$199; Bullet BlockerIn 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