Last weekend, the world was rocked by yet another two mass shootings in the US.
The first came on Saturday morning, a little after 10:00 AM, when 21-year-old Patrick Crusius opened fire on shoppers at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas. Per CNN, 22 people died as a result of Crusius' attack with an AK-47 assault rifle.
The second shooting came just hours later in Dayton, Ohio, when Connor Betts, 24, opened fire at the entrance of Ned Peppers Bar in the Oregon Historic District. Nine people were killed, and 14 others were injured from the gunfire.
These two heartbreaking events have once again reignited the discussion of gun control in the US. As you can see below, people are still incredibly divided on the matter:
Nonetheless, whether you're for or against citizens carrying firearms, the following information is surely devastating to everyone.
As millions of kids across the country are enjoying their summer vacations and completing their back to school shopping, it seems that one product, in particular, has become the "must-have" accessory for the new school year: bulletproof backpacks.
Following the shootings over the weekend, many parents couldn't help but be reminded of school shootings such as those that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary, Virginia Tech, and Stoneman Douglas High.
As a result of the widespread fear, a number of companies are marketing bulletproof backpacks to parents who simply want their children to be protected should the worst happen. It is the depressing reality of the somewhat dystopian state the nation is currently in; where shootings have become a part of day-to-day life.
Per the New York Times, Igor Volsky, the director of Guns Down America, a gun-control advocacy group, has said: "It’s incredibly depressing. The market is trying to solve for a problem that our politicians have refused to solve."
Earlier this year, ArmorMe, a personal-defense company run by a former Israeli commando, Gabi Siboni, began selling a bulletproof backpack for $199.99. This unique backpack can even unfold into a larger protective covering.
Speaking about his product, Siboni said: "The backpack is designed first of all to be a very stylish and nice-looking backpack. And it has panels that protect you against bullets. It will increase your survival chances."
When criticized about the fact his product was profiting off national fear, Siboni said: "Whatever you do, you’re capitalizing on something. We are just responding to a need."
Following the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, ABC News reported that bulletproof backpacks actually "sold out" in some stores as a result of fearful parents just trying to protect their children.
MSNBC reports that Guard Dog Security’s ProShield Scout backpacks are once again stocked for back-to-school season at Office Depot anf Office Max stores, as well as on the retailers’ website.
Signs surrounding the displays read, "Protection in Session" and “Bullet Resistant Backpack".