Pitluvs, I hear what you're saying, and I think you point out some valid considerations very well. I find especially persuasive the fact that Ohio lifted its BSL due to ineffectiveness.
But when you said, "I would support proper education over banning a breed", I just can't go with you there because I don't believe "proper education" works well enough for me to feel my kids are safe, my pets are safe, or my livestock is safe from dogs as I've described.
Is it fair? Nope. It isn't fair to good responsible owners. But until breed clubs or somebody can find a way to handle this problem either by generations of selective breeding to weed out traits that we as a community don't deem safe or better control of these awful breeders, then government legislation is the only remedy.
And BTW in my state we most certainly do have "FSL" , i.e., fish specific legislation. :) There are many types of fish that are illegal to sell, dump in ponds or lakes, etc. because we deem them dangerous to native livestock.
BTW, if I come off as abrasive, please forgive me. I am a retired lawyer, and I never have anything interesting to talk to people about any more because my kids quit listening to me when they went to college and my husband has never listened to me, so I'm just really enjoying this discussion. But I promise I've said my piece now, and I'll zip it.
I don't take you offensively at all, I mean I am kind of upset because it's people with this kinda of mentality that all Pitbulls are the same, interferes greatly with my life. I live in fear, everyday. Is tomorrow going to be the day that some wingnut on a power trip passes a law that will take my dog from my home? This clear cut solution effects everyone, even those who obey the law and raise great dogs. And as long as I'm breathing, I'll fight it. I mean it's like catching a leak with a bucket, just because you toss the water down the drain, doesn't mean you've fixed the leak. You just started all over again. Getting rid of the dogs doesn't solve anything, the problem humans are still there and they will move onto another breed (maybe something with human aggression, more of a threat then a terrier).
The sad thing is, positive breed groups ARE trying to educate people, but the only ones listening are the ones who are educated. Those who mistreat this breed don't give two flying flutes what these "Pitbull Hippies" have to say, they know better than us and they don't like being told what to do. You know how the human race is, there are people who don't like being told what they are doing is wrong. So yes, our breed groups are trying to fix a problem we didn't even start. Tell the government to let us hang animal abusers, that would help. Right now, you can get away with anything you want to do with an animal.
Another thing is.. my mothers neighbor poisoned my 3 yr old Rottweiler, Mason, in 2006 with antifreeze. He suffered in pain, scared for 3 days at the vet while we tried everything possible to save him. We ended up gathering around him, all holding onto him while the vet euthanized him, $3000 later. His ashes remain in a Rottweiler urn I bought for him, sitting in my mothers living room. We'll never be the same, my whole family weeps at the sight of a photo or the mention of his name. He was killed because my neighbor didn't like his breed, he felt threatened and didn't want Mason around when his grandkids were over. Not one time did that low life ever ask us if Mason was friendly, or if he was good around kids. Mason loved everyone, I truly believe he was a little gay honestly. But because he was black with copper markings, he was a monster that needed to be killed. What you suggest really hits me hard, because you may feel like you're protect your family and pets.. but I'm protecting mine as well. And someone who thinks the same way once harmed my family so deeply, we'll never recover from it :( If you'd like, here is a letter
my then 16 year old sister wrote to Mason after he passed. This is what will happen to families if BSL is passed, it's what's happened already. I could never put that much pain and hurt on someone :(