dana liebelson

Dana Liebelson

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Dana Liebelson is a reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. Her work also appears in Marie Claire and The Week. In her free time, she plays electric violin and bass in a punk band.

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Gun Control Measures Are Going Nowhere, So Here's a Bulletproof Blanket for Your Kids

| Wed Jun. 4, 2014 11:52 AM EDT

One way to curb mass shootings in America's schools would be for Congress to pass gun control legislation. But since that plan failed miserably, an enterprising father in Oklahoma is offering another solution—equipping children with bulletproof blankets.

The Bodyguard Blanket™ was developed by Steve Walker, a father of two elementary school students who was horrified by the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 children and six adults dead. In the 14 months following Newtown, there were at least 44 school shootings. "We wanted our children to have a layer of protection immediately," Walker told Oklahoma NBC affiliate KFOR. "They can be stored in the classroom, and, when seconds count, they can be easily applied."

It comes in both child and adult sizes and is designed to be bulletproof, made from the same materials that US soldiers and law enforcement wear, the manufacturer's website claims. The manufacturers estimate that the blankets provide protection against "90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States."

The blanket is intended to be strapped on a child's back like a backpack. When the child crouches in a ball and huddles up next to other children, they form a kind of human shield, like how the "Romans and the Greeks used to lock together," managing partner Stan Schone told KFOR. (The blanket is also being marketed toward schools that might want to protect students from tornado-induced flying debris.)

Each blanket costs a little under $1,000, but the creators told KFOR they hope to offer discounts for large orders. There is also an option to donate blankets to "schools, daycare centers, churches, and other organizations located in your community." In any case, there's sure to be a market.

Fri Nov. 22, 2013 1:26 PM EST
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Fri Nov. 16, 2012 7:13 AM EST