Since everyone asks, I'll answer it loud and clear. Yes, we pay our freelance writers. And no, when they write opinion pieces, we don't tell that what they can and cannot write.
Such is the case with my friend and colleague Dave Begel. He was a journalist before I was born, and he writes some of the most controversial blog posts on OnMilwaukee.com. I respect what he does for us, even when it incites and incenses our readership.
Sometimes I agree with him.
Other times, I do not.
Today was one of the days I do not.
Dave wrote a blog post about so-called attack dogs. He claimed that the dogs, not the owners, are responsible for violence.
Dave is wrong on this one.
Yes, certain types of dogs have stronger jaws. Certainly those dogs are more frequently raised in hostile, untrained environments. Obviously, these are the dogs that are raised to fight.
But even if rottweilers, doberman pinschers and pit bulls are more frequently trained to be aggressive dogs, it doesn't mean they are genetically predisposed to be attackers.
I'm not an animal psychologist, so I concede that different dogs have different temperaments, and indeed it might be easier to allow these breeds to become violent.
But the crux of the problem is almost completely with the owner. Raise and train a properly socialized puppy, and you'll get a great dog.
Look, I know one sweet and kind pit bull that would let you put your entire head inside her mouth without chomping down. I trust this dog around my daughter, and this dog was rescued from a drug house, so she didn't come from the best upbringing.
Many of us at OnMilwaukee.com are ardent backers of the Humane Society, ASPCA and MADACC. I certainly am. I brought back a rescue dog from Mexico. Playa is the best dog I've ever had.
And I will always, always, always give a dog the benefit of the doubt. To propose rounding up an entire breed because of unrelated, albeit vicious incidents, is cruel and ignorant.
I'm still a fan of Begel, and like my colleagues, we'll still continue and defend his right to write what he wants. We read all the hate mail and nasty tweets. It's part of the job.
But Dave got this wrong.
Don't blame the dog. Blame the owner.
Replace "dog" with"gun" and "dog owner" with "gun owner" and you'll know how those of us feel about the 2nd Amendment.
I think I'm hip to your metaphor here... as far as OMC goes, you are the owner, Dave is the dog. So all the hate mail that might be rolling in from dog lovers should go to you? That's pretty generous.
All kidding aside... when you read him comparing walking a dog to carrying a kilo of cocaine, did you at least drug test him? Breathalyzer?
5 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Sept. 18, 2016
Typically, my annual early reviews of the Apple's new flagship phone are called "24 hours with the new iPhone." That tight time frame wasn't possible this year, because the new iPhone 7 took more than a day and a half just to update all my apps, photos, videos and iCloud data. I only started to really see it work as promised by Saturday night.
Published Sept. 16, 2016
When Katrina Cravy signs off from FOX 6 on Oct. 12, it will mark the end of a 20-year chapter in her life, but another one is about to open. While the 46-year-old anchor, reporter and host has been a fixture at her station for almost 18 years, she's preparing to embark on a career at a media relations consultant, speaker and author.
Published Sept. 14, 2016
On Thursday, Rahny Taylor returns to Milwaukee radio as morning host at 97.3 NOW, replacing the syndicated "Elvis Duran Show." It's been a secret Taylor's been keeping for a while. Unlike his last gig in town with Wes McKane and Ally Faith, he's doing this one solo.
Published Sept. 2, 2016
In 2004, Tim Schneider opened The Shop in Bay View's Hide House. Fast forward to 2016, and the motorcycle repair/customization shop - that only works on Japanese and European bikes - averages a 6-8 week waiting list, and their phone rings off the hook. It was time to move.
Published Aug. 31, 2016
Former Brewers pitchers Dave Bush and Seth McClung spent a lot of time standing for the national anthem during their careers. Like their teammates, rising was expected of them before every game, so when Colin Kaepernick made a statement by refusing to stand before an exhibition game last week, ex-players took note.
Published Aug. 29, 2016
Today, Verizon data speeds got faster. Verizon just rolled out its LTE Advanced technology to bring 50% faster peak wireless data speeds to more than 288 million people in 461 cities, including Milwaukee.
Published Aug. 22, 2016
I've said it for years. Door County means different things to different people. Whether your idea of this magical peninsula is nature or adventure, shopping or relaxing, friends or family - or a mix of everything above, one storyline arcs above all the rest: Door County is what you make it.
Published Aug. 19, 2016
My friend Drew Olson has a new work address. The veteran Milwaukee sports journalist / broadcaster - and former OnMilwaukee.com senior editor - ended an 11-year run as a talk-show host at ESPN Milwaukee (540 AM) last week and will begin a new chapter with The Big 920 (WOKY) on Monday.
Published Aug. 18, 2016
This Saturday, Priscilla Presley - actress, activist and, perhaps most notably, widow of Elvis - is coming to Milwaukee for "Elvis and Me," an open conversation at The Pabst Theater about the life and experiences of the original First Lady of rock 'n' roll.
Published Aug. 3, 2016
I didn't really even know I was interested in driving a motorcycle until the House of Harley invited me to take a Riding Academy New Rider course. In three days, I checked something off my bucket list that I didn't know was on it. I took it seriously, and it was hard. But also really satisfying.