Opinion: The answer to school shootings: Bulletproof blankets?

Kentucky Daily Life
In a training drill at a Kentucky school, local emergency responders practice treating a student covered with fake blood for a gunshot to the chest.
(Clay Jackson / Associated Press)

Parents know the sensation. With what feels like an epidemic of school shootings around the nation, you want to cloak your child in bubble wrap as he or she heads out the door for a day in the classroom. But thanks to the innovative folks at ProTecht LLC, now you can go one better: You can send your kid out with a bulletproof blanket.

I don’t know whether to mock or cringe.

This is what it has come to. With the National Rifle Assn. underwritten by gun manufacturers and obeyed by politicians fearful of saying something so obvious as, “This nation has a gun problem,” there is little chance of Congress adopting anything close to tightened gun regulations. So the solution, apparently, is to counter armed students with a little portable body armor tucked away in the backpack. But ProTecht is looking for broader sales, and marketing its Bodyguard blanket to school administrators as part of their protocol for dealing with school shooters.

A generation ago, schoolkids were trained during civil defense drills to duck under desks in case of an existential threat from a foreign-launched nuclear weapon. Now the danger is from within.

“Bodyguard blanket was developed and tested to specifically protect our children and teachers in the event of a school shooting. Bodyguard blanket is designed to be bullet resistant. It is made of the same materials our U.S. soldiers wear while in battle, and is equal to or exceeds the protection used by our police departments. After extensive research, it is estimated that Bodyguard blanket provides bullet resistant protection against 90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States. We are so confident in the protective properties of Bodyguard blanket we are encouraging every administrator to make it an integral part of school and university lockdown protocol. Bodyguard blanket can be easily fastened around a child or adult, and is amazingly lightweight. When seconds count, Bodyguard blanket can provide a quick, simple solution for maximum protection against a school intruder.”

That’s the American way. See a problem? Find a way to make a buck from it.

Maybe some day we’ll get innovative enough to fix this mess. But first we have to want to solve the problem, not profit from it.

Follow Scott Martelle on Twitter @smartelle