ProTecht's 'BodyGuard' Bulletproof Blankets Are The Saddest, Smartest Item On The Market
As President Obama pointed out Tuesday, mass shootings have become the "norm" in the United States, and yet, thanks to Congress, trying to change gun laws is a slow and arduous task. In the meantime, an Oklahoma company called ProTecht has created a BodyGuard Blanket to protect children and teachers in the event of a shooting or tornado. Which may just be the most depressing — and useful — thing to hit the market, ever.
Over the last 10 months, ProTecht has been working on creating the bullet-resistant shield, which was released to the public only a week ago. The blanket is made of Dyneema, a type of plastic that's used in military armor, and contains a gel that helps it absorb impact. It can protect against 90 percent of all weapons and sharp objects; it can even endure items hitting it at 200mph — a pretty major deal when it comes to debris flying around during a tornado.
According to ProTecht's website:
The manufacture of Bodyguard™ blanket asserts that whenever shelters are not available – Bodyguard™ blanket should be accessible, and used in order to reduce injuries and the possibility of death(s) caused by tornadoes and powerful storms ... After extensive research, it is estimated that Bodyguard™ blanket provides bullet resistant protection against 90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States. We are so confident in the protective properties of Bodyguard™blanket we are encouraging every administrator to make it an integral part of school and university lockdown protocol.
It's easy to see why there's a need for the Bodyguard blanket. Generally speaking, Homeland Security suggests that those in the vicinity of an active shooter either get out of there as quickly as possible, or "hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)" — which aren't very good shields, when it comes to most weapons.
Only earlier this week, in the 74th school shooting to hit the U.S. since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, students in Oregon were hurriedly evacuated from the building and taken to a local supermarket — a process that took roughly two hours. In other words, there's great risk and not enough protection.
Unlike last year's idea of bulletproof school uniforms — which could potentially be scary, uncomfortable and heavy — a weapons-resistant blanket makes sense. Each orange pad comes in various sizes, is easy to put on, and foldable. It's quick to get on or under, and you can potentially hide as a group instead of alone, if the blanket is in a large size. It's also less intimidating than a lot of other protective-wear, looking more like a familiar school mat. As absurd an idea as it sounds, then, a bulletproof blanket is perhaps the perfect — and most heartbreaking — addition to any American school.
At least until we figure out another way of dealing with the country's gun problem.
Image: Facebook/BODYGUARD Blanket