Sales of Bullet-Proof Backpacks for Children Soar in Wake of Sandy Hook Shootings

Heartbreaking 11

Bullet Proof Back Backs
$199; Bullet Blocker
In the wake of the horrific Sandy Hook shooting last week in Connecticut, people's responses have varied. From deep profound sadness to outrage to a fierce need to take action, our nation has been shaken in so many ways. For some parents, the reaction is to protect their children at all costs, which for some means sending their kids off with bullet-proof backpacks.

According to ABC, sales of the protective packs have soared since last Friday. Bullet Blocker, a Massachusetts company that makes the typical-looking backpacks with a hidden layer of body armor, says orders started rushing in as soon as news of the shooting broke. The backpacks are meant to be used as shields should a child be in a situation in which gunfire breaks out. Of course, your child has to have his backpack for it to work, so it's not going to help when he's at lunch or sitting at his desk without it. But it's something.

The company's COO said, "When word gets out there is an option, not a complete solution, to protect their kids, parents go and seek it."

I understand. God, do I understand how badly I want to protect my children and how helpless this whole thing has made me feel. But these backpacks ... I want to cry at the very thought of them.

I don't fault anyone for buying one. There's a part of me that would love to send them in full body armor, but I simply could not buy one of these backpacks for my children. I think I would rather we take our chances than to make them live like that. I just can't imagine explaining to my 9-year-old son that this is something I think he needs. Yes, schools may have drills to deal with shootings, and it never hurts to be prepared, but to me this just makes the possibility too real for them and for us.

And yes, it is real. We've seen too many examples to believe that it's not, but there's a big part of me that needs to bury my head in the proverbial sand at least a little. I have to focus on the statistics that say most children are safe at school. I have to reassure my children that they will be okay and try to make myself believe it too. A bullet-proof backpack just destroys that.

This situation has taught me more than ever to never say never because I NEVER could have imagined someone doing something this heartless, this evil. So I can't say with final certainty that I won't ever seek out something like this for my children.

But for now, I want to believe that they're safer than I feel like they are. That our children don't have to go to school as soldiers go to war. That we will make changes in this nation to stop something like this from ever happening again. Because if I don't, then I couldn't possibly let them walk out that door with or without a backpack.

Would you buy a bullet-proof backpack for your children?


Image via Bullet Blocker

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Karma Grant

And of course someone/some company is going to profit off this. That's just sickening. In most cases of school shootings these backpacks would have been nowhere near the children being shot. They'd have been tucked away in a locker. Protecting our kids is one thing. Profiting off the chance (and a very small chance at that) of protecting our kids is sick.

Sierr... SierraLynn

No, I wouldn't buy one. If I'm going tobgo to these kinds of extreme measures to think my kids are safe, I'd lock them in the house and forbid any humans contact besides my self or their dad.

It's rediculous.

I wonder how heavy they are?

PonyC... PonyChaser

We can discuss this, but we can't discuss arming the teachers and principals?  You're right. These backpacks will do nothing if the shooting takes place when the packs are in the lockers.

If we want to truly protect our children, we need to think about making sure that they are truly defended. A bullet-proof backpack does nothing in a locker. A well-trained and armed teacher will stop a gunman in his tracks.

the4m... the4mutts

@Karma Grant- These have been around for years. Right around the time of Columbine I believe. This isn't marketing geared towards this specific tragedy.

And of course someone profits! Hell, 2nd ammendment sports in bakersfield,ca profitted off me just a few days ago, when I bought my 9mm. Making money isn't a crime, or detestable.

I do, in fact, want these for my kids. Since people DON'T want to arm teachers, or hire armed guards, yes, I want something. Anything. At the very least I can get my kids into a routine of having it on them durring lunch (our schools don't require them to be left in the class) and to never put it in a locker. Even if its on their chair in class, they can hide behind it.

Any measure is better than NONE.

All our kids should know about the evil in the world, and know that we want them protected as best as we can protect them

PonyC... PonyChaser

Mutts, once again, you make a good point. SOME armor is better than none. Although (injecting some humor) I don't know that my son would need one of these. He's got so much CRAP in his backpack already, I don't think a bullet can pass thru it! ...hmmm...wonder if I can market that?

Mary Cimino

I have one and love it. Mainly because I've had it for almost 4 years and it's just starting to wear out on me. I used to live inDetroit MI in a very bad area. I rode a bike everywhere too an to make my mother happy I bought one just in case. They can get heavy but I bought a lighter one.

the4m... the4mutts

@ponychaser - hahahaa that's great! I look at my kids in their backpacks, and wonder if they could even handle a bullet proof one. They already look like they're going to fall over ;)

dekumama dekumama

I'd get one in a heartbeat if they weren't so expensive. I think its a great idea. 

amnew... amnewlon8982

I have said this several times over the past week and I will say it again. My daughter's elementary school has an armed constable deputy on campus all day, every day. He has direct contact with the school staff as well as the Sheriff's Office dispatchers. I spent 11 years in law enforcement and now I am teaching pre-k. Having seen issues on both sides, I DO NOT, under any circumstances, want my child's teacher being armed in her classroom. Teachers are teachers, not police officers and I am not sure I want a teacher who I know has only had most likely minimal firearms training bringing a firearm into the classroom. There are larger issues that need to be addressed such as the mentally ill not receiving proper treatment. Where we live, when a person who is mentally ill has an episode where they try to harm themselves or someone else, the hospitals can only have mental health professional evaluate them. If they cannot prove the individual to be a threat, then the person is released with a prescription that they either cannot afford or they will refuse to take. The hospital has to advise them to seek followup treatment but there is no guarantee that it will happen. If the person is determined to be a threat, then they hold them for 72 hours and have to find an inpatient facility for them to go to.

amnew... amnewlon8982

If they cannot find a facility, they may be stabilized and released to a family member who has had no training on how to deal with the mentally ill. We need better systems in place for those that need mental health assistance. Can anyone honestly tell me for a fact that all of your children's teachers and school staff are mentally sound? I am a teacher and honestly, I know all my coworkers pretty well and there are some I would not trust with a firearm. Just as most teachers will, I would gladly take a bullet to protect my kids (both my biological kids and those in my class). Every school district needs a district police force staffed with armed officers and depending on the size of the school, there needs to be one or more at each school. The children also need to be educated on how to survive active shooter incidents as well as a building fire. Honestly, I hoped I would never have to teach my 7 year old daughter how to handle an active shooter, but she has been educated at home as well as at school.

And on another note, like I said, most of us teachers would gladly take a bullet for your children, so please do not forget to tell your child's teacher that you appreciate them because we truly love your kids like they're our own. Also, sit your kids down and go over what they are supposed to do in case of an emergency and make sure their school has a plan in place to protect your blessings.

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