First gun sales soared, then Wal-Mart ran out of guns, then parents, stunned by the popular response in the aftermath of the Newtown mass murder which saw the White House threaten to curb the Second Amendment and lead to an even more unprecedented scramble for guns and ammo, and seeing nothing but confusion (but lots of bickering meant to extract nothing but political brownie points) out of the government instead of any hope of actual protection, decided it was time for some vigilante protection. The end result: sales of bulletproof backpacks have soared, with sales exploding as much as 500% since Friday. And since the white line from a defensive to an offensive posture is very thin, it is likely only a matter of time before we get the first media report of a 6 year old armed with a 44 caliber during recess.
From Daily News:
Sales of bulletproof backpacks for schoolchildren are through the roof days after a masked gunman's rampage left 20 kids dead at a Connecticut elementary school.
Parents began snapping up the high-tech bookbags Friday, the same day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Elmar Uy of the Massachusetts-based armor company BulletBlocker told the Daily News
In fact, the sudden spike in sales is how Uy, vice president of business operations, found out about the shooting.
"Part of my daily activity is to monitor the numbers," he said. "I was seeing numbers I'd never seen before and I thought it was a glitch. Our Web traffic was10 times more than normal.
BulletBlocker's child safety backpack is on sale for $199.99.
They also sell shields that start at $175 — bulletproof inserts that can slide into backpacks, laptop bags or purses. They add about 20 ounces — it's just like tossing a bottle of water in your bag, Uy said.
The company has seen a 300% to 400% increase in sales since the tragedy.
Where did this entrepreneur get the idea for this particular blockbuster business model? Another mass killing - Columbine.
The idea for BulletBlocker was sparked after the 1999 Columbine shootings. Creator Joe Curran wanted something to protect his school-age children.
Then he started sharing them with friends who had kids,” Uy said. “Our company is basically built around a single child’s backpack.”
Combat apparel company Amendment II, based in Utah, says their sales have also skyrocketed — at least 500% since Friday.
"(Bulletproof backpacks) were kind of a niche product before that shooting," co-owner and sales director Derek Williams told the Daily News.
"When we're selling a few a week, it doesn't take many to increase your sales," he said. "But yesterday we had over 200 requests for products."
Most were for bulletproof backpacks or backpack shields.
Amendment II uses a high-tech material called RynoHide, like Kevlar but super-light and flexible. They mostly sell to police and military, but started making products for civilians six months ago when they noticed an interest at trade shows.
"Parents were saying, hey I want one of these for my kid, can you get me this?" Williams said.
But he never thought interest would grow this big.
It is. And it is only going to get bigger due to two primary trends: i) the ongoing economic collapse of this country, which in spite of the rosy representation in the broad media, is in the 4th year of a raging depression and leading people to a position of sheer desperation and hopelessness, and ii) the absolute failure of the US government to be able to come to any resolution, in no small part driven by the fact that all lawmakers have handed over control of everything to monetary policy, i.e., the Fed; and iii) the rabid unwillingness of Americans to point the finger at the one person that matters - the person whose social responsibility and civic accountability has been evaporating steadily over the past two hundred years. Themselves.
Finally, the government apparently willing to create even more disastrous unexpected consequences with its intervention, is about to set off another avalanche, this time in demand for defensive armor:
Online, reaction to the kiddie armor reflected sadness.
"They are now selling bulletproof backpacks for children. What is this world coming to?" wrote Twitter user Courtney C. Jenkins, a pastor in Ohio.
Many called the backpacks a "sad sign of the times."
But parents eager to protect their kids may be buying into a trend that will soon be banned.
Some Miami schools are forbidding students from carrying backpacks as a safety precaution in the wake of the Newtown shooting.
Just brilliant job government: instead of giving people at least a fleeting impression they may be protected with one simple incremental action that hurts nobody, just box them into that one final corner, where Junior is armed by Senior with a 44 caliber or 9 millimeter. And nobody will have been able to anticipate the tragic consequences that will ensue as every child soon is armed.
In other news, we eagerly look forward to an epic surge in TASR stock as "Tazer: every Kindergartener's best friend" (made in China), appears imminently on Wal-Mart shelves everywhere.