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Back to School, Bulletproof
August 11, 2007 7:07 AM   Subscribe

Add this to your back to school shopping list.
posted by The Deej (73 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Do kids wear backpacks over their faces now? Because otherwise, this seems fairly useless.
posted by ColdChef at 7:12 AM on August 11, 2007


Are Americans scared all the damn time?
posted by chunking express at 7:15 AM on August 11, 2007 [13 favorites]


Go ahead, just try and take my sandwich, motherfucker.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:16 AM on August 11, 2007


Are Americans scared all the damn time?

Only the Republicans.
posted by Poolio at 7:18 AM on August 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


Okay, why buy this and not just a kevlar vest? Seriously, if you're going to be that paranoid that your kid is going to get shot, at least don't half-ass it.

And I wonder how many kids get hit by cars since Columbine, since that 1 child per week since seems to be the money shot stat to scare the parents shitless into buying one of these.
posted by Talanvor at 7:24 AM on August 11, 2007


How will teachers be able to maintain order in the classroom if some kids are bulletproof?
posted by srboisvert at 7:25 AM on August 11, 2007 [7 favorites]


I'll just make my kid carry lots of really heavy and thick books like I used to. Bullet-proof and educational.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:28 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Certainly hope they are paying royalties for the use of "Tin Soldiers" in the video clip...
posted by caution live frogs at 7:33 AM on August 11, 2007


I bought 43 and covered my car in them.
posted by Doug at 7:39 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sure there's a JFK/book depository joke to be made here, but for the life of me, I can't think of it.
posted by Poolio at 7:52 AM on August 11, 2007


Perhaps we should buy these and ship them to the servicemen in Iraq??

I would just get my kid a glock...
posted by HuronBob at 7:55 AM on August 11, 2007


I wish we could buy these and send them to kids in Iraq, where, you know, they need this kind of shit because our country is so fucked in the head.
posted by Avenger at 7:57 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sad I didn't think of this idea.
posted by spec80 at 8:08 AM on August 11, 2007


Does anyone know if those stats are real? If so, that's also pretty disturbing.
posted by atchafalaya at 8:09 AM on August 11, 2007


I doubt it. For 97% of the kids to have survived thanks to this invention, the backpack should have been in between the kid and whatever killed them. Doubt too many of the people killed were shot/stabbed through their backpacks from behind, which is where this would most likely be. The percentage also probably includes the assumption that the killer would not to have changed tactic once the knife/9mm gets stopped by the backpack. Also, a higher calibre rifle will go through that.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:15 AM on August 11, 2007


Okay, why buy this and not just a kevlar vest?

Fuck that, I'm just buying my kid full body armor and driving her to school in a tank. Then I'm going to pre-emptively destroy the school and all the kids inside it so that none of them can hurt her.

That's the AMERICAN way.
posted by briank at 8:21 AM on August 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


This is just not good enough. Bring on the custom made, child-sized suits of armor!
posted by saraswati at 8:24 AM on August 11, 2007


I wish we could buy these and send them to kids in Iraq

Maybe we could trick the suicide bombers into using them to carry their explosives in.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:26 AM on August 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


Check out MyChildPacks.com for the other side of the story. Will no one think of the crazed shooters?
posted by Abiezer at 8:40 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Was this brought to us by the same people who want teachers to pack handguns?

I think this is a perfectly fine idea, you know. My kids are going to go to a private, pacifist Quaker school anyway. Let the gun owners' twisted logic about how to maintain a civil society play itself out in their kids' schools. Let the classroom arms race begin!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:48 AM on August 11, 2007


Isn't it cheaper just to teach kids how to run?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:58 AM on August 11, 2007


sry too fat
posted by grobstein at 9:06 AM on August 11, 2007


The idea creeps me out, but I like it better than arming everyone (I still wouldn't buy it if I had children though).
posted by drezdn at 9:13 AM on August 11, 2007


Thank God it's written into the Child-Shooter's Code that you must always shoot children only from behind and in a small 1 square foot area of the back.
posted by ORthey at 9:19 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


From one of the articles "It seems to me that it would not serve our district-wide dress code which says that students cannot wear anything which is threatening or offensive,” said Jonathan Palumbo, Boston Public Schools spokesman."

I don't get it. How could a backpack designed to look like a normal backpack, just with the added ability to stop bullets, be a dress code violation?

