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Yankee brainlessness

The craven tools in congress can’t get up the nerve to increase gun control so our kids won’t be as likely to be shot in school, but that just creates opportunity for capitalists. You can now buy bulletproof backpacks.

Lined with ballistic material that can stop a 9mm bullet travelling at 400 metres per second, the backpack is only one of a clutch of new products making their way into US schools in the wake of Newtown school massacre. As gun control legislation grinds to halt in Washington, a growing number of parents and teachers are taking matters into their own hands.

The Denver company that supplied Jaliyah’s rucksack, Elite Sterling Security, has sold over 300 in the last two months and received inquiries from some 2,000 families across the US. It is also in discussion with more than a dozen schools in Colorado about equipping them with ballistic safety vests, a scaled-down version of military uniforms designed to hang in classroom cupboards for children to wear in an emergency.

Parents “taking matters into their own hands” in the most selfish and stupid way imaginable. If only that effort could be focused on getting assault rifles out of the hands of self-righteous assholes…but there is no money for Elite Sterling Security in improving actual security, but there’s a lot in increasing fear.

Comments

  1. Pteryxx says

    see also, bulletproof whiteboards:

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/minnesota-school-district-introducing-bulletproof-whiteboards/story?id=19037192

    The Rocori School District in Cold Spring, Minn., recently obtained nearly 200 of the 18-by-20-inch boards to be a last line of defense in the event of a classroom shooting like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

    The district is the first in Minnesota to adopt the bulletproof whiteboards, but they’re already in use in certain schools in California, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

    According to the board’s manufacturer, it is designed to cover a head and torso, and is capable of absorbing several magazines of ammunition from a handgun or shotgun “without ricochet or injury.”

    [...]

    The boards are made from a material called dyneema by Maryland-based armor systems manufacturer Hardwire LLC, which has provided armor to U.S. military vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to law enforcement SWAT teams.

    Supplying the military, SWAT teams… and schools. Right. Makes sense. Shouldn’t the military be holding bake sales to buy bombers yet?

  2. says

    A bulletproof backpack offers about as much protection as bulletproof shoelaces in the event of an attack by someone armed with an assault rifle. But at least you can probably store bulletproof pressure-cooker bombs in these backpacks.

  3. Pteryxx says

    from the OP link:

    Abilia Security & Investigations works with schools in the Colorado Springs area to run training courses, practicing 7-10 minute drills and preparing multiple escape routes.

    “The American people have traditionally viewed the classroom as a revered sanctuary that should not be sullied by any form of negative influences either of an external or internal nature,” it says. “Regrettably the safeguards which were initially put into place to protect the sanctity of the classroom didn’t evolve with our dramatically changing society.”

    Those behind this boom in school security are adamant they are not exploiting the fear, merely filling a growing need for safety.

    AJ Zabadne, president of Elite Sterling Security, says his products should be seen as a routine precaution rather than something that would alarm children.

    “It’s like you find life jackets on ships or planes in case they go down,” he says. “It’s no different to having a seatbelt in a car.”

    Elite is the North American distributor for Michael Caballero, a Bogota-based manufacturer, who made his name (and fortune) selling bulletproof fashion jackets to customers from gun-ravaged Colombia to up-market department stories such as Harrods.

    … ‘evolving society’ … ‘routine precaution’ … and they’re totally ‘not exploiting the fear’. TOTALLY. Because treating invading brown countries armed SWAT teams school massacres as business as usual isn’t exploiting anyone! FFS.

    Of course, only the school districts and parents who can afford military-industry consumer products get to feel safe from school massacres. The ones who can barely afford textbooks, too damn bad.

  4. John Morales says

    Well, clearly, the interim solution is to get school children to wear ballistic armor (since they’re too young to carry guns) in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

     

     

     

     

    <dutiful snark tag>

  5. Ulysses says

    If only that effort could be focused on getting assault rifles out of the hands of self-righteous assholes…

    Unfortunately the NRA is much more powerful than any group of parents worried about their children. It’s quite obvious that nothing anybody says to their congresscritters is going to be more persuasive than the NRA promising to raise up a horde of gunnutz screaming about the 2nd Amendment and “gotta defend ourselves.” Especially when a good number of congresscritters would be part of that horde.

