Saturday, June 6, 2020 -
Print Edition


Donald Trump may be the ultimate Twitter troll, but Gov. Jared Polis is giving the president a run for his money.

On the Sunday, two days after Mayor Hancock vetoed a repeal of the pit bull ban, Polis posted a picture of himself holding what he said was a pit bull pup that his friends had rescued. “(Shhhh . . . )” he tweeted.

Naturally, much like the commander-in-chief’s tweets, Polis’ picture garnered strong comment — from those who felt “an elite member of the ruling class” was flaunting the law, while others praised what they perceived as a strong statement in support of repeal.

I myself don’t have a strong opinion about pit bulls. I’ve heard the arguments for a ban (vicious fatal attacks) as well as those against (sweetest breed).

What strikes me, though, is the language used by those opposed to the ban: There are no bad breeds, only bad owners. It sounds similar to those who oppose increased gun regulation: “Guns don’t kill; people do.”

In both cases, I actually agree with the logic of the argument — in theory. However, in practice, bad owners are usually unknown until the bad thing takes place. Government’s job is to prevent the bad thing.

City Council proposed a registry for pit bull owners, but again, this requires citizen compliance, and the citizens likely to comply with registration — such as Polis — are probably not those mistreating their dogs. Not too different from gun ownership. In his veto, the mayor cited a 20% dog registration rate — not exactly a vote of confidence in registration as the solution.

The argument against a ban that resonates with me is the one that’s critical of breed-specific legislation. Blanket bans don’t stop criminals. But zero regulation isn’t conducive to safety, either. As neither a gun nor a pit bull owner, I don’t know what the solution is. We’ll see if the mayor and Council can figure out a compromise.

Polis trolling Hancock? Much like in Washington it may provide brief entertainment, but it’s doesn’t exactly encourage compromise and good governance.

Shana Goldberg may be reached at

Copyright © 2020 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Shana Goldberg

IJN Assistant Publisher |

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