As a side note, I find shoulder pads to be threatening. (They could poke an eye out!) Does that mean they violate the Boston Public Schools dress code?
posted by oddman at 9:29 AM on August 11, 2007


That video... when the little girl hides behind her backpack...

That's just grotesque.

Of course, practically speaking to all those dismissing its effectiveness, you're most likely to be shot in the back while you're doing just what you should be doing: running away.

I'm morbidly surprised they didn't play that aspect up in their marketing.

/abulafa stumbles away to cry and vomit at the same time.
posted by abulafa at 9:32 AM on August 11, 2007


You'd think that getting rid of the guns would be the obvious solution, but apparently not.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 9:34 AM on August 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Dunno about "threatening" or "offensive" school backpacks, but I've heard of at least a couple of school districts where only see-through plastic or mesh backpacks are acceptable for school use because faculty and school "resource" officers (cops in the school hallways) want to be able to see the contents.
posted by pax digita at 9:35 AM on August 11, 2007


That video... when the little girl hides behind her backpack...


Ya, that scene is on a loop in my brain, especially when she smiles and keeps walking. She looks like Batman in the old TV series, hiding behind the Bat-shield.
posted by The Deej at 9:40 AM on August 11, 2007


if parents are THAT damn worried about it, they should homeschool their kids
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 AM on August 11, 2007


Is the bulletproof layer all the way on the outside or against your back? I don't want my math textbooks getting mussed up.
posted by danb at 9:51 AM on August 11, 2007


These fuckin carpet baggers are gonna make an assload of money. Hopefully they'll get sued a year from now when some kid ends up with a fucked up back from wearing it all the time. Or ends up with General Anxiety Disorder for the same reason.
posted by Wonderwoman at 9:51 AM on August 11, 2007


Gonna bring down the mood a bit and mention the Secret Service Safe School Initiative Findings. (PDFs at the bottom).

Highlights: shooters don't fit consistent demographic profiles, many feel persecuted, their interest in violent themes pervades (they seek out violent music, movies, games), most don't have a criminal history but many have trouble coping with some specific incident leading to thoughts of suicide and almost all tell other people about their plans.

So, yes, it's all scary and random in the same way other violent crime is scary and random. Except for that last bit. Perhaps focusing on teaching kids the line between teenage angst and intent on bodily harm (and did I mention the running thing?) would grant more solace than a kevlar plate in their bookbag.
posted by abulafa at 9:52 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Perhaps focusing on teaching kids the line between teenage angst and intent on bodily harm (and did I mention the running thing?) would grant more solace than a kevlar plate in their bookbag.

You silly!! Where's the profit in that?
posted by The Deej at 9:58 AM on August 11, 2007


This product should be augmented by properly arming the child. The best choice would be a hand grenade. That would neutralize the attacker while the bag protects against shrapnel.

< /batshitinsanethinking>
posted by SteveTheRed at 10:09 AM on August 11, 2007


Nowhere near proactive enough. My daughter's been attending a playschool with a strict ninja curriculum since she was old enough to hold a throwing star. Yesterday she snapped the family cat's spine with a flick of her left pinky. I know what it sounds like, but Tabby had it coming, same as any other punk.
posted by gompa at 10:23 AM on August 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think it's great. My buddies down at the gun club are going to get a couple of these for their kids. Child-sized bulletproof vests are too expensive, so up until now we've been using rubber bullets when the kids start running around down at the range, but now we can use live ammo. And before you nanny state liberals start whining about child abuse - the kids think it's fun and the welts heal in less than a week. Guess we should think about getting them little kevlar helmets, too, though.
posted by cmonkey at 10:24 AM on August 11, 2007


When I was younger I used to really enjoy movies and books set in some odd, bleak or scary dystopian near-future: Rollerball, 1984, A Boy and His Dog, Brazil, Fahrenheit 451, Network. But in the last decade, more and more often I feel like I've woken up as one of the characters in one of those stories. This is one of those mornings.
posted by tula at 10:37 AM on August 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


(Under duress)

Metafilter: the kids think it's fun and the welts heal in less than a week.
posted by abulafa at 10:39 AM on August 11, 2007


Tula: the one I always think I'm in is Robocop. Climbing for dollars? Detroit a burning hell-zone? Cybernetic ultra-cops?

Ray Kurvweil and his futurist buddies could take some tips from 80's sci-fi.
posted by abulafa at 10:53 AM on August 11, 2007


Isn't the target market for this already homeschooling?
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:10 AM on August 11, 2007


I somehow doubt that scaring the bejeebus out of my kids is going to help them concentrate and achieve.

