Bulletproof backpacks have been making the rounds since the Parkland shooting in February 2018, but in the wake of the mass shootings over the weekend, demand for them has grown.
With kids heading back to school soon following a horrifying spate of attacks, many parents are understandably concerned that their children could also be the victims of such an incident. In a grim development, many companies are banking on that fear by marketing “bulletproof” backpacks to shoppers.
This isn’t the first time the backpacks have been sold. This year, ArmorMe, a personal defence company run by a former Israeli commando, has started selling a more complex backpack that unfolds into a larger covering.
“The backpack is designed first of all to be a very stylish and nice-looking backpack. And it has panels that protect you against bullets. It will increase your survival chances.” said Gabi Siboni, who runs the company.
The backpacks, by various companies, tend to run upwards of $100 – but as the owner of another company, Guard Dog, says: “It could be the difference between life and death”.
ArmourMe's website describes the backpacks as:
...an affordable, durable backpack that will easily carry books and school gear – you’ll be pulling crumpled assignments, overdue library books and smashed snacks out of it for years to come!
But if the unthinkable happens, it also can be used as a shield to stop a knife, bullets from a pistol, or from other light weapons. Even in the case of heavier ammunition, the ArmorMe backpack will significantly increase survival odds.
The apparent necessity of the backpacks has not gone unnoticed by politicians, like Kamala Harris, who are horrified that parents are going to these lengths to protect their children. But as gun policy seems completely unchangeable, it’s starting to seem like the only hope to give parents peace of mind.
The bullet-resistant backpacks are widely available, with Walmart ironically selling them as well as firearms and ammunition.