• Thu, Jan 3 2013

Backpacks Aren’t Enough, Newtown Tragedy Inspires Bullet-Proof Clothing For Kids

kevlarMiguel Caballero has been manufacturing bullet-proof clothing for 22 years. He’s been working in Colombia, and trying to break into the American market. Now, the tragedy at Newtown has provided him an opportunity. Apparently responding to frequent requests from customers, Caballero has decided to create a line of bullet-proof clothing for children. Because that’s obviously what kids need to stay safe: kevlar.

We already saw this trend immediately after the massacre in Connecticut. Bullet-proof backpacks were suddenly popular and spiking in sales. Gun sales were on the rise. As our editor Koa Beck said at the time, soon Americans will be sending their children off to school as if it were a designated battle zone.

Caballero’s company is moving a step further than backpacks. They’re creating bullet-proof t-shirts and vests, though they warn that the clothing isn’t for everyday wear. The vests could be handed out by teachers, however, in case of an emergency. Because obviously, when a teacher is trying to keep kids safe and hide them away from a criminal with a gun, they have plenty of time to haul out heavy, bullet-proof clothing for their classes.

To outfit a classroom of 24 with clothing that ranges from $200 to $400, a school system would have to spend $4800 to $9600. That’s just for a single classroom. To get protective gear for my entire middle school, which had over 300 students, we would be looking at more than $60,000. For a single school.

The fact is that all of the money that could be spent on bullet-proof clothing and armed security guards for schools aren’t going to help keep our children safe. They might give parents a false sense of security, but they don’t get to the root of the problem. They don’t keep assault weapons out of civilian hands.

Bullet-proof clothing and backpacks for children are not the solution to horrible violence in our schools. Turning schools into military compounds will not solve our problems. And while I’m sure that Miguel Caballero is a very nice person and a responsible company, I don’t want them in the US market.

(Photo: Fotokostic/Shutterstock)

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