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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Home Protection

I typically do not watch the cable news programs or even the local news, due to social media the major current affair events still filter through to my consciousness. The current gun debate has infringed on my awareness. I watched a young stay-at-home mother testify before Congress that she needed a high capacity assault rifle to protect her babies. I have often wondered what Mrs. Rambo was doing while hubby is out blowing up bad guys, and found the testimony enlightening.
With a light personal schedule I turned to the internet to research the claim of home safety based on heavy weaponry. Quickly I discovered that NRA sponsored federal legislation suppresses valid scientific research in America. The NRA influence is confined to the American polity and valid peer reviewed research from Canada, Australia and Europe is available. Statistically, the most likely result of possessing fire arms for protection is the harm to self or a family member.
Continuing this self assigned research project, I look for the most effective home protection method. The top answer is a dog, second is several dogs, and third is an electronic monitoring system.
All bad guys intent on a home invasion need the tactical advantage of surprise, they always ambush from the darkness. It is hard to sneak up on a dog, it is impossible to sneak up on a pack of dogs. Once the element of surprise is lost the entire effort collapses.
A friendly doggy family pet will react strongly and aggressively to a stranger in the night. A barking dog will wake you up, the dog’s bark and behavior will tell you the problem is more than some random cat outside. The bad guys now have to deal with the dog and the element of surprise can shift from them to you. The most common result is that the bad guys decide to select a softer target and leave before you can get the phone out and dial 911.
A personal example of dogs as guardian's of home and hearth, I lived south of San Marcos, Texas, and had five dogs. The Alpha dog was a large German Sheppard that had decided her domain covered several additional lots around my homestead. My neighbor across the street disliked the German Sheppard as this dog enjoyed digging in her flower garden, she complained to me often and I had to repair damage often as I was unable to correct the dog’s behavior. One dark night the entire dog pack goes postal, barking, howling, and growling, while throwing their bodies against fence and gate. I sneak outside to carefully investigate my property, expecting some terrible problem. Finding no issue in my front yard I opened the back gate to check out the backyard, in a flash the dogs were pass me and in full run across the street. Dreading a major misunderstanding I chase after them. Rounding my neighbor’s house and entering her unfenced backyard I see someone treed with my dogs leaping to tear flesh from limb. My first thought was that they had treed my neighbor, and then my neighbor stepped out of her house and told me to leave the dogs alone. I was now starting to catch up with events and noted that the individual cowered in the tree was male and very frightened. My neighbor had already called the county sheriff so we settled to wait. The individual in the tree was not going anywhere soon. When the sheriffs arrive I collared all dogs and returned them to my yard. The sheriff identified the individual in the tree as a “Peeking Tom” and a wanted person. I did not follow the legal case and so do not know what happened to the Peeking Tom, I do know he never returned to our area, and my neighbor forever after treated the German Sheppard kindly and with great favor. The German Sheppard was welcomed to her flower gardens.
I have other experiences of doggy protection and the result is always the same; once the tactical advantage of surprise is lost the bad guys change from sneak attack to full retreat. You do not need a 100 pound German Sheppard for this, a Chihuahua or a Terrier will just as quickly destroy the element of surprise. Although I do like big dogs, that deep bark is quite frightful to a stranger.
With a gun you can accidentally shoot yourself or a family member, with a dog the major danger is tripping over them in the dark. I have never understood why a dog will lay on the floor and allow you to walk into them, they see you, they know you are approaching, and they just lay there in silence. That one I don’t get.

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