It's something that nobody should have to think about when buying a school backpack, but following this week's horrific mass shooting at a South Florida high school, sales of bulletproof backpacks have increased, according to The Cut.
Yasir Sheikh, president of a Florida-based company that specializes in protective products, says the backpacks "sell themselves" when these incidents take place. He started selling the bags five years ago after 26 people were killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While sales have been largely steady ever since, he indicated that they see a spike following a shooting. "Sometimes we see it instantly, sometimes it's a few days afterward," he told The Cut.
TMZ reports Bullet Blocker, another company that also makes various protective items, also saw a 30% rise in sales with much of the bags heading to Florida. Founded by an Army Ranger in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, the company takes bulletproofing to the next level by selling not only backpacks and traditional bulletproof vests but also bomber jackets, purses, and other luxury products fitted with materials that make it resistant to bullets.
Reality star Kim Zolciak of Real Housewives of Atlanta posted a screenshot of one of the backpacks listed on Amazon, stating she had just purchased one herself. "What can we do as parents to protect our children every day in this crazy sad world," she said in the caption. "It's better than not having anything at all."