With the recent shootings in the United States, protecting oneself against potential mass shooters has become a business opportunity for entrepreneurs. In this posting, I will take a look at a few products which are currently for sale that can be used in a shooting emergency.
The following products are for the protection of the general public:
1.) Bulletproof Classic Suit Jacket: For only $1199.99, this jacket will cover your entire torso (excluding the vulnerable tie-gap just below your chin) and provides the same ballistic protection as provided by traditional law enforcement body armour vests. The Kevlar liner is removable.
2.) Bulletproof Exec-Carry On: Again, for the office worker, we have a bulletproof carry-on travel bag. This wheeled bag is priced at $349.99 and can stop .357, .44 Magnum and 9 mm ammunition. All you need to do is remember to duck behind it when the bullets start to fly in the office, on board the aircraft or in the airport.
3.) Women's Armor T-Shirt: For only $1700, this ballistic tank top, available in either black or white, is made with high-tech materials and can be worn under other clothing. It is touted as being "very light and comfortable".
4.) Women's Leather Jacket: This fashionable and discrete leather jacket comes with two side pockets that can be accessed from the outside. It weighs in at seven pounds, comes in three colours and is available for only $4000.00.
Now, let's look at products that are available for school children. For your information, since the December 2012 school shooting in Sandy Hook, there have been 161 school shootings as shown on this map:
1.) Kids Ballistic Backpack: This fully functional backpack is equipped with light-weight ballistic protection and is designed to look like a normal backpack so that children wearing them don't draw unnecessary attention to themselves. It is available in two colourful patterns, a variety of sizes and sells for $200.
2.) Bulletproof Blankets: This item puts new meaning into the "duck and cover" mantra of the 1950s and 1960s. The Bodyguard blanket is designed to be bullet resistant, providing bullet resistant protection against 90 percent of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States. Here is a video showing the product:
Here is a photo showing a 9 mm bullet caught in a Bodyguard blanket:
Bodyguard blankets are priced on a sliding scale depending on height and body frame; prices start at $1011.49 for a 20 inch by 36 inch model up to $1622.90 for a 26 inch by 50 inch model.
Lastly, here's a product for school teachers:
1.) Bulletproof Whiteboards: Hardwire Armor Systems is now providing a bulletproof replacement for the ubiquitous classroom whiteboards (not to mention the whiteboards found in conference rooms across the nation). An 18 inch by 20 inch NIJ Level 3 whiteboard weighs 10.6 pounds is priced at $999 plus shipping and handling. It is available in five colours, comes with a 25 year warranty. and a mounting hook. The seller maintains that the product "blends well with classroom" and "has no negative psychological impact on students".
With no sign of significant changes to America's gun legislation in sight, it looks like the personal protection industry could well be a growth business in the United States. With America's gun and ammunition sales totalling roughly $15 billion annually, you can't blame these companies for getting in on a good thing.