Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Is this how the NRA and pro-gun politicians want us to protect our children?

Bullet Blocker
Courtesy of Mother Jones:  

"Basically, there's three models," says Derek Williams. "A SwissGear that's made for teens, and we've got an Avengers and a Disney Princess backpack for little kids." 

Williams is the president of Amendment II, a Salt Lake City-based company that manufactures lightweight body armor for law enforcement and military use. But lately they've moved into a different market: body armor for kids. Six months ago, Amendment II introduced a new line of backpacks, built with the company's signature carbon nanotube armor, designed to keep kids safe in the event of school shootings. Since Friday's massacre at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school, sales have gone through the roof. "I can't go into exact sales numbers, but basically we tripled our sales volume of backpacks that we typically do in a month—in one week," Williams says. 

With thoughts of defenseless children seared into the national consciousness, the company doesn't plan on letting the crisis go to waste. "We want to be sensitive to how we do that, but we are gonna try to get the word out that this product does exist that there are ways to at least provide our children with some protection," Williams says.

Armed teachers, metal detectors at school entrances, and now bullet proof backpacks?

These are the suggestions of people who simply do NOT want to address the real problem.

If we pass laws that dramatically reduce the number of weapons in our country. If we create legislation that makes it harder to get guns in this country. And if we pass laws severely punishing those who illegally sell guns in this country. Then we DON'T have to send our children to schools set up like high security prisons while toting around heavy armored backpacks in this country.

How hard is that to figure out?

This is supposed to be the country that promotes and protects our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

How happy is a parent who has to spend the day worrying about the safety of her little girl?

How much liberty do our children enjoy if they have to pass through a metal detector and have their backpacks checked for possible firearms as they enter their public schools?

And how much is our ability to live a long life improved when at any given time we are surrounded by an unknown number of death dealing weaponry?

Does this appear to be a viable solution to our gun problem?

And how do reasonable people communicate and negotiate with those that think it is?


  1. Anonymous2:31 AM

    This is as stupid as the "Duck and Cover" shit from the 50's.

    1. Anonymous5:41 AM

      I thought the same thing. I remember hiding under my desk during atomic bomb drills in elementary school.

    2. Anonymous7:36 AM

      ranks as well with the duct tape/visqueen "solution" in the event of a chemical attack

      WTF ?!?

    3. "Duck and Cover"

      "Support the Troops"

      "Spreading Democracy"

      "Fighting Terrorism"

      "Peace with Honor"

      "Do You Love your Freedom?"

      "Don't Retreat, Reload."

      "Protect our Children."

      Propaganda. And none of the snake oil they're selling us is helping anyone except those who line their pockets via the death industry promoted by the military-industrial complex.

      What's next? Are we going to make our kids just stand there and take on the gunfire without a chance to fight back? No, lets arm all of the elementary kids. Just think of all the playground bullying that can be prevented. Or enhanced, if you're in favor of intimidating your playmates occasionally.

      I'm not a creative-type that can come up with a jingle or byline slogan right off the top of my head, but there are those who can, and someone needs to refine the meme of the "New Normal for Kids" being that if parents are going to TRULY protect their kids, they need to send them off to school "PACKING, Not Just Back-Packing." See, it needs a little work, but it'll be worth it when the cash registers start ringing.

      Remember: "It's for the kids" so "Give Your Child a Fighting Chance."

      S/ Snark Off. Jeez, this exploitation using fear propaganda to push an ideology in order to maintain a persona and extract $$$ from people just burns my ass. And it's difficult to have a rational discussion with a person who is truly afraid of "something" which they cannot quantify or even describe the risk quotient with the critical thinking required to accurately assess a situation.

      My bottom line: When we choose to go along with the masses down this road of group-think, we are succumbing to the same forces that lead the "War on Drugs" and the "Fighting Terrorism" efforts that keep us in perpetual anxiety and in conflict internally with our fellow citizens who have different ideas of how things ought to be done. But think about the methods that we use to attack these problems...

