Last week, I presented studies by the Centers For Disease Control indicating most cigarette smokers today are, well, less educated than non-smokers. As you might imagine, smokers loved that column. A few even took the time to express their delight with lovely messages.
Encouraged by all the positive responses to the dumb-smokers column, today I thought we might discuss another important social issue: Why do most pit bull owners cut the sleeves off their shirts?
Turns out there's little or no research dealing with that specific question, so I'll assume pit bulls are so sweet that their owners enjoy wrapping their arms around the lovable dogs while unencumbered by sleeves. And in many cases, shoes.
Here's some of what we know about the cuddly pit bull, from the research and education website
• Last year in the U.S., dogs killed 32 people. Pit bulls were the attackers in 25 (78 percent) of those deaths but make up only some 6 percent of the U.S. dog population.
• From 2005 to 2013, pit bulls killed 176 Americans. About one fatal attack every 19 days.
• In 2013, California led the nation with five fatal dog attacks. All five were the work of pit bulls.
Betty Todd, a 65-year-old from Hodges, S.C., was one of the 32 people killed by pit bulls last year. The dog was owned by her son. She was babysitting her three grandchildren when the pit bull attacked. She died of severe neck and spinal injuries. The children fled.
From a relative: "This dog has never shown any aggression before."
Except, it turns out, when the pit bull savagely killed the family's Siberian husky four months earlier.
We don't have to go to South Carolina to find pit bull troubles. In Englewood recently, a pit bull attacked a 10-year-old dachshund named Sebastian in a 7-Eleven parking lot, savagely killing the small dog as people screamed and poured hot coffee and hot water on the pit bull but still couldn't halt the attack.
And on July 14 in Commerce City — which bans pit bulls — a 19-month-old toddler was brutally mauled (he survived) by a pit bull in a grocery store parking lot. The dog had been tied to a pole by owner Sue Tacket, 51, who was arrested and charged with unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog.
Massively powerful jaws on a dog bred to fight and kill. So, who are these folks being pulled along a sidewalk by a monstrous pit bull?
Well, here goes: Studies have shown that owners of pit bulls are more likely to have criminal records and more likely to display antisocial behavior than owners of more common and less-vicious breeds.
There's a shocker.
The studies, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence and the Journal of Forensic Sciences, were titled "Ownership of High-Risk (Vicious) Dogs as a Marker for Deviant Behaviors" and "Vicious Dogs: The Antisocial Behaviors and Psychological Characteristics of Owners."
It's enough to make you want to stab the researchers with the scissors you were using to remove the sleeves from your shirt.