A Transportation Security Administration agent with a bomb-sniffing dog at Reagan National Airport in 2015 in Arlington. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

The Sept. 6 editorial “Rolling back gun availability” was right on the mark. Walmart has acted courageously in curtailing ammunition and handgun sales. However, I wonder whether “requesting” gun-carrying customers to leave their weapons out of the stores will work. Methinks metal detectors, much like those at airports and courthouses, may be the next sad, but necessary, step. Of course, it will inconvenience customers a bit and cost firms money. But I wonder if we have reached that point in our society. Some school districts have already installed metal detectors. Ditto for many venues, including sports stadiums. Are these the “new normal” expectations we need in this current climate? A new low point, isn’t it?

Bruce D. Phillips, Fairfax

The Sept. 4 front-page article “ ‘You understand that you might have to shoot a student?’ ” highlighted the heartbreaking choices faced by caring school administrators and teachers. But how was it concluded that guns are the best protection? Shooting must be stopped by shooting?

What if schools deployed trained dog patrols?

Dogs could stop the shooting before it starts. Dogs could sniff traces of explosives and find guns while still inside backpacks. Dogs could disarm potential shooters without endangering any lives. Trained dogs — in patrol vests — would be a reassuring sight greeting students and monitoring hallways and grounds. Trained dogs could make schools safe without putting the burden on teachers to be willing to shoot students and each other.

Please, with dogs we could dial back the violence, save student lives and get troubled, would-be shooters into mental hospitals rather than the morgue.

Isn’t it at least worth giving dogs a try?

Janet Dunkelberger, Arlington

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