  6. anteprepro says

    You know, it could be worse. It could be gun fetishists who were marketing their “solution” to school shootings. I mean, sure, the bulletproof backpacks are ridiculous, but gun fetishists don’t believe in bulletproof. They believe the only defense against a gun is a gun. So they would propose backpacks with gun holsters, coats with a gun holsters concealed inside, a gun in every teacher’s desk and another displayed prominently atop every blackboard, ideally coming up with school equipment that also functions as guns (meterstick/rifle anyone?) and finally making sure to truly defend the school by giving every administrative office and every principle a gun that shoots other guns. Or a rocket launcher, depending on school preference. Beat that defense, Bad Guys!

  7. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    Lined with ballistic material that can stop a 9mm bullet travelling at 400 metres per second, the backpack . . .

    And how would that have helped kids being hit by .223 rounds from an assault rifle? Rounds that travel at 975m/sec? Or a headshot? Or a frontal body shot? Or any of the other myriad ways we have learned in the art of killing people? This is not to protect children. This is so that rich parents have yet another thing to brag about when trying to one-up the neighbors. Or make themselves feel like good parents by buying the latest craze for kids.

  8. anteprepro says

    And how would that have helped kids being hit by .223 rounds from an assault rifle? Rounds that travel at 975m/sec? Or a headshot? Or a frontal body shot?

    Also: leg shot, arm shot, any shot made when they are settled in the classroom because most kids don’t wear their backpack throughout the entirety of the school day lest their spines erode.

  9. gronank says

    So now, a would be school shooter with minimal imagination and tailoring skill can craft a basic bulletproof vest from back packs.

  10. bytee says

    I’m an Aussie follower of PZ’s Blog. (Hi PZ, I met you in Melbourne). In 1996 we had a really bad event here (35 dead). Our Conservative Govt at the time drafted and implemented wide ranging gun legislation within 12 weeks of that event. (This was a right wing Govt, not left wing!) It took some political bravery on their part but they did it anyway. I am a gun owner and the time, I wasn’t personally too happy about it but time has shown that the new laws are workable and everybody has relaxed. ALL semi-auto rifles and shotguns are banned including pump action, but if you need a semi-auto to hunt, then you are a really crappy marksman and shouldn’t be out in the woods anyway. There are also tough storage requirements, locked steel containers bolted to the building etc… No-one I know of has a “Permit to Carry” a handgun. Life hasn’t ended for us, we still enjoy democracy and freedom. I recommend looking at “The Daily Show, Gun Control” on Youtube 3 part series. It’s fairly factual even though it comes across as comedy. Since 1996 we’ve had NO mass shootings. Stand up to the NRA. Tell your elected reps that your vote carries as much weight as the peanut living next door who’s in the NRA. There’s 300 million of you and only 4m in the NRA. You have the power if you would only realise it and start using it. Good Luck and remember, it can be done. We proved it. Last resort if you’re a peace loving American who wants Gun Control, then emigrate to Australia,

  11. mikecline says

    Brilliant business synergy. Fox and the GOP sell fear and xenophobia, fear and xenophobia sell bullets and guns, bullets and guns sell kids’ armour and bullet proof whiteboards, genius.

  12. Shplane, Spess Alium says

    I’m not sure how much of a dipshit one needs to be to honestly think that they’re going to pull out a goddamn bullet-proof whiteboard and deflect bullets with their fucking matrix powers.

  13. raven says

    “The American people have traditionally viewed the classroom as a revered sanctuary that should not be sullied by any form of negative influences either of an external or internal nature,” it says.

    No they haven’t.

    I remember with some amusement, the duck and cover drills in grade school. We were supposed to get under our desks and protect our necks with our forearms and hands. This was in case of a nuclear attack from the evil empire of the USSR.

    We were also given a list of instructions on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack not involving our school. It was to go home and gather food, water, first aid kits, shovels, camping equipment, and so on. Then when our parents got home from work, we would all get in the car and drive on the designated evacuation routes into the mountains and live there for a few decades. Or something.

    The richer and more paranoid families didn’t have to do this. They had their own fallout shelters in the backyard and could just live in them for a few months or years.

  14. says

    Is there any way we might perhaps just produce bulletproof children instead?

    I think they’re waiting for natural selection to do that.

    Oh, wait…many of the idiots promoting an evasion of responsible gun use don’t believe in that, either.

  15. says

    What bugs me is how people’s brains get hung up on categories. Everyone seems perfectly OK with a complete ban on fully automatic weapons (“machine guns”) of any size and variety. Yet they seem incapable of recognizing that modern semi-automatic “assault weapons” are even more dangerous and should obviously and rightly fall just as far outside the protection of the 2nd Amendment as the old “Tommy guns”.

    To Shplane@14: I think the idea is more cowering behind something you know can stop you from being killed by bullets rather than any hero-fantasy matrix-style confrontation. Bad form, dude, mocking people in fear for their life and all.

