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‘It’s either a dog or a child’: Former Navy SEAL to critics of training K-9s to attack school shooters

Military dog barking (U.S. Air Force Photo/WikiCommons)
August 18, 2019

The internet was up in arms when a tweet about a former Navy SEAL training dogs to attack school shooters made its way onto their timelines.

NBC Washington published a story about Joshua Morton, a military veteran with K-9 tactical experience, who is breeding and training dogs that could respond to an active shooting situation at a school.

Morton trains the dogs to run toward the sound of gunfire and attack the shooter in an attempt to disable them. The veteran wants to station these dogs along with their handler in schools so that they are the first to respond to an active shooting situation.

“The active shooter K-9 team is already at the schools, so they’re responding immediately when the first shot is fired,” Morton told USA TODAY about his proposal.

When NBC Washington shared their story on Twitter, some people were critical of the idea that dogs should be sent into active shooting situations to help prevent casualties.

Although some Twitter responses said Morton had a great idea, others called it “animal cruelty” and “dog abuse.” Some thought a better idea was to enact gun control legislation.

“So, people running *from* the shooter can’t prevent themselves from dying, but a dog sent knowingly *toward* the shooter is supposed to survive whilst taking down an active shooter w/ an AR? This is animal cruelty in service to humans who refuse to simply take the (expletive) guns,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Let’s thank the brave school children and doggos who sacrifice themselves in the name of protecting a murder’s right to stockpile weapons,” wrote another.

Morton’s response: “It’s either a dog or a child… you tell me.”

The veteran went on to say K-9s wouldn’t be sent to tackle the shooter on their own. They’d have support from a handler who would be armed.

“The whole active shooter thing is a bad situation, there is no doubt about it,” Morton said. “It is horrible, but something needs to have an immediate response because if not, children are going to die.”

As far as those thinking gun control would be better than sending dogs to fight off shooters, Morton said he doesn’t believe that will happen.

“It won’t exist, there’s no such thing as true gun control,” he said. “You’re always going to have people with guns.”


© 2019 USA Today