It’s hard to imagine that here in the U.S. a benchmark for thoughtful parenting could ever become how well someone has prepared their child to be shot at. But sales of bulletproof backpacks have skyrocketed in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
According to a report from The Cut, Yasir Sheikh, the president of Florida-based Guard Dog Security, which has been manufacturing bulletproof backpacks since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, says that, since he started manufacturing the backpacks, business has been pretty consistent. In the wake of school shootings, he says, sales inevitably increase. While Sheikh refused to share specific figures relating to the exact increase in sales, Joe Curran, owner of Bullet Blocker, a different company that sells bulletproof backpacks wasn’t as shy. Curran told TMZ that Bullet Blocker has seen a 30 percent spike in sales after the shooting.
Far more expensive than standard school bags, the backpacks from Bullet Blocker and Guard Dog can cost as much as $500. They come in a variety of colors and, of course, feature a number of security protocols. Bullet Blocker backpacks are made of Kevlar. The Guard Dog bags are made from a polyethylene material. Per The Cut, the latter protects “against a .44 magnum and nine millimeter impact.”
While the idea of bulletproof backpacks is jarring in and of itself, it’s only the beginning. Other entrepreneurs have begun selling the idea of ‘bulletproof classrooms.” In an interview with 11 Alive, Michael Yoiro, president of school security firm SSI Guardian, said that he wants to give schools the means to protect students from an active shooter. This comes in the form of emergency deadbolts and shades that blackout all classrooms the classrooms. As well as tools that make it easier to hide, Yorio says that first aid kits meant to stop severe bleeding are necessary as well. Up till now, Yorio has given away six of these classrooms to schools in Atlanta. Normally, the entire set up can cost around $25,000.
So will all school supplies and classrooms seem as though they were issued by the army instead of the Department of Education? So long as school shootings continue it seems that a Kevlar-reinforced backpack presents the closest thing some have for piece of mind.