How Can We Prevent Mass Violence and Killing?

The question has been asked on the various news programs if these mass shootings can be prevented. How can we prevent these shooters from getting weapons into public places? Guest after guest on the various news programs have said that it is not possible to screen for weapons at places like hotels and schools.

I get that such screenings would be very difficult to conduct. For example: had there been a screening machine at the main entrance to the Mandalay Bay Hotel, the shooter could have gone through that to check in, and then used a different door to smuggle in his guns. If it meant keeping people safe, myself included, I would happily submit to baggage examination even though it would be a bit of a hassle to check into hotels.

I do, however, believe there is a way this could have been prevented, at least in the case of the Mandalay Bay Shooter. My idea is this: How about we use dogs to protect our buildings? We have a large, untapped resource of dogs in our pounds and pet shelters who are capable of sniffing for weapons, ammunition, and explosives. While not all of these dogs are qualified for U.S. Military or Law Enforcement Careers because of their size, ability to adapt to heat or cold, or even athletic ability, many could be used to patrol the corridors of our corporate offices, hotels, sidewalks and other areas.

Dogs for Hotel Security

Dogs will naturally patrol their own territory. It would be relatively easy to train pound puppies to independently patrol the hallways and corridors of hotels to check for the specific scents, and to do something as simple as sit and stay when or if they encounter the scent of weaponry or bomb components. With a simple cell phone app, hotel security could monitor the dogs’ progress in patrolling the hotel floor by floor.

How the Mandalay Bay Shooter Could Have Been Stopped

In the case of the Las Vegas shooter, the hotel dogs would have caught the scent either on the person of the shooter as he carried the cases of ammo to his room, or from the hallway outside his door during the days prior to his taking action. That many guns and that much ammo would surely have been noticed by a trained dog.

Changes to Hotel Security Policy

What if each guest was required to declare their personal protection firearm? Responsible gun owners who legitimately and legally carry weapons for personal protection would not bat an eye at this. What if a hotel allowed only one handgun and limited amounts of bullets into the hotel with the only exceptions being law enforcement officers and government security officials? If each hotel guest was required to sign a form agreeing to this policy, violations could be used as probable cause for security checks. Dogs can be trained to recognize the difference between a strong smell and a slight smell. When a dog hits on a strong scent of explosives or ammunition, hotel security could check the room, or notify the police and they could check the room.

A Simple Sign Posted on Every Entrance to Hotels

This Hotel Uses Bomb and Explosive Sniffing Dogs.

This Hotel Uses Dogs to Sniff out Weapons and Explosives

Dear Guest: You are hereby notified that we use trained dogs to check this hotel for explosives and firearms and excessive amounts of ammunition. When you register for a room, you are notified of this policy. Anyone in violation of our firearm policy will have their room checked by security staff or law enforcement in order to ensure the safety of our guests, staff, and the community around us. If you violate our gun policies, or fail to declare your hand gun, our dogs will know and your room will be searched by hotel security, law enforcement, or both. With or without your cooperation. 

What Types of Dogs Have the Ability to Do This Work?

Many dogs who are not qualified for military or police work because of athletic ability or size could be

This rescue puppy was found badly beaten and abused, skeletal, near death. This photo was taken after two weeks of nourishment and wound care. His name is Tucker, and he is now coming up on two years of age. He is extremely intelligent and loyal. I am not a dog trainer, but even with my lack of knowledge, he has learned to interpret my miss-guided commands and respond with consistency.

utilized to do this type of work. Dachshunds, those cute little wiener dogs we all know and love have incredible sense of smell. I personally own a mongrel rescue dog who is part dachshund. He is about 12 inches tall and long in the loin. He is deep in the chest and has the lung capacity and athletic ability to walk or trot several miles a day.

With absolutely no training at all, he naturally tracks the scents of his toys, the cats, and anything else he wants to find. When he was a puppy, I would hide his annoying squeaky toys while he was sleeping. When he would wake up, he would usually find them within about 15 minutes, even if I put them in a drawer or cupboard. When thieves broke into my father’s property and stole various items such as antiques and tools totaling roughly $30,000, I decided to see if he could track the thieves from a box they had dropped on my father’s porch. Again with no training, this year-old puppy methodically sniffed the box, compared scents, and then drug his nose off the box, onto the ground and proceeded to lead me virtually everywhere the thief had been on the property, including the place where they entered and exited the property.

The Value of Mongrel Dogs

Mongrel, or cross-bred dogs often exhibit a high degree of intelligence. It is my opinion that they are able to, at will, call on the innate intelligence of each breed of dog that courses through their veins instead of just one breed as is the case of registered pure-bred dogs. I believe that mongrel dogs are more disease resistant, and depending on their mix, are more cold and heat tolerant than other dogs.

