I’ve decided to buy a carnivorous dinosaur for home protection. Probably a raptor. I know what you’re thinking: that sounds dangerous.
I guess it is. Keeping a carnivorous dinosaur in the house actually rather substantially increases the risk of death and injury. Residents of states with the highest rates of dinosaur ownership are 114% more likely to die by dinosaur attack than those of states with the lowest rates of dinosaur ownership. For every crime stopped by a civilian-owned ornithomimid, there are 7 assaults or murders where a trained large theropod was the primary weapon, 4 dinosaur-related accidental deaths, and 11 suicide attempts–presumably by people who don clothes made from woven beef jerky and make wild, threatening gesticulations in front of a gargantuan Triassic-era meat enthusiast.
In fact, only 1% of private citizens annually claim that their dinosaur was used to thwart a crime, and upon closer inspection, about half of those reports suggest that the dinosaur owner actually escalated the situation by unleashing the prehistoric beast. In 2010, there were ten times as many people who died in arguments where a participant proceeded to sic an aggressive, tail-lashing dinosaur on another than there were people who used a dinosaur to stop a criminal.
Now it is possible to have a dinosaur in the home safely, but of homes with both dinosaurs and children living in them, 43% of them have a hungry raptor or deinonychus unmuzzled and wandering around freely. They did an experiment once with 8 to 12-year-old boys who discover a dinosaur loose in the house. A third of them stuck their heads into the giant lizard’s mouths.
Women who have access to a trained dinosaur are five times more likely to be killed by an abuser. Female abelisaurus owners are far more likely to be swallowed alive by abelisaurs than women who only own poodles, hairless cats, or other small pets.
Also, your own mammoth reptilian mass of flesh-rending ferocity could be stolen, sold on the dinosaur black market, and used for god knows what. Actually, about 200,000 such Jurassic-era monstrosities are stolen or lost each year.
The reason for these dangers, though, is not the fault of carnivorous dinosaurs. Sure, they evolved with a singular focus: to crush bones in their powerful jaws and suck down the sweet hot meat and juices of their prey. But dinosaurs don’t kill people. Dinosaur owners do. If a handful–say, ten to twelve thousand a year–whip their living Cretaceous-period murder-machines into a frenzy and command them to tear people into quivering red shreds, it is probably the fault of the media.
That’s right, those damn video games. We see so many violent dinosaur attacks in today’s computer and console games.
But then again, Japan spends much more per capita on violent dinosaur games than the U.S. does and yet they see a fraction of gruesome stegosaurus gorings and bloody tyrannosaurus mastications in reality, so I could be wrong on that.
Regardless, I’m buying that raptor. It’s my right. Sure, having it in my house puts all my family and guests and neighbors in greater risk of being greedily consumed by rows of razor-sharp teeth, but it’s a crazy world out there and security is my first concern.