Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mike Vick & Dog Fighting

I am going to make a lot of my readers angry now (hi Mom!!!). I do not think that Michael Vick should be prosecuted for dog fighting...

Let me be clear. Dog fighting is a brutal, abhorrent act. I do not support dog fighting in any way, shape, or form.

That said, my objection to Vick's prosecution on federal charges comes from property rights. Vick owned those dogs. They were his property, his chattel. According to the Fifth Amendment: "No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." The Due Process Clause does not mean that the government can simply make laws that restrict property. They have been given very strict guidelines and procedures to follow. That means that the Federal Government had no right to prosecute Vick, as his actions did not infringe on anybody else's rights.

Let's put this another way... I buy a cow. I feed it, house, it and care for it. When the time is right, I kill it. It makes little difference that the animal will be used for food. Again, no one's rights were infringed upon by my killing of the cow. Why is there a difference with dogs? Chattel is chattel. If I kill a dog and eat it, is that cause for my being federally prosecuted?

If you do not support Dog Fighting, don't go to the fights. Work with your city to ban the practice. There is no Constitutional reason for any type of Dog Fighting legislation at the Federal Level.

Vick is guilty of bad taste, despicable behavior, and being a moron. Nothing else.

2 comments:

Daniel said...

The difference is intent. If you own an animal and kill it to feed your family, fine. If you own an animal only to practice cruel and unusual punishment on it, you are an A-hole and deserve to be prosecuted. This isn’t simply an ‘ownership’ issue. It’s not as if he’s being prosecuted for owning too many dogs or not having them licensed. There are animal cruelty laws in place for a reason and owning something doesn’t give you the right to abuse it. I realize this is debatable, but at some point we must realize we are (or should attempt to be) an advanced society which must hold itself to higher standard. And speaking of higher standards, Michael Vick, a multimillionaire professional athlete and “role model” should be made an example of. The NFL should ban him for life based on the gambling alone. Add in dogfighting and it’s a slam dunk, errrr, touchdown.

Natto Ninja said...

Intent is thought. Only actions can be prosecuted.

What to do with chattel is up to the owner. Eat it, kill it, marry it, set it free, whatever. If it does not infringe on the rights of others, go nuts.

I am not against the state, county, or city going after Vick. The Feds need to stay out of it.