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A Solution to Mass Shootings?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus

This is directed at everyone, but in particular all the movers and shakers out there who can make things happen.  Instead of allowing the news media and politicians to control the dialogue about gun control and the prevention of mass shootings, it’s time ‘we the people’ find a solution that protects the innocent, yet respects and does not infringe on the Constitutional rights of responsible gun owners in America.  With that in mind here is my solution to the problem of school as well as possibly some workplace mass shootings.

In my mind part of the answer is really pretty simple.  Trained Sentry/Security Dogs and Armed Dog Handlers working together as a team to secure a property or facility.  The Dog Handler will actually be serving as a backup to the dog, and working together in tandem they could very well prevent the vast majority of school shootings, as well as possibly being applicable to other campus-type workplace environments.

All people have a visceral fear of being attacked by vicious dogs.  People try hard to avoid contact with a vicious dog if at all possible.  They’ll cross a street if they have to if they see or even hear a growling, threatening canine up ahead.  Simply knowing that a school or campus is patrolled by a team or teams of “attack dogs” will be a huge deterrent.

Posting signs at all entrances to school or work campuses advising everyone that trained dogs and armed handlers are present will prevent 99.9% of people with evil intent from even trying to enter that property.  They just won’t try it, they don’t want to deal with a vicious dog.  They’ll just leave.

These animals are called “Fur Missiles” for a reason. They are fast as lightning and capable of taking down someone much larger, and staying on and controlling them until called off by the Dog Handler.

Can they be shot? Sure, if the shooter is very fast and very good. But the odds are in the dog’s favor. And this is why you also have an armed and trained handler serving as the dog’s backup. If the dog is injured or taken out, the Handler will have time to respond and deal with the emergency.

The Dog Team(s) should be integrated into the community and school environment as part of the “faculty or staff.” They can put on regular presentations for the school, and also for the Parent-Teacher Organizations to allay fears anyone may have about their children being in close contact with one of these dog teams.

Educate everyone on how well trained the dogs are, and what they are capable of, and assure worried parents or administrators concerned about potential lawsuits that the dogs remain muzzled until they are deployed in an emergency situation. And show how the dogs and handlers can become an integral part of the school community, contributing more than just “security.”

The second part of this is employing properly vetted military veterans as Dog Handlers.  This provides excellent opportunities for returning veterans looking for a new start in life in a challenging and important position. Being able to continue to serve and continuing to give something back to their community.

Veterans have experience, particularly under stress.  Veterans have maturity. Veterans possess leadership skills.  Veterans are experienced with handling weapons and making quick decisions and showing good judgment in dangerous situations. In every instance veterans can contribute in a positive way to the school and the educational or work environment.

Dog Handler teams would need to be paid a competitive wage compared to other faculty/staff members.  They need to feel that as a professional themselves their presence has value as much as any other teacher or administrator.

It takes time to train up dogs and handlers, which is why this program needs to start up rapidly.  The sooner schools or employers can commit to this type of program the sooner Dog Teams can be hired and begin training.  There’s so much more that goes into this, but this is the gist of what needs to be done.

Nothing is 100 percent guaranteed to stop some depraved individual from trying to harm others.  And they can find many other ways to carry out their plans.  But having trained professional Dog Teams patrolling your school or workplace can go a long way towards reducing or even eliminating these mass shootings.

I encourage everyone to talk this up and get involved, we need to gain traction and start moving!  The politicians and the news media certainly aren’t going to come up with any solutions.

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