  16. psweet says

    Just out of curiosity, how much would these backpacks cost? I mean, if you’ve got to have a backpack anyways, the marginal cost may be worth the incremental increase in safety.

  17. stevem says

    re bytee@12:

    So OZ is the answer, eh? But as we saw on the Daily Show, the counter-’argument’ is that Australia is a very different culture than the US, very different, not at all similar in any way. Like Oliver pointed out, Australia was a former British colony, with a wild frontier, etc. Nothing at all like America [pffft]

    enough of that. totally mind boggling the lies these gunnutz spew to protect their precious little toys, to protect themselves from the evil jackbooted government thugs who want to tyrannize the population. The paranoia is extreme; everyone is out to get them, hordes of zombies lurk round every corner, murderous psychopaths lie around every corner, and the only protection is a handy firearm. And without guns in every hand, the government will start rounding up and throwing everyone into death camps.
    just so sad

  18. Rich Woods says

    According to the board’s manufacturer, it is designed to cover a head and torso, and is capable of absorbing several magazines of ammunition from a handgun or shotgun “without ricochet or injury.”

    Yeah, I can just see a kid still holding that board up in place while the shooter fires off a full clip. I think they’re confusing twelve year olds with Captain America.

  19. chigau (違う) says

    If the kids are wearing bullet-proof backpacks and holding bullet-proof whiteboards, they will be invincible!

  20. says

    maxdevlin, private ownership of fully automatic weapons is legal under US federal law, and legal in most states. The weapons and their owners are registered, you need to go through a background check to be licensed, and there’s a 200 buck transfer tax involved in sales. There are even reportedly 11 General Electric 7.62 mm Miniguns in private hands, the Minigun being an electrically powered, 6 barrel machine gun that can fire 6 thousand rounds a minute. Not that a Minigun is much use for anyone who doesn’t have an armoured vehicle or helicopter to mount it on, or the money to buy ammo to fire one for more than a couple of seconds.

    Christopher, firearms are in fact legal in Australia. Heavily controlled, but still allowed if you jump through enough hoops. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Australia

  21. laurentweppe says

    Technically, a parent using the family’s arsenal to murder in cold blood a politician opposed to gun reform, or an activist of the NRA, or hunting down a senior executive or big stockholder of a gun manufacturer to his home where he slaughter his whole family, only to do it again with another family, and then another one, until he is caught is, Technically Also “taking matters into his own hands”.

    The “funny” thing about jingoistic rhetoric is that it can take you very far if you decide to follow its presuppositions to their “logical” conclusion

  22. kevs says

    Is there any way we might perhaps just produce bulletproof children instead?

    I expect a homeopath will be along soon offering something.

  23. Muz says

    I’d be much more willing to consider gun proponents criticisms of the assault weapons bans if they didn’t pepper (har) everything they say with stupid slogans like “If you make guns illegal, only criminals will have guns”. Such unmitigated bullshit.

  24. AsqJames says

    Lined with ballistic material

    Does that mean when when you throw it (perhaps at some deranged nutter with a gun) you can easily predict the trajectory?

  25. Rip Steakface says

    I’d be tempted to pick up one of those backpacks because they sound durable as hell. I tend to turn backpacks to mush with all the stuff I carry, so having a backpack tough enough to stop a pistol round sounds like a backpack tough enough to stand up to college textbooks.

    Shit, if they’d decide to go the positive marketing route (“our backpacks are tough enough that you’ll never need to buy your child another one, ever again!”), they’d almost certainly get more sales than the fear-based “buy this bulletproof backpack to keep your child from dying a horrible, bloody terrified death because guns are easy to acquire!”

  26. Pteryxx says

    Nosing around the BulletBlocker site some more: (bolds mine)

    Why does it take longer than normal to get my product?
    While we stock most of our products, each bulletproof panel is custom crafted to order. We do not pre-make our panels because ALL anti-ballistic materials, purchased from us or any other company, has an industry standard life of only 5 years. We will not further shorten its longevity by stocking it on our shelves. This is why we do not offer overnight or expedited shipping.

    Source – FAQ

    BulletBlocker’s products were created by a real-life father and an Army Ranger trained as a firearms instructor with over a decade of law enforcement experience. He developed these products after searching for a way to provide a higher level of safety for his two school-aged children. In early August of 2007, “My Child’s Pack” was invented by Joe Curran and introduced to the public. The bulletproof backpack received instant notoriety. The Boston Herald, ABC News, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, The New York Times, all ran stories; many of which included live firing at the range with the inventor. The “bulletproof backpack” became very popular and remains a favorite for returning customers.

