Are Bulletproof Blankets To Shield School Kids Really the Answer?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 11 2014 12:20 PM

Are Bulletproof Blankets To Shield School Kids Really the Answer?

The family of Emilio Hoffman, the victim of the Oregon school shooting weep at a candle-light vigil. There have been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook.

Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images

Is this really the answer to all of the school shootings? Amid a raft of school violence and deadly tornadoes across the country, an Oklahoma doctor has invented a bulletproof blanket to protect children.

Yesterday saw another school shooting with a student killed at a high school in Oregon. This was the 74th school shooting since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to Michael Bloomberg's gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. Steve Walker, a 43-year-old father of two, is tired of trend. Walker said he was inspired to create the "Bodyguard Blanket" after being infuriated by the Sandy Hook shooting and the deadly tornado that struck Oklahoma schools in 2013.


According to its manufacturer, ProTecht, an Oklahoma-based company, the blanket was developed with the same bullet-resistant materials used by the U.S. military. The product's website, is complete with promotional videos and training videos.

With the gun control laws having been completely stalled in Congress since a failed attempt last year to expand background checks, Walker and his co-inventors say the yoga mat-like blanket could be “something that hopefully both sides can agree upon.”

Critics of the blanket, particularly on its Facebook page, are worried about the blanket’s bright orange color. They fear children wearing it will be noticeable targets, but developers say the blankets can come in different colors.

You can watch one of the promotional videos below:

Irene Chidinma Nwoye is a writer and former Slate intern in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Amazon Is Launching a Serious Run at Apple and Samsung


Slim Pickings at the Network TV Bazaar

Three talented actresses in three terrible shows.


More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. Now There’s Just One Thing Holding Us Back.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?