As August approaches, parents are already getting a head start preparing for their kids to resume classes in the fall. On the back to school shopping list are all the usual suspects: school supplies, new clothes, and bulletproof backpacks. Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. Parents are purchasing bulletproof backpacks, and they're flying off the shelves.
Manufacturers have adapted to the sad reality of our all too frequent mass shootings in schools with hardly any restrictions on gun control in the foreseeable future.
But the availability of the life-saving school gear isn't exactly calming nerves.
For $160, this backpack from Office Max could save your child's life.
So this is what back-to-school shopping has come to https://t.co/iVEEf0Tazg— September Downing (@September Downing)1532294778.0
@SeptD What retail store is this. It’s sad but would put some minds at ease untill actuall laws are changed.— Sazía Fisher (@Sazía Fisher)1532577437.0
@stockitier1 Office Max— September Downing (@September Downing)1532577685.0
Remember when backpacks were originally meant to carry all your textbooks? Things have changed in 2018.
'It's just the reality:' Parents buy bulletproof protection for school kids https://t.co/scGNdXf9pA https://t.co/XPmS8Gd3f8— WPEC CBS12 News (@WPEC CBS12 News)1532080800.0
@CBS12 It. Doesn’t. HAVE. To. Be. The. Reality.— Gail Levitt#GlovesOff (@Gail Levitt#GlovesOff)1532603946.0
@CBS12 It’s like we live in a war zone. Not ok.— PineManor_MathProf (@PineManor_MathProf)1532604609.0
@CBS12 Since when does this have to be the way back to school shopping has to be? School is supposed to be the seco… https://t.co/LzwVPLAJL7— Mahreen Qureshi (@Mahreen Qureshi)1532603977.0
The cute color is a temporary distraction from the gravity of the situation here.
These pink bulletproof backpacks for children are sold out. It’s the middle of Summer. https://t.co/Pw0L80dE0k— Susan Pai (@Susan Pai)1528479212.0
@susanpai $200?! Great so only the rich kids will live. That’s seems right. 🙄— We're watching! (@We're watching!)1532587689.0
But there are other alternatives to buying a bulletproof backpack. Bulletproof inserts are also available for purchase, but they're not much cheaper; they can still cost upwards of $125.
Alex Shkop, the shop manager for Guns and Range Training Center in West Palm Beach, suggested the dense, bulletproof insert that fits into most backpacks would be the perfect solution for parents concerned about their child's safety in schools.
Shkop told CBS 12:
Kids are basically sitting ducks, 'cause they can't leave the school. School is under lockdown, and they're sitting in the classroom like sitting ducks, so this will give them at least an extra layer of protection.
In the wake of recent school shootings such as Parkland, gun shops are selling bulletproof inserts designed to fit… https://t.co/RgpjbbXOyC— Al Pefley (@Al Pefley)1532019138.0
He demonstrated how students could protect themselves from a gun attack, with the ballistic shield being able to withstand a bullet fired from a handgun up to a .44 magnum. However, it won't stop bullets shot from a rifle.
You probably want to just get small, and kind of hold it here and hopefully cover your head if you can.
It's sad that we have to come to that, but that's just the reality,
One woman was disheartened over the discovery of the life-saving insert, not because of the product's potential, but because it was a reflection of the new normal.
You know how sad it is to open up a kid’s backpack to grab his lunch and see a bulletproof shield? He’s in PRESCHOO… https://t.co/sxqZbZuM1x— gaia • (@gaia •)1532553229.0
I don’t understand how anyone can be proud of this country when this is what we send our children to school with. 💔— gaia • (@gaia •)1532553643.0
Just to clarify: I agree and respect with the parent’s decision. It sucks that products like that have to exist. Bu… https://t.co/iPTtnkiuLB— gaia • (@gaia •)1532582248.0
Other backpack companies have opened up kiosks in local malls, vying for a consumer's patronage in exchange for assuring a child's safety.
The shopping mall here in McAllen, Texas now has a kiosk selling bulletproof clothing and accessories - including a… https://t.co/kMvwGnZhQ3— Sam Hooper (@Sam Hooper)1530670983.0
@SamHooper How the bulletproof backpack could save your kid. It's functional & works well for carrying the books re… https://t.co/bF0u1l2U5J— DiscoverDior© (@DiscoverDior©)1532595537.0
How far away are we from sending our kids off to school in uniforms like this?
@SamHooper This is going to be my first day back to school fit 😏 https://t.co/QNbfoOXCpf— AssumeeOnTwitch (@AssumeeOnTwitch)1532585068.0
It's unsettling. But it's the world we live in, sadly.
@SamHooper I swear at this point it's hard not to feel numb. It's too much to process— Alex Sosa (@Alex Sosa)1532613637.0
Are companies exploiting the culture of fear by making money?
@SamHooper @Kushoverlord Pedaling in the fear market. That’s a shame.— Luciferrin (@Luciferrin)1532625009.0
@infinitelesss @davidhogg111 So we do need Kinderguardians. Ugh. I teach prek. This shouldn't be a thing in the Uni… https://t.co/Seyd0ilWj1— Jill Peters (@Jill Peters)1532606846.0
These new products – while they can potentially save lives – just don't have us excited about going for back-to-school shopping.
@infinitelesss Where do I get one? Sigh— ThatGirlNamedJenn (@ThatGirlNamedJenn)1532631054.0