Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Thursday, 5 August 2010

"Banning" things often does not have the desired effect

Ambush Predator drew my attention today to a story in a local paper about a dog having bitten a child in a play area:

Steven Evans is calling for action after his 13-year-old son, Dean, was attacked by a Staff at Holy Cross Recreation Ground, in Church Road.


Mr Evans believes dogs should be banned from anywhere children play.

He added: “I have dogs myself, and I always muzzle them when I take them out.

I am sorry for the injuries and distress caused to Mr Evans and his son but I just wonder what he thinks the result of such a ban would be. He already makes it clear that he has dogs and he muzzles them. I expect most law abiding and responsible dog owners already do this anyway.

So what we would be left with are the people who do not give a flying toss about the law or responsibility still letting their dogs off in the play areas. In my experience* these people will just ignore any rules so the result is likely to be that the responsible dog owners find one more place they cannot take their dogs. I also wonder how you would define "where children play".

"Banning" things does not stop them from happening. It does however mean more money being spent on trying to enforce the rules and various other side effects. People should think more carefully before calling for bans.

* I remember a few years ago someone I know tackled a woman who had allowed her dog to defecate in the middle of a park and then started walking off. The woman physically threatened the person, threatened to set her dog on them and then started screaming at them how their mother was a "whore" until they beat a hasty retreat. You cannot tell me that someone like this is interested in any rules that might be imposed for situations like that described above.

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