      Domestically, we are so polarized from one another that everyone feels like "the other guy" is always on the attack against us or our interests. And globally (international & domestic), the actions taken (invasion, occupation) have exacerbated the problems, costing lives around the world and adding to empires, personal and governmental, in what has become a perpetual war against not only our enemies, by a war against the true freedoms and national security that our constitution prescribes for all of us.

      I hate to be a buzzkill, but all of this constant agitation of people who are victims of the power struggles and money-grabs by the greedy is really putting a damper on my "Christmas Shopping". [Actually, we finally discontinued the "gift-fest" buying sprees a few years ago, and family gatherings are so much more enjoyable for everyone, even the nutters in our family all over the political spectrum.]

      Safe & Happy Holidays to You, Jesse, and to Everyone in the IM Community. (at least until Friday, when the world ends...s/)

    4. Anonymous12:13 PM

      Christmas should be added to you list of Propaganda at the top. It is nothing more than a holiday created to pad retailers pockets. Stop participating; you'll feel better, trust me.

  2. Anonymous3:28 AM

    Well.... this guy is probably a conservative, religious, big business type (and I'll go out on a limb here and speculate on his political persuasion as well) Republican, and you know the unspoken mantra of these guys: never let a crisis go to waste. Fellow cons who are already clutching at their collective pearls in fear of having the UN take away their guns can easily be persuaded that the President and evil libruls want to harm their kids as well, and so..... bulletproof backpacks and kid-sized body armor, but no socialized mental healthcare for "you people!".

  3. discouraged parent3:30 AM

    Any conversation about limiting guns/assault weapons needs to start with expanding mental health access and finally offering some real help to mentally ill Americans and the families who love them.

    I am the parent of a mentally ill, adult daughter. When she is in crisis, we - her mom and dad - are all in crisis. The fact of the matter is that there's very little help available to us, other than a psychiatric ward for involuntary housing on a "mental health warrant" for about five days, or just having her arrested by the police, I suppose.

    The rest of the time, we are paying, mainly out of pocket, for counseling and therapy sessions with supposed professionals, trying to find a way out of the crises that blow up in a flash in our adult daughter's life.

    Over a period of about 20 years, at least 6 different psychiatrists diagnosed her as suffering from "bipolar disorder", when in fact, she suffers from nearly all the classic symptoms of "borderline personality disorder" (BPD), not the least of which is suicides, rage, deeply immobilizing depressions, misreading someone's silence or words as hurtful, risky behaviors, and much more.

    The first one is biochemical, it never goes away, and you throw pills at it.

    The second one (BPD) is an emotional dysregulation problem that responds well to a specific therapy leading to a life worth living.

    While psychiatrists collect their great living off of MISDIAGNOSING children and teens, the damage is too deeply engrained in the YOUNG ADULT, once a TRUE diagnosis is discovered. Decades are lost to a mental illness that actually could have been alleviated through the right therapy and honest psychiatric support if diagnosed when the symptoms were first manifested - in childhood. That's a gross malpractice in the mental health field that punishes the mentally ill and wastes their potential and quality of life.

    So, NOW, we struggle to help our daughter get the REAL therapy and support she SHOULD have had 20 years ago. And, wouldn't ALL our lives have been better - her dad, her mom, and especially HER - if someone, somewhere, when she was 4 years old, or 8 years old, had just recognized her symptoms, as listed in their great bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)?

    And, directed us all those years ago into therapy for her emotional hypersensitivity instead of throwing their useless pills at her?


    1. Anonymous5:46 AM

      When we write to our Congressmen/women in Washington, we should always ask that they address adequate programs for improving mental health treatment in this country at the same time that they do everything possible to get the worst of the weaponry off the streets. These are equally crucial issues and one should not be used to obscure the other. We have, as a nation, ignored mental illness as an integral part of health care for far too long. It needs to be recognized, not stigmatized, and help needs to be made available.

