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Should Pit Bull Terriers be legal to own in the US?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 570 times Debate No: 71083
Debate Rounds (3)
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Pit Bull terriers have been under attack in the last decade or so. People saying that they are vicious animals that will attack you at the first chance it gets. It depends greatly on how the animal was raised, and how it's been exposed to people besides it's primary caretaker.


I agree the behavior of the pitbull greatly depends on the owner and how they raise the dog. Many people raise this type of dog as a fighting dog, and in that case it is purely their fault if the pitbull ever revolts or becomes violent against them or another individual. However, there are many examples of pitbulls that have been raised as family pets turning violent against people they have known since birth ( or other innocent people for that matter.)

A very good example of this is the death of the 4 year Kara Hartrich. On April 29, 2014, Kara's mother, Roxanne, left for work and left her daughter at home with her husband. Her husband called as she was making her way home and asked why their family pitbull, Brutus, had been left outside. She said she didn't know why and hurried home. But when she got there she was met by a horrible sight; Her daughter Kara had been viciously mauled by two of their family pitbulls and later died from blood loss. The thing that makes this situation even more disturbing is the fact that these pitbulls had never displayed any signs of aggression before. In fact, Kara had picked them out as puppies and her mother previously described them as " Sweet, well mannered and gentle." This a perfect example of an incident where pitbulls have snapped into a violent state without any warning, not to mention both these dogs were raised well. Pitbulls have caused the most deaths out of any dog breed for this exact reason.

For this reason, I think pitbulls should not be legal to own in the US. This is because they are a serious danger to people, and especially young children.

Debate Round No. 1


I express my condolences to the family of the girl, but since no one had seen what provoked them, it's impossible to tell whether or not she did provoke them. Also, has been known to exaggerate the truth in order to villainize certain breeds. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to be attacked by a German Shepard or a Chow-Chow than a Pitbull.
Most dog fighting operations in the US have been shut down, and the culprits imprisoned. Only a couple rings still remain, and most dogs seized from dog fighters (breeds include more than just Pitbulls), unfortunately must be put to sleep because of their aggression towards people. However, most Pitbulls in the US come from responsible breeders, who watch for signs of aggression early on.
Any animal has the potential to do harm to a human, my dog ( a sweet-hearted min-pin) who is sitting right next to me as I'm writing this, has the jaw strength to rip my throat out. But he's never shown any intent of doing so. To ban an entire breed because of a couple irresponsible owners, is well, poorly thought out.


First of all, I would like to mention that the article I read from was linked directly to an interview of the mother, Roxanne. In addition to this, this site offers incidents where dogs have killed or severely injured people including many dog breeds who you wouldn't think would be violent. It may look like they are focusing on or trying to villainize pitbulls, but that is only because the most attacks on humans come from them. Even if Kara, a 4 year old girl, did provoke the dogs, how is that justification of their behavior? I'm sure you are aware of this owning one yourself, but the pitbull breed in general is almost all muscle and is strong enough to take out grown adults. They always have the potential to do harm, regardless of how they are raised. This is evident in Kara's case. You mention "To ban an entire breed because of a couple irresponsible owners, is well, poorly thought out." But what i'm trying to say is that this kind of thing happens with owners who are responsible as well. It is less likely the pitbull will attack you if you raise it well, but the chance is alway there. I know what many people might think this could happen with other dog breeds too, and you'd be correct. But German Shepherds and Chow-Chows are not as muscular and don't tend to fall into violent states without warning as pitbulls do. If a Chow-Chow attacked Kara instead of their family pitbull, she may have some severe injuries but it is very unlikely she would be dead right now.

A 40 year old man was murdered by his 8 year old pitbull, Fat Boy, a day after Christmas in 2014. His family adored the dog, and worked hard to train it. It even slept in his daughter's bed at night. His wife said they never had trouble with the dog. You say your dog has never had the intent to do harm, but neither did Fat Boy or Brutus for that matter. In both these situations, well raised pitbulls had had never showed any sign of aggression and the family was completely shocked that it snapped and turned murderous.

I think I have proved, again, that pitbulls are a danger to people and are known to do serious harm without warning. They should be banned in the US because many people have already suffered from the reckless behavior this breed has shown very suddenly. In addition to this, I would like to add I actually love all dog breeds and want to do this for the good of the pitbull and people. Pitbulls who turn violent against others almost always have to be euthanized (killed). By banning pitbulls, we can prevent the deaths of innocent people and the dogs alike.

Source- (also linked to interview)
Debate Round No. 2


Like I said before, ANY animal has the potential to do serious damage. Say a federal law was passed saying that in all of the US, it was illegal to own a Pitbull, what would happen to the almost 5,256,000 Pitbulls currently in the US? People aren't going to give up family pets, so the idea of removing them completely is just out of the question.
Based on the population, you can look at how many fatal attacks there have been and come up with a percent of likelihood you'd be fatally attacked by a Pit, as well as other dogs.

Pit Bulls: .00125 %

German Shepards: .00217%

Rottweilers: .00433 %

Chow: .00333%

Based on this data, you can see that you are 4 TIMES more likely to be fatally attacke by a Rottweiler than a Pitbull, 2 times more likely to be killed by a German Shepard, and 3 times as likely to be killed by a Chow.
Pitbulls are not the only dangerous dogs in private homes.


First of all, I would like to know where this data how came from. Approaching this from a debater's standpoint, you have failed to present fact backed up by a website or other reliable internet source. Considering most of the websites I have come across disagree with your data, and are backed up by real life stories and statistics, i'll have to ignore this data until you can prove to me it is fact.

Second of all, i'm basically going to repeat myself. I understand that it isn't just pitbulls that attack humans. What i'm trying to say is that this breed is more dangerous and more likely to become violent than the others you mentioned. (Perhaps with the exception of the Rottweiler) Both my parents worked in the ER at a childrens hospital, and in his time working there my father gave me this data in this experiences. There were two German Shepherd attacks, One golden retriever attack, and countless other pitbull/rottweiler attacks. He also said to me the pitbull attacks were the worst in terms of injuries and injury placement. (Such as a simple arm bite opposed to the neck or throat.) This is because the breed themselves are extremely muscular and capable of doing serious harm, more so than the other breeds.

My last and final point is something I really want you to understand- I am not against pitbulls. I'm a big animal lover, and think that banning them from the US is best for the people and the dog breed. Again, pitbulls that are involved in violent incidents usually have to be put down. Could you imagine if your mini pit attacked you and it had to be euthanized? That would be very traumatic for me for if i was in that position. The idea of removing pitbulls from families is not out of the question as you claim, because the government has to power to take them away, as it does with any illegal animal.

I think I should win this debate because

-My statistics and real life events are backed up with interviews of the people involved and news articles
- My opponent has failed to present data that is proved to be fact, and has not demonstrated he has used other sources for information
-My opponent has failed to successfully rebuttal my argument. Many of my points stand without being proven incorrect,
- I feel i have disproved his argument and my points are stronger and factual based.
Debate Round No. 3
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