"Okay, kids, have a nice day! ... And remember... keep that backpack between you and the shooter!"
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:17 AM on August 11, 2007


This bothers me in a way that I'm finding difficult to articulate; I think it's silly and it preys on the constant fear that we Americans seem to have embraced. It's the ultimate extension of what we've been doing to kids for the last 20 years, adding more and more padding to everything around them. First it was bicycle helmets (a good idea), then it was knee and elbow pads, then it was wrist braces, then it was... well, everything else. This just seems like more of that.

I mean, 1 kid a week? Give me a fucking break, how many kids get hurt or killed doing anything else per week? How many kids die on skateboards, or swimming, or in fire?

The world is a dangerous place, and getting shot should be the least of kids worries. It's this kind of crap that is going to cause them to grow up with even more phobias than people have today. Because they have spent their entire lives with adults telling them about how everything out there will hurt them.
posted by quin at 11:20 AM on August 11, 2007


Or more snarky: This is just going to encourage shooters to go for the head-shot. It's worth more points anyway.
posted by quin at 11:21 AM on August 11, 2007


Surely if we want the best for our kids, we should be prepared to give them the best possible means of defending themselves.

To this end, I propose every child be issued with a 30 kilotonne nuclear device; if MAD is good enough for superpowers, it's good enough for our children.
posted by Freaky at 11:38 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


How will teachers be able to maintain order in the classroom if some kids are bulletproof?

Low-yield nukes, dude!
posted by metasonix at 11:40 AM on August 11, 2007


but seriously, folks...how many school shootings have there been lately? Not many. As the study of the Columbine shootings showed, kids who pick up guns are usually abused and threatened---by the school's resident bullies. While you're outlawing guns to protect our poor little babies, you might also consider outlawing bullying....
posted by metasonix at 11:45 AM on August 11, 2007


When you can write something like this
School systems across the nation are staging drills for "lock downs" and "shelter in place."
then it just may be time to entirely give up on your society, buy an isolated acreage in Alaska, and wait for something better to come along.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:51 AM on August 11, 2007


References to the "One Tin Soldier" video with the girl who demonstrates how to use the backpack are about this video. It was on their site, but was swapped for the "news story" that is there now.
posted by The Deej at 11:55 AM on August 11, 2007


So I comes to America, and I see these backpacks that can stop bullet. Kids today are getting more body armor in highschool than when they graduate, join the army and fight in an actual combat zone? EH HEH HEH What a country!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:08 PM on August 11, 2007


References to the "One Tin Soldier" video with the girl who demonstrates how to use the backpack are about this video.

Warning: NSF anyone who thought Ronald Reagan's attempt to use Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as his re-election theme song was the most egregious misappropriation of an anti-establishment anthem they'd ever have the misfortune to hear.

(The video's soundtrack is CSNY's "Ohio," not "One Tin Soldier.")
posted by gompa at 12:08 PM on August 11, 2007


Yep, gompa, that song is appropriate if you think the national guard will open fire on your kid.
posted by The Deej at 12:13 PM on August 11, 2007


Are Americans scared all the damn time?

You should see the fences and placards around some elementary schools.

NO ENTRY 4 PM - 7 AM
TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED
THIS IS A DRUG FREE ZONE (crossed-out syringe)
THIS IS A WEAPONS FREE ZONE (crossed-out knife, gun)
posted by blacklite at 12:44 PM on August 11, 2007


If I had kids, I'd be much more worried about them throwing out their backs by carrying a dozen textbooks and a ballistic backpack than about them getting shot at.

When did we become this easy to frighten? What happened to my country?
posted by wtdoor at 1:01 PM on August 11, 2007


And i thought an Adidas bag was hip. :-(
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 2:05 PM on August 11, 2007


To this end, I propose every child be issued with a 30 kilotonne nuclear device

i'm not overracting, i'm a TEENAGER!!
posted by pyramid termite at 2:10 PM on August 11, 2007


Does anyone know if those stats are real? If so, that's also pretty disturbing.

Why? Their own statistics boil down to a measly 40 per year. Sure, sure, that's 40 too many. But as a cause of death, that's got to be down there with MACAW-RELATED INJURIES and ROTOTILLED TO DEATH BY ABSENTMINDED GRANDPARENT and HAMBURGLING ACCIDENT.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:14 PM on August 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


If they had a version with a padded section for my laptop, maybe I'd consider getting one. I'm leaving to attend Virgina Tech in a few weeks...
posted by t2urner at 2:37 PM on August 11, 2007


I work in a grocery store and last night was Friday night. There were a ton of people, families mostly, mothers and children specifically, shopping for food. It is a large volume store, there were probably about 120-150 people near/around the checkstands at 6:30pm yesterday.