    2. Anonymous9:02 AM

      sorry, you are wrong -borderline personality disorder, like all PERSONALITY DISORDERS (narcissistic, anti-social, etc.) is considered a permanent condition. can you address symptoms of it with cognitive behavioral therapy? sure. will this help some portion of people? sure. just like lithium helps some bipolar people. clinically speaking, borderline PD is considered MUCH more untreatable than bi-polar precisely BECAUSE nothing is wrong with the brain chemistry, instead something is wrong with the actual personality, the substance and soul of the person, despite them having a biologically normal brain....

      you are wrong to lash out at doctors and ridicule meds just because you had and have a hard road to walk with your daughter. and, if you -the untrained non-doctor- are actually the one misdiagnosing your daughter and keeping her from meds she may actually need she is much more likely to have a horrible life that may end in suicide.

      -a bipolar adult woman

    3. discouraged parent1:13 PM

      Have you ever heard of Dialectical Behavior Therapy? It was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan and is a successful program that is based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Try googling that; it might help you understand this subject a little better. DBT is evidenced-based therapy that actually helps "emotionally dysregulated" patients find a life worth living. About 100,000 therapists are specifically trained to provide DBT therapy. It's estimated that more people suffer from BPD than from bipolar and schizophrenia COMBINED, and BPD research in the field is behind about 10 years. The NIMH pours HUNDREDS of millions of dollars into research for the disorders of bipolar and schizophrenia, and only about $6 mil thus far for BPD. So don't pretend to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm living/breathing BPD every day of my life.

      In case anyone is interested, you can go to from much more information. I have kept my daughter FROM suicide while under the care of the half dozen psychiatrists who MISdiagnosed her, or ignored her symptoms beyond the easy "bipolar" one.

      Today, she has opportunities that she'd never have had if left in the care of a medical community that refused to see a walking example of their DSM symptoms right in front of them for BPD. But BPD patients require THERAPY to help them, something the psychiatrists cannot or will not provide; they just push pills and send the patient out the door to try to find some real help elsewhere.

      Mental health problems underlie the misuse of guns by mentally unhealthy people. Until the legislatures stop de-funding mental health programs, and begin supporting families with funding to offer a community of helpful options when dealing with a mentally disordered loved one, gun control will not, by itself, stop the mentally ill from shooting disasters.

    4. Anonymous4:28 PM

      "is considered a permanent condition. can you address symptoms of it with cognitive behavioral therapy? sure. will this help some portion of people? sure."

      but you are still wrong to vilify all medications. for some people they can be life-saving. there is nothing wrong with using both therapy AND medicines if both are helpful to the patient.

    5. discouraged parent5:55 PM

      My last attempt here. I am disgusted with a medical community that refused to see the child, the teenager, and now the young woman with all the classic signs of BPD and continued to prescribe medicines that were not needed nor wanted by the patient and failed to address the actual needs of the patient. I have spoken only about my daughter, not you or any other mentally unhealthy person besides her, who needed care denied her by those who refused to see her needs.

      I don't vilify all medications. I vilify a medical community that has allowed a young woman to suffer needlessly for most of her life, while we, her parents, continued, over decades, to advocate for her and try to find help for her wherever we could in the face of a disinterested misdiagnosis. She is better off today because of our efforts. And the Dialectical Behavior Therapy provided by highly trained professionals, as well as a DBT-aware psychiatrist who changed her medication to take into account her BPD situation, have made a difference.

      Peace to you. I'm at peace with advocating for my daughter in the face of psychiatrists who prolonged her miseries, and in so doing, prevented her from finding a better path so many years ago. Like her, however, I fear a great number of "mentally deranged" or otherwise out-of-control adults are undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or otherwise suffering and need help themselves. And, that is what needs to be addressed in our society along with any conversation about gun safety.

