I kind of get the same rap with Chief, our German Shepherd puppy. There's a woman that won't even step foot into our store just because she knows there's a german shepherd in here. He's behind a secure counter and he usually just relaxes in his crate anyways.
When I was fostering kittens, there was a poster on an elevator door saying that close to 80% of dog attacks are NOT by pit bulls.
It's all in how you raise them.
I know a woman when I worked in a kennel who has a pit bull, and she's just the sweetest thing, yet there were labs and goldens that were biters and we had to be extra cautious.
I've been bitten by dogs, one was by my own lab, another was by a border collie, and another was by a rottie mix (but that was my fault because I put my hand in the way before she went after a cat.)
It's all how you raise the dog. You could have the #1 dog in america (lab) and train it to bite and everything.
Pit bulls get a bad rap for careless owners who don't bother training them the proper way, or who see them as a way to make money.
I find this to be an interesting article by Cesar Millan. http://cesarmillaninc.com/features/factspitbulls.php
And if you've seen episodes of Cesar, you know that he has rehabilitated dog aggressive dogs, and has a bunch of pit bulls that were as he calls them "red zone cases" and they are now happily living with other dogs and people can come in there.
Don't judge the breed by the news.
I remember reading about a golden retriever who killed a child, but they don't have a bad rap.
Harlee is right about the horses.
"There isn't any bad horses just bad horsemen."
If we are all horsemen and horsewomen here, we should really understand this.
Just my 2 cents