That’s the question many ask themselves in the aftermath of a mass shooting – the latest, unfolding in San Bernadino, California.
With high profile mass killings like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut and the movie theater shooting in Colorado, it seems mass shootings have become increasingly commonplace – so commonplace, in fact, that new protocols and inventions are being created to address potential shootings.
One new dramatic invention may inspire a different question: Has it come to this?
Pro-Techt have created and marketed an invention to schools for use in case of shootings – bulletproof blankets. Stan Schone, managing partner of Pro-Techt, spoke with Texas Standard earlier this year about the product.
Schone says it originally started as tornado protection but morphed into a product to protect children from school shooters.
“It would provide an order of protection for approximately 90 percent of the guns that have historically been used in school shootings,” Schone says. “Nine millimeter handguns, .22 rifles, .357 magnums, .44 magnums, 12-gauge shotguns.”
He says they imagine each classroom would have a box to hold the blankets in the classroom.
“At the sign of bad weather or a school intrusion, an announcement would be made,” he says. “If it was a school shooting the teachers are instructed to lock the doors. That would give them enough time to get these blankets on and then get up against an interior wall where the shooter can’t see in the door, to see where they’re at to shoot at them.
Bulletproof blankets cost about $1,000, which could run up to $20,000 per classroom. Schone says blankets are much cheaper than building a safe room.
“We’re trying to protect the kids in these schools against any kind of calamity that might befall them,” he says.
Sales have been strong. Schone says they didn’t anticipate so many individual purchases, mentioning a Utah customer who bought 31 blankets for his mother, who is a schoolteacher, and her class.
“There were no good alternatives,” Schone says. “I believe that the blanket is the most economical and well-rounded solution that’s been brought to the table thus far. If a bulletproof vest is good for a cop, it’s gotta be good for a kid.”