  4. Anonymous3:41 AM

    I thing it's interesting that we're not hearing a lot about how the gun that was used to kill all those kids was banned in the 1994 gun law. And while the theory is that only law abiding citizens pay attention to these laws, Nancy Lanza wasn't going to buy guns illegally. None of these people who do these shootings know where to get guns illegally. They pretty much all buy them legally.

    Also, I just want to point out that our culture is so pro-gun and so insistent that everyone has the right to own guns that no one seemed to point out to Nancy that it's cah-ray-zee to teach your emotionally disturbed son how to shoot an assault rifle.

    1. Anonymous7:41 AM

      100% with you! How is it we could ban these weapons but then 10 years later say " meh, guns aren't the problem, lets stop trampling people's 2nd amendment rights." No one, in creating the 2nd Amendment, thought to himself that that legislation would come in handy one day when these military mass murdering guns would be accessible to all who want one! The 2nd Amendment is completely outdated and reasonable citizens need to point that out to our legislators often.
      As for mental health issues, too many families deal with under treated or improperly treated family members. My own bipolar mom has been mismanaged through the years leading to dangerous near death experiences by inadvertent OD on meds she should have been better monitored on. I can only hope we see an all encompassing health care sweep when everyone gets coverage.

  5. Olivia4:48 AM

    That must have come from the same genius level thinking that told us in the 60s that crawling under our desks would protect us in the event of a nuclear attack.

    1. Anonymous8:39 AM

      My thoughts exactly.

  6. Anonymous5:19 AM

    Totally ridiculous - and talk about useless and preying on fear.

    One, most schools make kids put backpacks in their lockers. Some schools require see through backpacks for fear of what STUDENTS bring in.

    And do we have to get to the point of showing how/where the Sandy Hook victims were shot? Is that what it takes to get these illogical tone deaf assholes to give up their penis extenders.

    1. Anonymous7:19 AM

      Exactly, in our school district the kids are not even allowed to bring back packs into the classrooms. It is a fire hazard with them all over the place and those packs can be used to carry weapons into the classroom.

  7. Anonymous5:24 AM

    Bulletproof backpacks is ridiculous. Those children who were shot last week, did not have on their backpacks.
    Also when the child is wearing a backpack, it is only on the back, not encasing the whole body, front to back, top to bottom, or encasing the head,.

  8. Maple6:00 AM

    Some Americans have a very strange concept of what it means to be "free". I don't regard having to carry a gun to protect oneself, or to wear body armour, to be "free" in order to live in a first world country. My idea of freedom is to be able to walk down the street, pop into a store, visit a school or other public facility, without the worry of being shot and killed. My idea of freedom is to NOT put bars on my windows, or have to live in a gated community (as do my American relatives) to keep me safe. I cannot imagine school-age children being afraid to go to school, or their parents dropping them off and then worrying about whether they will ever see them alive again.

    I live across the river from the U.S., where the state happens to have the strictest gun laws. Do I go there regularly? Absolutely not, because I am fearful of being confronted by someone with a gun.

    Consider what your individual freedom actually means. What you have right now is far from freedom.....sadly.

  9. Anonymous6:55 AM

    It seems some madness has taken over. What in the world will bullet-proof backpacks do to protect a child in a classroom where they aren't wearing their packs? This whole run-around-the-mulberry-bush thing is idiotic.

    What will be next, arming children with pink and blue mini-guns? Inventing clothes that deflect bullets? What kind of society will that eventually create? One that puts fear in every human wanting to go outside their home.

    Do gun advocates want to live in a vigilante-style police state? Fear, intimidation, and carnage is what Sarah Palin's "fallen society" would look like.

  10. Anonymous7:57 AM

    MONEY GRUBBING SCAM! That's all this is and some of those idiots will purchase these..

  11. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Sure, let's all just accept living in a war zone, and act defensively, instead of simply addressing the problem that is a highly armed society.


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