You know what really got to me? The comment that 'any animal kept in a cage to prevent it from running away is not a pet' or something to effect.
Many bird owners would not agree, and what about the owners of hamsters, rabbits, mice, gerbils and rats? Most of these creatures are considered pets, and many of us started off with something of that nature. (I understand for just as many of us, these creatures are a source of sustinance for our reptiles).
What about fish? Fish are pets, and they aren't kept in aquariums because they'll run away, they need an enclosed space, wether in captivity or in nature. That was absolutely the most preposterous, ignorant and insensitive comment I have EVER read.
Now that I've ranted a little about that, I should throw in the fact, that my iguana and python do not have enclosures. They have rooms. Does that make them non-exotic? NO. I think the authors only want us to have puppies and kitties, (regulating those too, of course). No one will ever eradicate reptiles altogether as pets. Owners would just go underground, (I know I would). Many of us care for these creatures just as much as our mammalian pets; this is something that needs recognition from non-reptilian owners.
I agree that education is the single most important factor in this entire debate. Wether you own reptiles or oppose them, it's important for you to empathize with persons who keep them as companion animals.
They wouldn't want reptile owners banning cats or dogs, would they?