US Schools Want Attack Dogs to Prevent Mass Shootings

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In the United States, the issue of gun control is a hot topic. In the wake of (too many) recent mass school shootings, everyone has an opinion on how to deal with this horrifying trend. Some want to impose stricter rules on firearms sales to prevent more tragedies, some argue that owning weapons is their basic civil right. Others, meanwhile, seem to think that the solution is not to deal with the issue, but instead simply put dogs in the line of fire.

In Cincinnati’s Oak Hills High School, a 14-month old Dutch Shepherd named Atticus just joined the staff. If you thought his role is to be a therapy pet for students or even a school mascot, you’re mistaken. He is a fully trained attack dog, taught how to sniff out weapons and stop an active shooter in case of a strike. His trainer, Mark Gomer, told the WCPO: “You can train a dog to be mentally unstoppable. They don’t know what a gun is for, what it can do or what a bullet is or what it is to get shot.”

The fact that a dog doesn’t know what a gun or a bullet is, doesn’t mean that they can’t be hurt by them. I can’t help but think that there were thousands of better solutions to be had instead of opting to put dogs in the line of fire, but it seems that not everybody shares that opinion. Gomer is having his hands full as he’s being approached by many school officials who want to purchase a shooting defense dog. Not all of Gomer’s canines are trained to attack- as some are wary about keeping an attack dog around children. Some dogs are simply taught how to detect weapons or illegal substances.

One could still hope that the government officials will compromise on a solution that would protect children’s lives before this idea of attack dogs in school takes root. Not only that it is not a sustainable, effective solution for this serious problem, but it can lead to new ones, too.