at all to do with dogs....