Following the two mass shooting over the weekend in the United States, parents across America are are seeking out bullet-proof backpacks for their children.
These backpacks aren’t anything new, backpacks that boast protection from bullets have been available for some time now and are sold at several popular US stores.
According to CNN, there have already been 22 school shootings in 2019 in the US, which have resulted in injury or death.
But former New York Police Department commissioner William Bratton has warned parents the backpacks may not be particularly useful up against the guns most commonly used in school shootings.
“These backpacks would not, under any circumstances stand up against the assault rifles so often used in school shootings,” Mr Bratton told CNBC.
He also suggested a child may not utilise the backpack in the most protective way in the instance of a school shooting.
The backpacks retail anywhere from AU$178 to AU$447, and according to one company that sells bulletproof backpacks, Bullet Blocker, sales have increased 200 per cent in recent years.
When your country is willing to sell bulletproof backpacks to kids before it tries to limit gun access, you don’t live in a functioning society, you live in a war zone. pic.twitter.com/YMWx2Eha2a— Thomas Moore (@Thomas_A_Moore) August 4, 2019
“During the back-to-school season, we sell many of our products to parents, teachers and college students,” Bullet Blocker founder Joe Curran told CNBC.
According to the Bullet Blocker website, Mr Curran started the company after witnessing the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, wanting to protect his own children.
Photos of various brands of bulletproof backpacks are doing the rounds on social media, with many people expressing their dismay.
“I think 2 things when I see this picture,” one woman said while sharing a photo of the backpacks.
“1. how do we live in a world where it’s considered a reasonable solution to gun violence to armour our children to try and keep them safe
“2. how much do these bullet proof backpacks cost? I should probably get one for my 6 year-old.”
Another brand TuffyPacks launched a Disney line of bulletproof backpacks before the animation company demanded the backpacker maker halt production.
“None of these products were authorised by Disney, and we are demanding that those behind this stop using our characters or our other intellectual property to promote sales of their merchandise,” a spokesperson for Disney told Yahoo Entertainment.
The mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, is now among the most deadly mass shootings in US history, with 20 people killed and another 26 people injured.
The Walmart was busy when the 21-year-old suspect started shooting as shoppers were getting ready to go back to school.
A further nine people in Dayton, Ohio were killed less than 24 hours after the El Paso shooting, including the slain shooter’s sister.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.