The problem I see when a dog attack happens and it is a pitbull responsible, those who love the breed are quick to jump in saying that maybe the person did something wrong, or maybe the dog that was attacked was barking and jumping around and that provoked the pitbull.
Killing or seriously maiming a human or another dog (I'm not talking about things like in home female-female aggression here) is not acceptable behaviour for a pet dog. Ever.
A normal dog should not react to a dog barking at it by tearing it to shreds. I would be horrified if one of my dogs (I own German Shepherds so am aware of what it is to have an ostracized breed) ever killed another dog. Any dog of mine that attacked a human without the most extreme of provocations, would honestly be put to sleep.
A dog-aggressive/human-aggressive dog can impact everyone, not just those closest to it. Many people seem to be in denial when faced with the true extent of their dog's aggressiveness. A lady came into the aquarium I frequent the other day and was quite happily talking about her small dog that actively goes other people and seemed like a candidate for the green dream.
What she was describing was completely inappropriate and frankly very dangerous behaviour. If that dog had been a bigger breed, I am sure it would not have seemed so amusing.
Because these people are in denial (many are terrified that by admitting they have a dangerous dog that it will be taken from them), they often do not take appropriate measures to contain these dogs away from the general public. Then when one or more of these dogs gets loose, it inevitably ends in tragedy.
You can bet if my dog was ever attacked by another so viciously that it had to be euthanised I would do everything in my power to get the attacking dog destroyed. That is a boundary crossed that can never be uncrossed and if the owner has shown their inability to contain their dog once, chances are they will have a lapse in the future. It's like how you almost always see the same dogs loose on the street time after time.
However, completely banning breeds seems like a slippery slope to go down. Here there have been a few cases where dogs that look pitbull have been seized from their owners. My dad owns a very friendly and affectionate (this dog would crawl under your skin if he could) pitbull cross. Because he had severe separation anxiety, my dad's yard looks like it houses a velociraptor. I am absolutely terrified that one day something is going to happen or some legislation is going to be passed, and Porter is going to be taken and euthanised through no fault of his own.
Not so long ago, German Shepherds, Dobermans and Rottweilers were the 'bad' guys. People still ask me all the time whether my big, friendly male who approaches people with soft eyes and a wagging tail will bite them. People actually cross to the other side of the road/sidewalk if they see me coming or run to leash their dogs like I am walking some hound from hell.
This is why everywhere I go I am careful that my dogs are good PR
for the breed. All it takes is for a German Shepherd to attack a person or kill a small dog (I think one did not that long ago) and the public goes into a frenzy. My dogs are all pretty well-behaved and well-adjusted members of society (our youngest is fear-aggressive towards other dogs but has improved in leaps and bounds), and the thought of losing them because of the actions of a few irresponsible people makes me very worried.
I sit on the fence. On one hand I believe that there needs to be much more severe penalties for owners who allow their DA/HA dogs to roam, and yet on the other hand I fear that legislation is going to be rammed through on the back of public panic and that it is going to be innocent dogs and owners who suffer most.