EDITORIAL: Effecting change can start with one small step

Anyone who can take their pain and focus it in an effort to help other, regardless of whether they succeed, should be commended.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

The quote by author Margaret Mead has been referenced time and again.

A White Rock family whose four-year-old daughter was attacked by a pit bull nearly two weeks ago may find it useful to draw on that inspiration in the days and months ahead, as they push the city and province to ban the breed.

The road, while not entirely untravelled, won’t likely be a smooth one.

The mere suggestion to ban the breed certainly got people talking – on television, radio and online.

Many support a ban, describing the dogs as unpredictable and inherently dangerous.

Those opposed are equally vocal, putting blame for problems seen in some dogs squarely on the shoulders of their owners, with some pointing to disreputable breeders and others chastising less-than-wary victims, and still express outrage that some mislabel offending dogs, unfairly targeting pit bulls.

The Cranford family – with the image of their wounded daughter still painfully fresh – believe such a ban could save others their heartache. Possibly even save a life.

At least two Kelowna families can relate – one whose son was mauled by a pit bull last August, and another whose son was attacked just days after the White Rock girl. All three children are scarred for life; physically for certain, and likely emotionally, too.

It’s impossible to say that if a ban had been in place in B.C. a year ago that these three incidents wouldn’t have happened. The simple fact is, rules get broken. We need only look at those who ignore speed limits, distracted driving laws and rules prohibiting off-leash dogs…

But that doesn’t mean the effort would be futile. As mom Elizabeth Cranford said, if it can help prevent one child from getting hurt or killed, it is worth it.

Even if a ban isn’t ultimately implemented, the work to get there will undoubtedly lead to change. Awareness of the issue will be boosted, and that on its own can go a long way.

Until her own daughter was attacked, Cranford couldn’t help but wonder if pit bulls were being painted with the wrong brush. Now, she feels certain they weren’t, and she’s taking steps.

Anyone who can take their pain and focus it in an effort to help other, regardless of whether they succeed, should be commended. Positive change cannot happen without them.

 

 

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