Bulletproof Blankets Are Here: Would You Put One in Your Kid's Backpack?
by Jeanne Sager
All right Mom, what did you pack in your child's backpack this morning before sending them off to school? Some pencils? Maybe a folder or two? How about a bulletproof blanket?
Yes, they're a real thing, and what's more, the Bodyguard Blanket is made just for kids, complete with "incredibly strong materials [to] catch and deform the bullet."
Sounds ... terrifying.
Which is exactly the message you're sending your kids if you're buying them a bulletproof blanket to take to school. That they aren't safe. That life is uncertain.
At times, it may feel that way, but that's the last thing experts want us imparting to our kids. After the Newtown shooting, they all told us we need to reassure our kids, to tell them things were going to be all right -- not to scare them more.
Even though we're scared, we need to act rationally; our kids depend on it.
The Bodyguard was invented by a dad who was horrified by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting -- as we all were. His website urges parents to buy because -- he says -- school shootings are on the rise and, "Our children, who attend pre-school to 12th grade and college, as well as thousands of dedicated teachers, continue to be at risk from these attacks while at school each day."
With fear-mongering comments like that, how can you not want to pony up ... or urge your local school district to put in a bulk order (prices go down if you order a ton)?
Well, consider this: when the Pew Research Center actually looked at gun violence rates in America last spring -- months AFTER Sandy Hook -- they found gun-related homicides and crime are actually DOWN "strikingly" over rates 20 years prior. And according to CDC statistics, during the 2009-2010 school year, the odds of a student (age 5-18) being the victim of a school-associated homicide was one in 2.5 million. In comparison, the odds of a 5- to 19-year-old being killed in a motor vehicle accident in 2010 were 1 in 16,000.
If we really want to protect our kids, we don't need to buy them bulletproof blankets.
We need to keep them out of cars and buses.
But that's a whole other kettle of fish ...
Would you get your kids a "bodyguard blanket"? What do you think it would do to them?
Image via Bodyguard Blanket