Companies that manufacture bulletproof backpacks say they’ve seen a spike in sales after three mass shootings, The Guardian reports. The sales come as parents, riddled with anxiety about the possibility that their own children will find their school under attack, and with little hope for meaningful gun control, are looking for anything they can do to increase their chances of surviving. Three companies, Bullet Blocker, TuffyPacks, and Guard Dog Security, all said “they saw a significant uptick in the aftermath of mass shootings,” according to CNN. Similar increases followed shootings in previous years like the one in Parkland, Florida, last year. Guard Dog Security began sales of its product after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013.
“We always see spikes in sales in the days or weeks after shootings,” said Steve Naremore, the CEO of TuffyPacks. His company saw an increase of 300 percent over the past week. “The backpack is designed first of all to be a very stylish and nice-looking backpack,” ArmorMe’s Gabi Siboni told the New York Times. “And it has panels that protect you against bullets. It will increase your survival chances.” There is little concrete evidence that such backpacks, which range in price from around $100 – $500, will actually be effective in the event of a shooting. Some of the companies who sell them have been criticized for claims about the advertised certified safety levels of the materials in question. Grasping some of the absurdity of the gun epidemic that has led to such a point, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) summarized the feelings of many, saying, “Your back-to-school shopping list shouldn’t have to include a bulletproof backpack.”