With each additional school shooting America renews the discussion about how to prevent these kinds of atrocities from happening. The one-dimensional, anti-gun simply left ups the volume on gun control, and the 2nd Amendment defenders point to a spectrum of other issues such as identifying and treating mental health issues, the current culture of narcissism, immorality, violence and lack of respect for human life, improving law enforcement, increasing administrative consequences for bad behavior in schools, adding more armed school security, and removing the insane “gun free zone” around every school in America that disarms school staff that may otherwise be able to protect the students in the event of an active shooter event.
Unfortunately, we can’t address this subject without mentioning the response time of the police. We have respect and appreciation for law enforcement, however, they simply CAN’T prevent these mass shootings. In fact, protecting people is not really their job as has been established by the Supreme Court. So, unfortunately, as we have learned time and time again, when seconds matter, the cops are only minutes away, or in the case of the shooting in Parkland Florida, the cops are right outside cowering while your kids are being murdered. (This is not a jab at all law enforcement, but yes, shame on those who could have helped the defenseless and chose not to.)
So, with all that on the table, are you willing to wait for politicians to come up with a solution while you kid sits defenseless in a classroom with potential psychotic mass murderers? As those long-term political debates go on, the root causes of these school shootings continue to fester. More mass shooting events will inevitably happen.
Let’s run down the list of more memorable shootings just to jar your memory and put this in context:
|Stoneman Douglas High School shooting||2018||17|
|Las Vegas shooting||2017||59 (including the perpetrator)|
|Sutherland Springs church shooting||2017||27 (including the perpetrator)|
|Orlando nightclub shooting||2016||50 (including the perpetrator)|
|San Bernardino attack||2015||16 (including both perpetrators)|
|Umpqua Community College shooting||2015||10 (including the perpetrator)|
|Washington Navy Yard shooting||2013||13 (including the perpetrator)|
|Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting||2012||28 (including the perpetrator)|
|Binghamton shootings||2009||14 (including the perpetrator)|
|Fort Hood shooting||2009||13|
|Geneva County massacre||2009||11 (including the perpetrator)|
|Virginia Tech shooting||2007||33 (including the perpetrator)|
|Red Lake shootings||2005||10 (including the perpetrator)|
|Atlanta shootings||1999||10 (including the perpetrator)|
|Columbine High School massacre||1999||15 (including both perpetrators)|
|Luby’s shooting||1991||24 (including the perpetrator)|
|GMAC shootings||1990||10 (including the perpetrator)|
|Edmond post office shooting||1986||15 (including the perpetrator)|
|San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre||1984||22 (including the perpetrator)|
|University of Texas tower shooting||1966||18 (including the perpetrator)|
Notice also that many of the above shootings did not take place in a school. While we present much of our post as being for school kids, there are many varieties of ballistic protection on the market, and can be obviously worn by adults as well.
So, how to protect yourself when you can’t be armed, and nobody is there to protect you? Well, having something to shield you from a bullet is a great start. A bullet proof vest is great protection, but is expensive, custom fit, uncomfortable, heavy and hot. In addition, it’s very noticeable. People are going to notice you are wearing a 3/4″ thick vest. You may not want that kind of attention, and people may even consider you a threat. In warm weather there would be no way to disguise it. On top of that, a child could not be expected to wear body armor in a school all day every day, even if the administration allowed it, which is highly unlikely. Fortunately, a backpack can be worn almost anywhere and look normal, especially in a school. In addition, the weight of the ballistic material is easily carried in the backpack. So, a backpack with ballistic protection does seem like the best realistic alternative to your child hiding behind their textbook, or coach…
So what are the details?
First, if you are in the market for ballistic protection, educate yourself on the levels of ballistic protection. We aren’t getting into that detail in this post but if you want to know more, we offer a few links and other ideas on a previous post HERE. Or you can just reference the table below:
Suffice it to say there are varying levels of protection that are rated to stop varying types of bullets. Level IIIa armor would protect from handgun rounds, but an upgrade to Level III would be required to stop the rifle rounds commonly used in these mass shootings. However, if your kid happens to have a textbook in their backpack, that plus the Level IIIa armor may be effective against a rifle round.
There are two basic routes you can go to armor-up your kids backpack. Buy one with built-in protection, or buy insert plates at whatever level you want. Pictured below is an insert:
Pictured below is an example of an integrated Level IIIa armored backpack:
The Guard Dog ProShield 2 Backpack Features
- Official NIJ Level III A Certified for bulletproof protection, certificate included
- Tested and certified against .44 magnum and .9 millimeters
- Built-in auxiliary port
- Enhanced comfort padding
- Sturdy reinforced handle
- Stronger padding with added stitchings
- Built in auxiliary out port from backpack strap
- Outer pocket for phones, and other personal items
- 20 + organizational panels
- Dimensions: 14 x 11 x 20.5 inches
- Weight: 3.1lbs
As you can see these are lightweight (~3lbs) and practical solutions to the ballistic defense problem. They take no fine muscle action or training to deploy, are easy to carry at all times, and are something the kids can actually be counted on to have with them if the need something to hide behind in an emergency. If your child is forced to “shelter-in-place” they have something to hide behind. If they are forced to run, they have something covering their back while they flee.
There also are many other ballistic options available for business professionals and anyone else HERE.
Keep in mind that most of the solutions available off the shelf at not going to stop a rifle round. That (Level III and IV) is a big step up in protection, weight, size and cost. Make sure you know what you are getting.
In closing, we must reiterate, the government can’t keep us safe. The well meaning teachers, politicians, cops, and even you, the parents can’t keep your kids safe in school. Gun free zones are sitting duck zones. Crazies are roaming the streets that should be institutionalized or in some kind of treatment. In a crazy world you have to take matters into your own hands. With some of the above options, you are at least taking SOME measure of precaution against the unthinkable. If you can afford it, you should seriously consider buying some form of protection. But hey, I don’t need to tell you if you’ve already made it this far.
Stay safe and God bless.