Opponents of SB 777 profess astonishment that the animal-cruelty bill would extend even to cats, that it would provide what the critics call “extraordinary protection” for the light-footed little creatures. The critics are over-excited. SB 777 would ban the burning of live cats, or the use of kittens as baseballs in homerun-hitting contests, and yes, sportsmen who participate in these activities would have to find new forms of recreation. But SB 777 does not provide “extraordinary protection” for cats, nor for horses or dogs, the two other species the bill applies to. What it does is prohibit the wanton torture of these dumb animals, and the killing of them “in an especially depraved manner.” All but a handful of states already have laws like SB 777. Land of Opportunity Arkansas once was. We’d prefer it not be known now as the Land of Depravity.

It’s disappointing that the Arkansas Farm Bureau has dispatched a team of very mean lobbyists to waylay SB 777. We keep hoping for better, but no matter how much the rest of us do for the corporations who make up the Farm Bureau — tax breaks, allowing the use of pollutants, etc. — the Bureau never reciprocates. Contrary to what the Farm Bureau says, local law enforcement authorities will not be harassing farmers and hunters after SB 777 passes. Persuading local officers to act on animal-cruelty complaints will be the problem, but SB 777 empowers local humane societies to keep the pot boiling (hopefully with no animal in it) until justice is done. Justice for the worst of the animal-abusers will mean a felony, rather than a misdemeanor, as is now the case. Can’t do the time, don’t do the crime; let’s stop coddling these criminals.

If simple decency is not enough to compel support of SB 777, self-interest should be. Not all young animal torturers grow up to be mass murderers, but just about all the mass murderers started down their career path by torturing animals. If you have one of these fun-loving fellows in your home, there’s reason to worry about his future. Yours too.

Tell the world

Senate Concurrent Resolution 20, even if approved by the legislature, likely won’t impress the murderers in Sudan. As a resolution, not a bill, SCR 20 doesn’t even have the force of law. But it has moral force, encouraging state retirement systems to identify any investments in Sudan and to divest themselves of such investments until the genocide in Darfur is ended. We as a state have a duty to declare that genocide is intolerable to Arkansans. Maybe later we can do more.


From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • But what about the Clintons? Last refuge of Trump, New York Times

    Trying to compare Donald Trump's reaction to the Russia investigation with Bill Clinton's dealings with Kenneth Starr should be a non-starter if the facts mattered. But these days — and to the New York Times — it ain't necessarily so.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • Football is king, Bentonville edition

    Good analysis in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of an unannounced Bentonville School Board vote last week to put $2 million into a football stadium for West High School despite board assurances in last May's tax election that no money would go to a football stadium.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • Dinner and dancing in Dogtown

    A good night out in Argenta. Looking for the theater? Consider "Sweet Charity."
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Football for UA Little Rock

    • He's BSC. Students and tuition-paying parents should be VERY vocal that a football program won't…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Pay attention

    • I have attended community meetings about the recent spike in violence in LR, and police…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Pay attention

    • Adawson's comments attribute the plight of black people in the United States to the War…

    • on July 22, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation