Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Right To Keep And Deploy A Dog?

My understanding is that the courts have generally ruled that a police dog is not a “weapon”, because its primary function has been to locate criminals, not attack them, which is true. So, the terminology has tended to refer to dogs as a “tool” of the police, with the biting part incidental to the location, capture, and arrest of suspects.

But, just as many legal theories are fictions made up by lawyers and the courts to get an end result that they want, without then directly delving into other sticky issues, we could first argue that our pets are just, well, pets. But, clearly, in reality, the police want the dogs along to protect them in a fight. The same is true with the military. Yes, they use the dogs to locate suspects, but what about times when they come on the scene and the suspect is readily visible and threatening? Then, the dog isn’t just a “tool”.

This, therefore, comes to where I want this debate to be taken.

Don’t citizens, just like the police, get dogs to protect them? C’mon! Let’s be honest here. Just as dogs are “tools” to the police, and the biting incidental, aren’t dogs “pets” to the Average Joe, and the biting incidental?

Then, there are guns. Guns are weapons, period. The police are allowed to use them, and so are citizens. The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Yes, I know, fanatics will tell you that we don’t have the right to have a gun, but we all know that isn’t true. So, aren’t stun guns, batons, and mace considered “weapons’ by the court? Yes, they are. But they are considered as less-than-lethal weapons. Same with a police dog. The courts have acknowledged that dogs give the police another non-lethal way of dealing with criminals, and are not considered, generally, as “excessive force”. Then, why aren’t PET DOGS considered non-lethal weapons by the courts… and PROTECTED BY THE SECOND AMENDMENT of the US Constitution?

Maybe this kind of logic should be pressed in order to fight back against the banning of dogs. Maybe there is sufficient precedent to let a dog owner argue in court that if you get a dog as a pet and for self protection, that the lawmakers and courts can’t ban you from reasonably owning them?

Hey, you lawyers out there: Am I on the right track on this?

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