In the wake of yet another school shooting, this time in my hometown of Seattle, in a neighborhood very familiar to me, there has been another round of the same tired, he-said-she-said debate between insecure, sex-starved illiterate gun enthusiasts and love-mongering, spineless, patchouli-swilling opponents of gun-based child murder. But there is something different, this time. A new player has emerged. While the proponents of “freedom at all costs” wage their endless battle with the “actual gun violence is way scarier than hypothetical government tyranny, and should therefore take precedence over an outdated and generally misunderstood Constitutional Amendment” crowd, somebody actually figured out a way to make some money off of all this fear, loathing and child slaughter. Wait, what?
The following is actual text from this company’s actual website. Yes, they really went to the trouble of paying people to design this website and write this content, and seem to think that people will NOT respond by grabbing pitchforks and torches and storming their corporate offices in order to lynch them for being shamelessly greedy bastards, trying to profit from the tragic deaths of innocent children.
“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.”
There are, roughly, 55 million K-12 students and 4 million teachers in the United States. Protecht (the makers of the Bodyguard blanket) actually suggest that each, and every, one of them should have a bullet-proof blanket available, in case a psychotic gun-toting murderer should happen to go on a rampage in their school. At $1000 (yes, ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS) apiece, that equates to 59 BILLION DOLLARS (yes, I’m actually yelling that). Not exactly selfless public servants preserving the social compact, here.
I am disgusted beyond words at the seemingly endless cycle of gun violence. I am similarly frustrated that we can’t seem to come to any reasonable consensus on practical gun control, or mental health funding. But this is different. This somehow feels worse. This is akin to war profiteering. And even if that weren’t, you know, a CRIME (well OK, but it should be!)…they just don’t even look that effective. They can stop “90% of all weapons…used in school shootings?” Yeah. maybe on a test-firing range where they aim directly at the center of the blanket. But these shooters are psychotic, not BLIND!
I dunno…it seems to me that we could pay for a lot of doctors and hospitals and gun safety classes with $59 billion, all of which would help to actually FIX the problem. I’m sure that, deep down, these people really are just trying to help. But it’s the wrong kind of help. This is akin to building extra lifeboats for the Titanic, if everybody had known in advance that it couldn’t stand up to an iceberg.