In a nod to grim reality, bulletproof backpacks are popular items ahead of the upcoming school year. The Washington Post links to tweets and articles testifying that the product, made by Guard Dog Security, is selling at Kmart, Office Depot, and OfficeMax. "After the Parkland incident, we sold out six months' worth of backpacks in a few days, so now, of course, we've stocked accordingly, and we're prepared for anything, whether it's a spike in sales or back to school," Guard Dog's CEO, Yasir Sheikh, tells the Orlando Sentinel. The bags, which range in price from $120 to $300, are made of something like Kevlar, Sheikh tells WSPA.
They resemble regular backpacks but have a "soft armor panel" sewn in that can stop a 9mm or .44 round, but not a rifle shot, and a student still could get injured from the impact, per KXAN. With some school districts banning the product, an online store has replaced them with bulletproof plates made from patented polyurethane composite. Weighing 18.5 ounces, the $130 PakProtect plate fits in a regular backpack and reportedly stops 9mm and .40 handgun ammunition (as seen in this Facebook post). Needless to say, the products are controversial: "How disgusting is this?" asks a tweeter of the backpacks, while a rep for the online store puts it this way: "I feel that there are some people who can stick their head in the sand and say it's never going to happen to my kid." (Read more school shooting stories.)