Social Question

NuclearWessels's avatar

Sales of bullet proof backpacks for children sky rocket. How does that make you feel?

Asked by NuclearWessels (1181points) December 19th, 2012

Sad that some parents feel that it has to come to this? Anger towards the companies who are selling these products? Relief that there’s protection made available to give your children? How do you feel about this?

News Story Here

Also refer to this question asked back in August

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38 Answers

ucme's avatar

Vindicated, in the belief that there are way too many folks out there who suffer from knee-jerk over reaction & display qualities like that of a sheep…follow the flock regardless.

KNOWITALL's avatar

That perhaps people should re-think procreation?! Why raise children to live in fear, I’m out.

mazingerz88's avatar

It just makes sense really, along with the increase of gun sales in, if I’m not mistaken, Colorado.

burntbonez's avatar

If we aren’t going to ban assault rifles, then it makes sense to increase the amount of defense you have. And kid’s backpacks these days are already so heavy. What’s another ten pounds?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fools and their money are quickly parted, greed knows no bounderies.

Crashsequence2012's avatar


Innovation is innovation.

Blackberry's avatar

That’s the market for you, welcome to America: play on the fear for profit lol. Is this the same company that made the 9/11 commemorative wine bottles?

flutherother's avatar

The chances of a kid being shot at school are pretty slim and if they were attacked by a maniac with an assault rifle this backpack would be unlikely to save them. It may give some kind of reassurance for the parent but it has no practical value.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Fear mongering to make a profit. Ohhhh America….

Crashsequence2012's avatar


Do you have any idea how many bottles of wine were destroyed on 9/11?

dabbler's avatar

I feel like I missed a chance to invest in the latest fad.

@Crashsequence2012 Do tell ! That is an interesting bit of 9/11 trivia. ...There were probably at least several hundred bottles of wine up top at the Windows On The World restaurant, and at the bar on the floor below. There were a few executive dining rooms used by the brass of the finance, trading and law firms in the two towers.

burntbonez's avatar

Why is it that people are in favor of letting teaches bring guns to school for defense more than they are in favor of letting kids wear armor?

bookish1's avatar

Capitalism is alive and kicking.
Thank Gawd.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@burntbonez You mean some people actually think the answer to a school massacre is more guns, not less? What a screwed up place that country is.

Aethelwine's avatar

The kids put their backpacks in their lockers as soon as they get to school. How is that supposed to help? I think it is a stupid idea and waste of money.

josie's avatar

Why not?

Blackberry's avatar

@jonsblond No, it’s the beauty of American innovation and determination, that just happened to arise after a tragic event that people are vulnerable from.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Blackberry You don’t think capitalising on people’s fear is somehow vulgar?

josie's avatar

Vulgar? How do you think physicians and life insurance salesmen make their living?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@josie Physicians make money when people see them about an illness. Usually, those people are actually sick at the time of the consultation. That is not fear. Life insurance is, at least in my experience, usually bought as a rational decision, after the person has weighed the costs and benefits, not a hysterical fear of near term death.

jerv's avatar

As a gamer, I know all about odds and hit locations. Unless the kid actually climbs into the backpack, I would place the odds of hitting the backpack instead of the head or limbs at ~20% assuming an unaimed shot directly from behind. Any sort of angle would reduce those chances, allowing direct hits to the torso, so effective protection is limited to a rather narrow arc. And even half-hearted aiming would allow a shooter to hit elsewhere.
Granted, one could move the backpack from the back and try to use it as a shield, but at it is a non-rigid object, it would then allow the bullet to just push it aside like a cat-door, assuming that one has the skill to put it in the right place, but most kids don’t really know how to use bucklers; armed melee combat training seems to be strictly for gamers and Ren-fairre enthusiasts.

So, now that we have established why I feel bulletproof backpacks are useless, I think you can already guess how I feel. This is America, land of the Free Market, and it isn’t my job to keep stupid people from buying useless shit.