At about this time, in the middle of a checkstand, three young men got into an argument over a tattoo and a specific color pair of shoes. A gun was pulled, there was chaos, women taking their children and running, leaving their purses/groceries, and ducking for cover.

Yesterday I would have been appalled at buying one of these backpacks. Today, if I had children, having witnessed gun-wielding teenagers terrorize a grocery store full of people, I might actually consider it.

Plus, I am sorta fair-game for trendyness and when I was a kid I would've been proud to carry around my "body-armour." Feel like 007 or something.
posted by M Edward at 2:38 PM on August 11, 2007


This is going to be one of those things that people in the future use to make us seem even more barbaric than we really are.

"Did you know?: By the early 21st century, conditions in America had deteriorated so much that schoolchildren wore body armor in their backpacks!"
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:59 PM on August 11, 2007


At about this time, in the middle of a checkstand, three young men got into an argument over a tattoo and a specific color pair of shoes. A gun was pulled

see, this is what happens when people can't take their disputes to metatalk
posted by pyramid termite at 3:04 PM on August 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


At about this time, in the middle of a checkstand, three young men got into an argument over a tattoo and a specific color pair of shoes. A gun was pulled...

6 of 10 "nigga moments" involve a sneaker. (wiki)

posted by slimepuppy at 3:25 PM on August 11, 2007


You should see the fences and placards around some elementary schools. NO ENTRY 4 PM - 7 AM TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED THIS IS A DRUG FREE ZONE (crossed-out syringe) THIS IS A WEAPONS FREE ZONE (crossed-out knife, gun)

You know what schools around here have posted?

"No golfing."

"No horses."

"No motorized vehicles."

Seriously.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:49 PM on August 11, 2007


These offer great protection as well.
posted by itchylick at 4:07 PM on August 11, 2007


If they had a version with a padded section for my laptop, maybe I'd consider getting one.

This one claims to be made with Kevlar, I leave it to you to determine if it's actually bullet-proof though.
posted by quin at 4:18 PM on August 11, 2007



"No golfing."

"No horses."

"No motorized vehicles."


damnit ... there goes MY sunday
posted by pyramid termite at 5:18 PM on August 11, 2007


It's the horses one that gives me the biggest kick. Even in the heart of the city, which hasn't seen a horse in the last half century, the schools continue to worry that heinous horse-riding rogues are going to tear up the soccer field.

You wouldn't believe how much backpack one needs to wear in order to have adequate protection from horse attack.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:35 PM on August 11, 2007


You'd think that getting rid of the guns would be the obvious solution, but apparently not.

No, it's not obvious at all. Guns are useful for fighting tyranny. But do tell us how you plan to get rid of "the guns".

I'd think that actually, you know, listening to kids would be the obvious solution, but apparently not.
posted by oncogenesis at 11:18 PM on August 11, 2007


Oncogenesis, come on, we'll just waive the gun disappearing magic wand.

Of course, we'll still have more murders per capita than any European country.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:43 PM on August 11, 2007


More murders per capita, a lower lifespan, higher infant mortality, astounding incarceration rates, higher numbers of homeless children, etc, etc.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:31 AM on August 12, 2007


Guns are useful for fighting tyranny.

Well, go on, then.

Seriously -- no one in this country has used a gun to fight tyranny one single time since back when they were called "muskets." Unless you're thinking of the Symbianese Liberation Army, or something. That worked out great, didn't it? OIr Waco -- another fantastic example of how well it works. Let's compare the number of gun incidents involving the act of actually fighting tyranny (no delusional paranoid schizophrenics need apply) to the number of gun incidents involving crimes of passion, or even accidents. Oh, wait -- the point is academic.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:11 PM on August 12, 2007


Guns are useful for fighting tyranny.

Well, go on, then.


We must keep these backpacks out of the hands of the tyrants.
posted by The Deej at 3:31 PM on August 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Guns are useful for fighting tyranny.

This is what I don't get. What's the point of having a totally armed populace if you don't use your guns for useful shit. Though those fairs where they have the people shooting up cars with machine guns are pretty cool.
posted by chunking express at 6:37 PM on August 12, 2007


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