One can't help but notice numerous posts on this forum similar to "People are so Stupid", "What an Idoit", "Parents need to Control this Kids" etc. and having read the stories, most people will agree with the OP. After all, I think we all know there are a lot of idiots in this world and as dog lovers we can certainly sympathize with those who have had unpleasant experiences with our beloved pets. Rather than comment on any specific situation or thread I would like to comment in more general terms regarding "dogs in our society"
Not so many years ago, the typical dog was a loved member of the family who lived in the house, ran around the backyard and was maybe walked around the block once or twice a day. When the family went out - the dog stayed home. They certainly did not go visiting. They did not go shopping. They didn't join the family for dinner on the local patio nor were they part of public events. Well things have changed! Todays dogs enjoy a definate bump up the social ladder. We want our dogs to be a major part of our social life and activities. (Of course we train and socialize our dogs accordingly.) Dogs and their owners are virtually everywhere today.
Unfortunately the majority of urban dwellers are not dog owners and perhaps are ignorant of dog behaviour. As they encounter more and more cute little fur balls out in public their comfort level rises and their cautious nature decreases. They may not realize that some of these dogs are still in the process of being socialized or that indeed some may actually have issues that the owner is trying to work on. They simply assume that if a dog is in public, it poses no threat. The general public is just not as dog savvy as those on this forum.
As we (responsible owners) take our dogs out and about it encourages many not so responsible or simply clueless owners to do the same. They see us enjoying the company of our well socialized dog at the local market and the next week they show up with theirs. With more and more dogs sharing our public spaces it is inevitable that we will see an increase in 'unpleasant' situations between dog and humans. We must stop playing the blame game and become ambassadors for our dogs as those affected by BSL have already realized. In the end it doesn't matter that the man didn't know not to pet the dog over his head, the kid wasn't taught to ask first or the lady didn't have her dog on a short enough leash. What matters is an increase in dog related conflicts (no matter whose fault) will result in a rash of headlines in the local papers and the public and politicans will jump on it. The result may very well be strict regulations on dogs in public if not an out right ban. When it comes to the blame game, dogs are never going to win, just ask a Pitty owner.