It is way past time to wake up to the fact that a good pit bull is a dead pit bull, or better yet, was never born.

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2005

The first thing I would check is the thinking process of anyone keeping a pit bull, with or without children in the home. To me, and I have a right to my opinion, it’s an obvious sign the owner dislikes or distrusts his neighborhood.

We have enforceable rules concerning the keeping of certain pets, lions, tigers, alligators, boa constrictors, etc. But that entire group of animals has killed or mauled far less humans than pit bulls.

Assuming PETA is correct that keeping animals chained leads to their aggression, blaming has no part in this discussion. Do they suggest or imply that pit bulls should run free? Because of generations of deliberate breeding, pit bulls can, and often do, turn on those who have nurtured them for years. Is it worth the risk?

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How many recorded instances of these tragedies have occurred in Suffolk? Often enough, and once is enough, and I’d guess our police would welcome an ordinance eliminating the breed entirely, except for those who might own one. To me, living anywhere near the location of a pit bull is no more comforting than living near the location of a convicted sex offender. In both instances children could be very much in danger – to say nothing of elderly citizens who cross the pit bull’s path.

Let’s hope this Council will take whatever action is necessary to make certain we are not in those kinds of headlines again.

Keep car trouble at home

I had a little car trouble in Virginia Beach and stopped at a dealership to check it out. I waited in their lounge while a mechanic drove it around back.

When it seemed it was taking a long time I asked the clerk about the holdup. She said the mechanic had accidentally locked the car keys inside the car. I ignored the &uot;No Customers Beyond This Point&uot; sign; I had another key in my wallet and found the &uot;expert&uot; using his magic bar to open the window on the driver’s side. I was on the passenger side and discovered that the door was unlocked.

I said, &uot;Hey, it’s open.&uot;

&uot;Yeah,&uot; he said, &uot;I already got that side.&uot;

This tells me it’s better to have your car trouble in Suffolk.

Attitudes are different

This has been a good year for those ocean storms, but when I was two years old, in 1927, a major hurricane – they didn’t give them names back then, only swore at them – hit the city of New Orleans. The damage was much greater because that hurricane actually hit the city. Katrina missed it by 25 miles.

There was no such thing as government aid back then … not one dime came for the victims from Uncle Sam. The only help from the Army was loaning the city of New Orleans tents and camp stoves. And later, the army sued the city for reimbursement.

The big difference is the attitude people had towards government then compared to today. In 1927 citizens expected nothing from the government and got it. They understood government was there to &uot;protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,&uot; not &uot;provide&uot; it.

If you are poor and uneducated today this is what happens, you depend on government and you will be sorely disappointed.

But I doubt there is a good reason to be uneducated. Heck, it’s free! Twelve grades if you want it.

And there are enough grants and loans out there for higher education. Then you might not have to depend on the government.

Citizens expected nothing from elected officials back in 1927, but now you can at least expect they will spend every dime they take from us.

Helping seniors

Talking with Ron Williams, Suffolk treasurer, I was pleased to learn he would again be taking the case of financially under-funded senior citizens to Richmond.

There is room for improvement in the qualifications for property tax relief, and he will take the case to where changes can be made.

In light of the tax damage done to elders last year, and the likely additional damage this year, many are in desperate need to keep what income they have.

Ron’s philosophy is that it is much less expensive to allow older citizens to remain in their homes, than to provide other facilities for them elsewhere.

Vote your conscience

I’ve met Kaine and listened to his promises, and Kilgore’s are just as fantastic. When you vote, if you vote, vote your conscience, not your party.

Robert Pocklington is a regular contributor or columns to the Suffolk News-Herald. E-mail him at