As a lifelong shooter and gun owner, as well as a former military firearms instructor, I have always preached that with firearms ownership comes a heavy responsibility. If you choose to own a firearm, you, and only you, are responsible for that gun being stored, carried, and used responsibly. And if you are not willing to accept that responsibility, you have no business having a firearm, no matter what the Second Amendment says.
Now let’s talk about responsible pet ownership. I love dogs. For most of my life before we began traveling fulltime in an RV, I owned (or was owned by) a series of German Shepherds. And most of those dogs were professionally protection trained. German Shepherds have been called aggressive breeds, but all of my dogs were well trained, well behaved, and kept under adult control any time they were out of my fenced yard.
To give you an idea of the quality of dogs I had, my last one, Magic, became a working police officer with our local department when we went on the road. As much as I love dogs, a German Shepherd would not fit in our RV lifestyle and I was glad that he was adopted by an officer friend of mine and accepted for police work.
That being said, having a dog, especially a large dog of any breed, comes with the same responsibility as a firearm. So am I the only one who thinks it’s interesting that Gabby Giffords’ husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, who is all over the news talking about responsible gun ownership, seems to have no comment about a vicious attack by a dog owned by his daughter that killed a seal over the weekend? I must warn you that this link to a New York Daily News story about the attack has some graphic photos of the attack.
Very little has been said about this in the media, though the gruesome video of the attack can be found on You Tube. Why not? I wonder why we haven’t heard much about this in the news. If that had been your dog or mine, we’d probably be cited and the dog put down. I have not found any mention of official action following the attack, except for someone saying the animal had gotten off its leash. That’s not acceptable.
While I admire Gabby Giffords, the fact that she was a victim of a madman does not change the fact that this incident should never have happened. What if that had been a child? It would have been just as dead as if someone had gotten careless with a gun.
So Mr. Kelly, while I have no problem with background checks for gun purchases, I do have a problem with irresponsible gun and dog owners. Why haven’t you had a comment on this unfortunate incident? And what are you and your family doing to make sure it never happens again?
Tags: aggressive dog breeds, background checks for gun purchases, carrying and storing a gun, dog attack, former astronaut Mark Kelly, Gabby Giffords, German shepherds, gun owner, military firearms instructor, New York Daily News, police K-9 officer, responsible firearms ownership, RV lifestyle, Second Amendment, shooter, traveling fulltime in an RV, You Tube