January 29, 2013

The writers of the Jan. 27 letters about the man who shot an attacking pit bull in violation of the District’s gun ordinance [“Saving a life with a gun is heroic”] seem to feel that laws are to be followed or enforced only when convenient — that the results justify the means.

I have no doubt that this man’s actions saved the life of the child being mauled, but absolving individuals of accountability because of a positive outcome is a slippery slope. Citizens should not make these kinds of situational assessments and judgments. I would leave that to the police and the courts.

Rather than rail against the District’s gun laws, people should be emphasizing the regulations covering dangerous dogs and the accountability of dog owners. I have a dog companion and have met many very sweet pit bulls. I have no real fear of dogs, but I understand, through my long association with them, that they can be unpredictable, especially when gathered in groups.

Owning an animal capable of killing a human is tantamount to owning a gun. Improper or ignorant use of either can have the same result.

As with guns, if dogs are properly cared for and secured, there is no issue.

Derek T. Havens, Mason Neck