Saturday, March 14, 2009

When Public Officials Go Bad

Kory Nelson has declared War on Pit Bulls. He's Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City and County of Denver, Colorado, and he has made it his personal mission to eradicate Pit Bulls from the United States, even going to far as to call up Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco to give him unsolicited tips on how to exterminate this breed of dog.

Nelson even wrote an article for Municipal Lawyer titled, "Why Pit Bulls Are More Dangerous and Breed Specific Legislation is Justified." He is a man with a passion for killing Pit Bulls. In 2002, Denver euthanized 338 Pit Bulls.

A study reported in a 1994 Pediatrics article titled, "Which Dogs Bite? A Case-Control Study of Risk Factors" sought to determine dog-specific factors independently associated with a dog biting a non-household member. Cases were selected from dogs reported to Denver Animal Control in 1991 for a first-bite episode of a non-household member in which the victim received medical treatment.

The study found that children aged 12 and under comprised over half of the victims. The breed of dog responsible for the most bites -- the German Shepherd Dog.

Kory Nelson's article advocating the mass killing of dogs contains a small biographical blurb about the man who has made exterminating a breed he considers dangerous his personal mission in life. That blurb contains one very interesting piece of information.

Kory Nelson owns a German Shepherd.

Since German Shepherds were responsible for the most dog bites resulting in medical attention in the aforementioned study, we suggest Denver ban German Shepherds next. Of course, after German Shepherds, Denver will have to ban Chow Chows because they were second on the list of biting dogs (then Labrador Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, and Akitas).

German Shepherds, often bred for protection work, have frequently made the news for attacks. An 8 year-old Chicago boy was attacked by a neighbor's two German Shepherds on Christmas Eve (2005). A Lancaster, PA police dog mauled a girl on a school playground. Little six year-old Bailey Prosser was mauled by a German Shepherd in 2005.

Kory Nelson proves himself to be the worst kind of hypocrite -- one that uses the law as a weapon to embark on his own personal crusade to exterminate a breed he personally despises while owning a breed of dog that ranks #1 on the list of biting dogs for his own County.

German Shepherds, of course, are not banned in Denver, and Kory Nelson has no interest in banning them since he owns one.

Of course, CHAKO does not advocate a ban on German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, or any other breed. In fact, one of CHAKO's most active volunteers is a German Shepherd Dog enthusiast. However, we believe that persons who are public servants and have authority and power to affect the lives of citizens should not be allowed to yield that power as a weapon to act on their own personal prejudices. They should not use the law to target others while exempting themselves. They are public servants, not dictators.

Kory Nelson should be removed from his position. He is a disgrace to lawyers, and an affront to a free and just society. He is a hypocrite on a personal mission of destruction.

"Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the state was to make men free to develop their faculties, and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They believed the freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth... that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government.... "

-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Author D. Capp holds an M.S. in medical science (biochemistry and genetics), a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and a law degree.

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