Dangerous dogs

  A safe pit bull in public.

A safe pit bull in public.

Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com:

Two pit bulls killed a seven-year-old boy Oct. 21 in Lowell. Attacks  on people by pit bulls are common. They’re aggressive and muscular dogs with very strong jaws. In some urban neighborhoods, they’re often kept by young men eager to display how tough they (the young men) are; the same as brandishing guns. And sometimes these dubious “pets’’ are kept to help guard drugs and drug dealers.

It is not the dogs’ fault that their physical strength,  their breeding and (often) their training to be aggressive make them so dangerous. But it’s past time to ban them from urban neighborhoods.

Pit bulls are generally seen as including the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and American bully. They have been bred to bite and hold their victims.

After some pit-bull attacks, Lowell tried to stem the menace in 2011 by requiring the dogs to be spayed or neutered and muzzled and leashed when off owners’ property.  But the Massachusetts legislature, prompted by owners of these breeds denouncing this  quasi-racial “discrimination,’’ barred cities and towns from enacting breed-specific ordinances.

With the latest horrific attack, Lowell officials are again demanding that pit bulls be brought under control. Meanwhile, owners who fail to properly control these sometimes murderous beasts must face severe criminal-law punishments.