Point/Counterpoint: Dogs

With so much going on in the country and the world, it’s time to bring back a popular SCS format, and let two of our experts debate the merits of a hot-button issue.

However, many topics are too hot of a button right now, and for others it’s apparently not the right time to talk about it, so we’re going to talk about …[spins wheel]… dogs.

Take it away, experts!

Point: Dogs?

Counterpoint: I guess dogs, yeah.



Point: Like, are dogs good? They’re good dogs, Brent.

Counterpoint: It’d be nice if you read the notes before we started. We’re talking about the dangers of dogs.

Point: Ok, got it. So, let’s see what we have here… It’s a known fact that dogs are one of the most dangerous animals in the country. Common, household dogs cause dozens of deaths in this country every year and are responsible for hundreds of injuries from bites. And that’s just the ones bad enough to be reported.

These are dangerous animals, and we need more restrictions on them.

Counterpoint: Restrictions on dogs? They’re dogs! Man’s best friend! They’ve been part of our lives for hundreds of years. You can’t let a few bad cases spoil it for all the good dogs out there.

Point: Obviously not all dogs are a problem. But dogs are largely bred for violence: hunting, defending their owners, attacking. We can’t be surprised when that’s exactly what happens.

Counterpoint: Dogs aren’t the problem. Bad owners are the problem. Dogs don’t cause the attacks, humans do.

Point: Fine. So let’s regulate who can own dogs. There are so few checks on people getting dogs that dangerous people can get them and then basically be prepared to do whatever with them. And for the few places that do a great job trying to protect people by running checks on people trying to adopt dogs, it’s easy to just go somewhere else, negating their good work. I’m glad we can at least agree on that part.

Counterpoint: Slow down. You’re talking about taking away people’s rights. Everyone is entitled to own a dog if they want to.

Point: Where is that right guaranteed? Do you have a dog-specific version of the Constitution, and if so, can I see it? Does it have pictures of old-timey dogs? Please say yes.


Am I missing out on a musical about the rise and fall of Alexandog Hamiltongue?

Counterpoint: It’s guaranteed in the one place more important than the Constitution: the Bible.

Point: The Bible says people can own dogs? Do you have a dog-specific version of the–

Counterpoint: It’s not just dogs, it’s all animals. Man is given dominion over all creeping things that creepeth upon the Earth. It’s in Genesis. Trying to restrict dog ownership goes against a literal God-given right.

Point: At that time, dogs were used to herd sheep and protect livestock from predators. The utility of that made a lot of sense then. It wasn’t meant for all of the different varieties of dogs and their uses in today’s society. We’re creating and using dogs in ways completely different from the point that edict came down.

Counterpoint: Are you saying God didn’t have the wisdom to see what the future would hold for dogs and dog ownership?


Arguably, God only created the universe *because* He foresaw this.

If anything, the changing times show how much the basic right needs to maintained. We need all of these advanced dogs to deal with the advanced situations we find ourselves in.

Point: We’re talking about people’s lives though. Why shouldn’t we be working to prevent dangerous people from getting dangerous dogs?

Counterpoint: If someone wants to get a dog, they’re going to get a dog. The streets are full of them. There would actually be more canine violence if you try to restrict dog ownership, because then good people would be prevented from getting one. The only way to stop a bad person with a dog is to have a good person with a dog. If anything, we should be encouraging more people to get dogs.

Point: That’s ludicrous. If you just have more people bringing dogs to a dangerous situation, you’re risking more lives. Additional dogs in the fray aren’t going to be well trained, like police dogs, so they could just go off wildly and take out innocent bystanders. And then when the police get there, they won’t know who the good guys’ dogs are and who the bad guys’ dogs are.

Counterpoint: I know that if someone sics their dog on one of my children, I’ll feel a lot better knowing I have a dog, or my neighbor has a dog, to try to stop it. Once that dog starts charging, there’s no time to wait for the police. Someone is in danger now. You need action now.

Plus, it’s a deterrent. If someone might be thinking about unleashing their dog to cause mayhem, they might think twice if they know everyone in the area has a dog.

Point: If they’re determined to cause mayhem, they won’t care about other people’s dogs. They’ll just release theirs to do as much damage as possible while they can. It’s much more effective to prevent them from having a dog in the first place.

Plus, it’s not just these mass dog attacks. Most dog attacks occur in the home, and many are an accident. A child accidentally comes across the dog while their parents aren’t looking, wants to play with it, and just pulls its ears. The dog goes off because of that, and someone winds up hurt. Or dead.

Counterpoint: That’s the responsibility of the parents to make sure their kids aren’t left alone with the dog, at least not until they’re trained how to be responsible around the dog.

Personal responsibility, that’s the key.

Point: The next time there’s a major dog attack, we should hold everyone who didn’t work to stop it from being possible personally responsible.

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