Training Rescue Dogs

When I put this idea to my friend, Kristie, her first questions was, “Do you think pound puppies would be trainable?” This is a reasonable question. Any dog coming out of a pound, or rescue situation is going to have a few issues. However, when one of these dogs bonds with someone, they have a very high degree of loyalty, and are highly motivated to please and protect. Yes, they would have to go through some socialization training, but the biggest challenge would be in living with them on a daily basis. For example, my rescue dog follows a wide variety of commands beautifully, but he is an excessive chewer. One of his favorite bonding activities is to sit beside me, take my hand out of my lap, put it in his lap, and proceed to chew and lick my wrist and hand. He usually does this each night before he is ready to settle down for the night. Over time I have convinced him to substitute my hand with a small stuffed toy, but I have come to realize that this is a part of him, and probably caused by being taken from his mother way too soon. Sort of like a baby sucking his or her thumb. Other idiosyncrasies might be hypervigilance, or habits that are simply annoying to the handler.

These things would not interfere with the dog’s on-duty performance, once properly trained. However, the handler’s sofa pillows might suffer.

Preventing Future Mass Shootings

You have just read my idea for Hotel Security Policies. I truly believe that this idea would put a stop to another shooter using a hotel as a staging area for committing mass murder. I also think that every school should use dogs for this purpose as well. Same or similar policy. If the dog “pings” on your locker or belongings, it will be searched with or without your cooperation.

I am not so naïve as to believe this would prevent all future attacks, but it would make it more difficult for the perpetrators of these violent crimes.

Walking Back the Culture of Video Game Violence

When violent video games first came out, many people spoke out, saying that kids shouldn’t be allowed to play those kinds of games. Nobody listened. The sale and promotion of these violent games truly has influenced an entire society of people to take joy and entertainment in killing. Now they are trying to make video killing into an Olympic sport. I wonder, if the games were changed to take the human and animal killing out, and say, substitute a target in place of humans, would the games be popular?

Children and Privacy Rights

In the case of the recent Freeman School Shooting near Spokane, Washington, news reports revealed that this student shooter had been fixated on killing for a very long time. He studied other school shooters in depth, as well as other killers. He wrote about and drew pictures of his plans. His room at home was apparently full of this stuff.

This brings up issues of whether or not teenagers have a right to complete privacy. Now days, parents are told or believe that they should not invade their child’s privacy. I disagree. Until the child has his or her own home, they should know that mom or dad can and will have a look at their things occasionally, and if parents are concerned about something, I believe they should take a look at their child’s property and even diary. Now, this is not to advocate parental snooping for absolutely no reason except to be nosy. Parents should not abuse the parenting privilege but use it judiciously. If my kid was drawing images of killing and death, I would want to know so I could address it. And if I found something depicting that in his or her room, I would address it.

The freeman shooter was fascinated with mass killing and told investigators that other school shooters were stupid because they died. He apparently had no other reason for doing what he did except that he wanted to feel the thrill of killing real people.

Prior to the shooting, he told other students that he was going to do something that would harm other students.

Nobody reported him. Nobody called the police about his statements. Nobody told on him.

Violent Video Games, Adults Who Bully, People Who Revel in the Pain and Destruction of Others

I feel that violent video games that simulate killing humans or animals should not be on the market. I feel that adults have the responsibility to teach their children to respect life, be it human or animal. When kids see adults bullying other adults, or democrats reveling in the death of republicans, this influences and perpetuates a culture of violence, as in the case of the CBS executive who posted her joy at the deaths and wounds of the Las Vegas Victims because they liked country music, and because of that one fact, they were, in her words, “republican gun-toters”, they deserved to die.  But the fact that she felt joy and excitement, reveling in the death and human suffering, publicly or not, is what I find incomprehensible.

Just look at the mass hysteria caused by the Democratic Resistance Protesters: Mass violence because the perpetrators didn’t like the newly elected president, and people like Hillary telling them to continue to resist. In my mind there is a huge difference between resisting and committing mass violence. And I was very disappointed that Hillary did not come out with a public service announcement asking them to stop the violence and destruction. People would have listened to her. It was an opportunity for her to shine, and she totally missed it. And I feel like she did not want to stop the violence. When our kids and others watch this type of violence being justified by those with power and influence, it works to create a culture of violence. If you don’t get your way at home, you begin to beat your mother or father. If you don’t get your way at work, you smash all the windows, if you don’t like the outcome of an election, you burn and pillage your communities and neighbors businesses. Really?

And the fact that Hillary, over her morning coffee or tea or whatever, seemed ghoulishly pleased at the shooting because it gave her a reason to further attack the Republican Party, was completely socially unacceptable. I can vividly imagine her smiling as she wrote those words.

What Are Your Thoughts on Preventing Future Mass Violence or Killings?

You don’t have to hold the same views as me, but I do ask that comments be written politely. No hate speech. No cuss words, and please keep comments to problem solving or problem defining. Do feel free to talk about what you believe is the solution, what you feel is causing the problems we face, and ideas for preventing future acts of mass violence and mass killings.

Author’s Note: I was extremely nervous while writing this article. I worry that someone might actually kill me, burn down my house, or try to run me off the road for writing this piece. I hope and pray that doesn’t happen. It is my intention to bring people together in a way that helps to solve problems and create understanding, one person to another. I welcome all comments and viewpoints as long as they are within the rules I have stated on the “In The News” page where the link to this article is located.

Won’t you join me in forming healthy and productive dialogue about our current events?


Nancy Owens

Owner, 1 Practical Blog

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