BBawlight's avatar

Hmmm… The way that they can avoid a lot of school shootings (my school does this) is to have the kids carry trapper-keepers for classes. We aren’t allowed to have hallway lockers or any type of carry-on bag (i.e a purse) and we transport our gym clothes in a plastic shopping bag.
It just seems logical to keep this kind of stuff away from students at school so they don’t need things like bullet-proof backpacks. Sheesh…
Also, I think it’s completely stupid to say the least.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@josie Your examples are not vulgar, because they are not an exploitation of fear. The backpacks are. I don’t for a moment suggest they should be restricted in such endeavours, but it is vulgar in my opinion.

Blackberry's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I was being sarcastic.

jerv's avatar

@Blackberry You? Sarcastic?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Blackberry Ok, thanks for clarifying. I’m not on here often enough to have the contextual knowledge to interpret a person’s response within.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

ITT: Many who laugh at or mourn the exploitation of fear of firearms to sell backpacks yet have no problem with same fear being used to vivisect the Second Amendment.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 As far as I understand it, the Second Amendment guarantees the right of a US citizen to possess firearms, but it does not specify the nature of those firearms. If you were to interpret the amendment within the context it was written, people should be able to own muskets and flint lock rifles. The authors could not have foreseen the devastation modern weaponry would exact upon the people that amendment was designed to protect. It is the role of the US Federal Government to define where the right to bear arms ends – obviously a private citizen shouldn’t have access to armed drones or missile batteries.

Since assault weapons have no purpose except for efficiently killing of large numbers of people, they arguable do not have a place in the hands of a private citizen. That is not a “vivisection” of the Second Amendment, but a responsible way of defining its limits.

jerv's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Again, define “assault weapons”. There were times/places where “guns that made their own fire” (flintlocks, caplocks, wheellocks… basically anything other than Matchlock) were considered only useful for soldiers and assassins. I am fine with semi-auto-only and 10–15 round clips, but some legal definitions of “assault weapon” are ludicrously broad.

Remember, we are talking about Congress here; a body that has less-than-zero grasp on technology. (Series of tubes indeed….) Also, most who signed the Patriot Act never read it. So tell me, do you really want them making the laws? Think about it. To give you an idea of how inept they are, it would not be too far of a stretch for barbecuing to be banned because blackpowder contains charcoal, thus a bag of briquets is now categorized the same way as Uranium or Anthrax. I wish I were being facetious, but I’m not; you should really think it through because we know legislators won’t.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@jerv I have a distant view of US politics, considering I have never set foot in North America. I am using the term “assault weapon” because that is what US legislators seem to use, even though a rock in a sock can be used as a weapon for the purposes for assault.

In Australia, regulations restrict the ownership of firearms such that it is nearly impossible for any civilian to own a semi-automatic weapon, and only farmers and accomplished sport shooters (who are part of a club, and practice at least monthly) can own centre-fire rifles or handguns. I don’t think it is possible for a civilian to legally carry a concealed firearm under any licence. Of course such restrictions are not practical in the US, which is a country awash with guns. In the US, I think a reasonable approach would be to determine which weapons are appropriate for self-defence, which are appropriate for sport shooting, and which are only useful for efficiently killing larger numbers of humans.

I don’t pretend to have the answers as to what defines an assault weapon, but the initial legislation that Bush allowed to lapse, while inadequate, was a good start. There is no good reason for a civilian to have a semi-auto with a large clip and a flash suppressor. There is also no good reason for a civilian to have armour piercing ammunition, or large stockpiles of weapons – you only need one or two weapons for self defence, one or two for sport shooting, and maybe some inactivated antiques for collectors.

