Special bulletproof blankets were designed to protect children during school shootings. Developer Steve Walker was inspired to develop the Bodyguard Blanket following the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. Walker said the blankets will protect children, and their teachers, from 90 percent of weapons routinely used during school shootings.
Throughout the last 20 years, the number of school shootings has increased dramatically. In the two years following Sandy Hook, 65 children and teachers were shot in United States schools. Twenty-eight of those victims eventually died.
As stated in an analysis compiled by Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, there were 13 school shootings in the first six weeks of 2014 alone. Although the bulletproof blankets will not stop school shootings, they may reduce the number of casualties.
Steve Walker, Stan Schone, and two others, eventually formed the company ProTecht, which produces the Bodyguard Blanket. As reported by BuzzFeed, the blankets are constructed with high-density plastic, which is used to make armor for the United States military.
Walker said the bulletproof blankets provide protection against 9 mm and.22-caliber bullets, as well as 12-gauge buckshot. As they are lightweight and can be folded, the Bodyguard Blankets can be easily stored in classrooms.
According to Schone, the blankets are far more practical than a safe room. Although a common safe room would certainly save lives, Schone said the blankets would provide protection inside the classroom.
Although bulletproof blankets seem like a great idea, they are quite expensive. Each blanket costs around $1,000. As most schools have hundreds of students, the cost of protecting all students and teachers would be astronomical.
Despite the cost, Walker and Schone said the Bodyguard Blankets are a necessity.
In addition to protecting students during school shootings, the blankets are also designed to deflect sharp and heavy tornado debris. As stated on the company website, Bodyguard Blankets “can absorb approximately 490 — 660 joules of energy or 361 — 486 foot pound force.” The blankets were recently certified by the National Institute of Justice as Level llla armor.
As the number of school shootings continue to increase, parents would feel better knowing their children are provided with an additional form of protection. Unfortunately, the high cost will prevent many school districts from purchasing the bulletproof blankets.
Due to the cost, the most impoverished schools and at-risk students will probably never see the bulletproof blankets. At nearly $1,000 per vest, the additional protection will likely be limited to school districts that can afford it.
[Image via BuzzFeed]