    The escalation of school violence made it a rapidly growing cause for concern. It became clear that we all need to do our part to help make our kids safe. We decided to put our experience with firearms, street violence, protective materials and tactics to good use. This resulted in being able to bring a product to the market that provides good kids an advantage over the increasingly violent and heavily armed society we live in. BulletBlocker is proud to offer a discrete, defensive product at an affordable price.

    Source – About

    from the sidebar:

    Today in History:
    John Wilkes Booth dies. April 26, 1865

  27. chigau (違う) says

    Well, at least they’re (probably) made in America.

    In a sweatshop staffed by illegal aliens.

  28. The Mellow Monkey says

    This resulted in being able to bring a product to the market that provides good kids an advantage over the increasingly violent and heavily armed society we live in.

    What, do they administer a morality test before selling the backpack? I rather think “bad” kids can get that advantage just as easily as the “good” ones. It’s a tool, not the soul-weighing scales of Duat. This kind of thinking is why people think “good” guys need guns to protect them from “bad” guys.

  29. vaiyt says

    Lined with ballistic material that can stop a 9mm bullet travelling at 400 metres per second,

    So, wouldn’t protect even the Newtown children.

  30. says

    Here’s a roundup of the pro-gun legislation that Utah legislators plan to bring up when their new session begins in January:

    Constitutional Carry, which is a measure making it legal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

    Rep. Brian Greene, (Republican, of course) wants to outlaw federal gun-law enforcement in Utah and restore gun-ownership rights for felons convicted of unrelated crimes.

    A bill to stop federal agents from imposing firmer federal gun laws in Utah.

  31. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    So, wouldn’t protect even the Newtown children.

    That is why we have to teach the huskier boys to gang rush a shooter. (I wish that was satire.)

  32. jaytheostrich says

    Well, this is SO much easier than buying, say, decent textbooks to educate people, or counsellors to listen to kids with problems, or proper mental health care, right? Capitalism has spoken, people!

  33. says

    Supplying the military, SWAT teams… and schools. Right. Makes sense. Shouldn’t the military be holding bake sales to buy bombers yet?

    You know… I always did think there was something fishy about that Xavier Institute….

  34. madscientist says

    Those gadgets have been available for a long time; they’re just receiving renewed attention. What we really need are toddlers with combat gear and miniature submachine guns – that ought to keep everyone safe.

  35. says

    Hmm. Misread that, actually. lol But, still, I have an even better idea. At this point it “might” almost be possible to build something close to Iron Man type armor, so… one hardsuit for every student! You could even integrate laptop, ebooks, assignments, a school map, etc. into the heads up display… This could work. lol

  36. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hmm…I wonder if the NRA has the honesty and integrity to buy each student a book bag, and every classroom a full set of whiteboards for protection from their irrational paranoia about gun control. Nah, they will just think it’s another conspiracy….

  37. psychodigger says

    What a great country! Why limit access to guns? There is the Murcan constitution which (apparently) guarantees the right to possess enough firepower to take out an entire revolution (and constitution)-time regiment without the brains to consider whether or not that is a good idea.

    No, instead we will armour-plate the children and tell them that it is perfectly normal! The bestest and safest country in the world, except that every yokel is armed to the teeth to defend themselves against those pesky school children.

  38. erichoug says

    Is there anyone else here who sees the failure of our government on gun control as a symptom of a larger problem?

    By a massive margin, Americans want improved gun control, Govt response: Nope
    By a large margin, Americans want us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Govt response: Maybe one of these days
    By a large margin, Americans want an end to the war on drugs. Govt response: We’ll see.

    And the list goes on and on. We no longer have a government that is interested in the needs and wants of it’s people. Instead we have a government that is solely interested in maintaining their own positions and keep their big money donors happy.

  39. David Marjanović says

    At this point it “might” almost be possible to build something close to Iron Man type armor, so… one hardsuit for every student! You could even integrate laptop, ebooks, assignments, a school map, etc. into the heads up display…

    And you could integrate a jetpack!!!!! :-)

  40. says

    And you could integrate a jetpack!!!!! :-)

    Now you are just getting silly. The power supply needed to operate the servo system wouldn’t have enough oomph to also power anything that would work as one, and the addition of a fuel source to power a jet pack would make the suit dangerous, not just due to refueling, and, frankly, no design they have ever come up with has ever had decent range. I mean, seriously.. what do you plan to power the jets with, unobtanium? lol