I am not by any means a gun expert, but I think it is obvious to any sensible person that military grade weapons are too efficient at killing people to be in the hands of civilians. Something like a handgun could still take down multiple attackers, but in a deranged school shooting maybe only 10 people would be killed instead of 20+. That is still 10 too many, but it is a vast improvement.

jerv's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I am going to copy/paste a replay I made to @wundayatta in a related thread;

Define “assault weapon”. There is the rub.
In some cases it is clear, but the CA definition is rather broad. (That also is why Barrett won’t sell to CA law enforcement; their rifles are 49-state-legal, but CA got over-zealous in their legislation.) In truth, if only one bullet is fired per squeeze of the trigger, it does not fit the accepted definition of “assault rifle” so we already have some confusion over terminology.
However, it also doesn’t address the issue that most firearms violence involves handguns; weapons that fall well outside the definition of “assault weapon”. To my mind, that is like banning planes because they can kill 300 people in a single crash while leaving cars alone despite the fact that they kill (on average) 47 people for every person that dies in a plane crash.
_Oh, I should also point out that “military grade” is also rather comical. Trust me, those are built by the lowest bidder, and often handed down through generations; some of the 0311s I served with had M16s older than they were! On average, it is safe to say that anything you buy at the sporting goods store is better than what Uncle Sam issues to grunts.
I agree that civilians don’t need firearms that fire more than one bullet/shell per pull of the trigger (burst/full-auto should remain in the hands of the military and law enforcement) but the M1911 and M9 semi-auto pistols are also “military grade”. Want to ban all handguns too? After all, many are “military grade weapons”. Look how well that worked in DC ;)_

As you can see, the devil is in the details. Additional legislation regarding “assault weapons” will run afoul of The Law of Unintended Consequences. So how about we enforce existing laws and work on the other side of the equation; the people? I know plenty of places that have easy access to guns that do not have a bunch of trigger-happy psychopaths running amok.

Also note that Timothy MacVeigh didn’t fire a single shot.

Most importantly (though you hint at this…), the US is not Australia! As for those weapons “only usable for killing large numbers of people”, you mean that you seek to ban the teaching of chemistry and welding? I can think of ways to kill more people more quickly and efficiently than a gun using simple household objects.

How about if we reframe the issue; if Australia had as violent a culture as the US, how well do you think those gun laws would work? I say that the issue is not legislative, it’s cultural. Banning guns won’t work. Adding too many hoops to legal ownership will create the same sort of underground. The only real way to solve the issue is to fix society.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh The nature of these firearms are fully covered.

The Amendment says simply “arms.”

This includes everything from a sharpened stick to ANY device that causes rapidly expanding gasses to propel a projectile.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@jerv I guess our difference in opinion rests on the ability of policies intended to effect cultural changes to deliver on their intentions. It is important to be realistic, which is why I haven’t said anything about banning handguns despite (as you mention) handguns being most often used in cases of gun crime. Cultural changes may deter normal people from being trigger happy, but they are never going to stop mentally unstable people from deciding that massacres are a good idea. The point of gun control legislation is to make it harder for the mentally unstable to get a gun during their episode. Banning the types of weapons that can kill people more efficiently, such as high powered rifles with large clips, will not stop massacres from occurring, but it may reduce the death toll for the massacres that do occur.

As far as weapons based on basic chemistry go, they take planning, as in the Oklahoma bombing case. People who snap, as the Newtown massacre appears to have been an example of, rarely have the time or patience to put together a chemistry based weapon. You and I can probably make some hugely powerful IEDs, but we’re also not the people likely to snap and decide to kill a lot of people. Guns are accessible and easy.

I agree that the legislation is a minefield, but I think cultural changes are too slow and ineffective to be a practical solution. A quick look at the fool leading the NRA (armed guards in every school??) shows that the gun culture is too entrenched in the US for any meaningful changes to come about without legislating against the weapons themselves.

@Crashsequence2012 Are you advocating private ownership of artillery? How about an Abrams Tank? Or a land attack missile?

jerv's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I think the NRA had lost a considerable amount of credibility in recent times. Also, it seems to fall along partisan lines; not coincidentally, pretty much the same lines as the 2012 election. Our nation (and our Congress) is too divided for effective, meaningful legislation.

This is a complex issue, and I wish I could relay to you the “picture” in my head of all of the interrelated factors, but at the root of it, you are correct in you’re first sentence.

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