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January 2, 2013

Sandy Hook Ongoing: Bullet Proof Backpacks

Bullet Blocker
Going by the visuals, the Connecticut shooting has drawn as much attention to “homeroom defense” as it has to the sources of gun violence and gun control. What I can’t tell is how much that’s a natural response to the Sandy Hook horror and how much it’s an effect of the NRA’s proposal to change the subject place armed guards in schools.It reminds me, though, of the concrete thinking following 9/11 and the shoe bomber episode when huge resources went into airport security and body scanners. If comparing the production of bulletproof backpacks to the mega – investment in airport x-ray technology is ludicrous, both speak to how easy it is to become distracted from the roots of the problem.

As for the photo, we see the daughter of the manufacturer of the backpacks modeling their use in her backyard in Massachusetts. Call it a marketing bonus that the backyard of Bullet Blocker’s owner is so reminiscent of the woods around the school in Newtown. So, I’m guessing you need enough time to swing the pack around and then count your lucky stars if the psycho only sprays you with automatic weapon fire below the knees?  …And then (thinking about those scanners again), check out the caption to see how much one of those little items is going to set you back.

(photo: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters caption: Amanda Curran, 18, daughter of Bullet Blocker inventor Joe Curran, demonstrates how to use a child’s bulletproof backpack in the event of a shooting, outside Curran’s home in Billerica, Massachusetts December 19, 2012. The child’s bulletproof backpacks range in cost from $250 to $600, depending on the size of the backpack. According to Bullet Blocker Vice President of Business Operations Elmar Uy, their products stop 99.9% of bullets from all handguns.)

  • black_dog_barking

    Fixing our gun problem ain’t gonna be easy, especially since any solution involves convincing a significant portion of the population that we even have a gun problem. Even after Sandy Hook.

    A great place to start is to require that gun owners have liability insurance on their firearms, enough to cover the costs imposed on the country by guns. I have no idea what the cost of this insurance may be but if they can argue that every school child needs a $400 backpack as a consequence of ubiquitous gun ownership then they agree that this cost is not trivial.

    As for the image, I think it captures the NRA attitude of facing their problem by hiding their heads and giving up awareness of the world around them. Get little missy in a swimsuit and you have their next campaign.

    • John Georghiou

      Fists and Feet kill more annually than firearms. 1.9 million crimes were prevented in 2011 by gun owners; without them, the crime rate would more than double. Go get facts from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, not your fellow liberals’ Facebook pages.

  • Dave McLane

    According to my experience, I don’t think trying to convince significant portion of the population of anything is going to work. As the only nothing is certain but death and taxes. Thus the gun problem doesn’t happen equally across the country.

    I say that because I suspect — but don’t have much hard data — the gun problem, especially in school massacres, doesn’t happen often in more or less rural communities where guns are just one the tools that people in such places need to have at hand. Here are too reports on Wikipedia showing school shootings, but don’t say what kind/size of community the schools are in:

  • bks3bks

    Gun owners are a bit of a problem, but slimy businessmen who capitalize on terrified parents to sell their crappy products should be shot.


  • LanceThruster

    Any of our own personal safety measures is merely to add one more level of protection along the lines of ‘being prepared.’ I’m wondering if statistically, it would make more sense to travel in the proximity of a lightning rod for safety. I rode on a work shuttle with a woman and her young (8-10) blond daughter in front of me (she reminded me so much of recent gun violence victim Emilie Parker, age 6). I imagine post-Newtown, she was assessing threat levels of those around her (students, co-workers, etc.). She sat on the aisle with her daughter against the window. No one can fault her reasonable caution, but my intitial thought was that we were more likely to be hit by another vehicle than involved in a shooting incident making the prudent placement of her daughter in the aisle seat.

    It’s extremely difficult to protect oneself from a sucker punch except in the most controlled situations.

  • Bruce


  • Pingback: The Back Pack Attack « Stand Up Clark County

  • Robert Trombetta

    What a load of shit. I’ll get concerned about that when someone kills twenty first-graders by kicking and punching them to death in two minutes

  • j

    Prove it then. You wont believe it but dont have facts to back up your side.

  • Minor Heretic

    2011 FBI Uniform Crime Reports:

    Total murders: 12.664
    By Firearm: 8,583
    By cutting instruments: 1,694
    By fists, feet: 726
    By blunt objects: 496


    Also, most of those supposed self defense incidents were probably 1) improperly extrapolated, and 2) not defensive. See:

    But more to the point: When our children need to cower behind bullet proof backpacks we can consider ourselves a failed state. That kid trying to hide behind an undersized object would be cartoonishly funny if it wasn’t so utterly tragic.

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