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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

The opinions you read below are those of the individual writers, not necessarily views that will become formal positions of The Seattle Times. Respond to STop
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Jim Vesely
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Jim Vesely
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Lee Moriwaki
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Lee Moriwaki
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Joni Balter
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Eric Devericks
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Lance Dickie
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Bruce Ramsey
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Kate Riley
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Lynne Varner
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Ryan Blethen
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March 21, 2005

Discriminating Dobermans


A state legislator argues that the refusal of insurance companies to insure owners of certain dog breeds is “discrimination.”

Literally, that is exactly what it is. It is discriminating between dobermans and, say, dachshunds. But so what? Discrimination itself cannot be wrong. We discriminate all the time: between the diligent and the sloppy, the ugly and the attractive, the old and the young, etc. The issue should be whether the factor underlying the discrimination really matters. With breeds of dog, I think it does. Otherwise we deny the difference in risk between a pit bull and a wienerdog.

It may be that someone has trained a pit bull to be gentle. I don't know; I have never had such an animal. But the insurance company, I think, should have the right to make decisions regarding animal breeds without the interference of legislators who have no financial stake in the risk contract.

Respond to Bruce.

 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at March 21, 2005 04:55 PM



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