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Well, since the Michael Vick scandal broke, I’ve been waiting weeks for someone to do it, and finally it’s happened: Someone’s decided to argue publicly that dogfighting ain’t so bad.
On the front of today’s Metro section, columnist Courtland Milloy makes the argument that Vick breeding, fighting, and slaughtering dogs is no more cruel than industrial meat production. And, mind you, it’s just an marginal outgrowth of our “culture of blood sports”—-you know, monster sacks, pileup NASCAR crashes, Barbaro.
On an intellectual level and as a proud carnivore, sure, I can see where Milloy’s coming from. But as a sheer matter of degree of cruelty and malice, what Vick is accused of is off the charts. Did he even read the indictment?
But the real kicker is how, in a classic Milloy move, he brings it all back to gun violence. Now gun violence is a national tragedy. But is he seriously suggesting prosecutors pursue no other criminals other than gun offenders? And does the fact that a federal judge once heard cases involving al-Qaeda sympathizers makes him too important to hear cases in any lesser matter?
Milloy’s always had a knack for taking counterintuitive positions in extreme places. (You might recall his argument that forcing District schoolgirls to be given an HPV vaccine is racist.) But congrats, Courtland. You’ve taken counterintuitive to a whole new place with this one.