After saying on my last post, I’m busy – but trying to make a point about how people act anymore when it is time to start creating possible solutions to something important, I felt bad and took a day of really thinking about the school shootings that people rightly want stopped and safety returned to those places (and others where shootings have occurred.)
With some brainstorming, the thoughts I have now about it are varied. I’m watching great efforts on behalf of many people including students from Parkland where 17 people, many of whom were students – were shot recently by a person with an assault rifle. The several recent blog posts I’ve made looked at some of the thoughts I’ve had about disenfranchisement of so many and the pull of extremist ideologies and groups bringing many of our young men a sense of belonging but at the price of all the dangers that extremist thinking and resulting actions bring – including these mass shootings of people in schools and other public places.
Anyway, the brainstorming I’ve done about this does not have just do-able ideas, and maybe their only value is to inspire something else entirely – but here is part of it:
On twitter yesterday, someone had put an article about bullet proof blankets for students and I know there are already bullet proof backpacks and clothing that are being made, although likely very expensive. There was also a recent invention being sold for police officers and others in the line of fire that uses origami folds and bullet proof technologies to make a shield that folds flat and can be deployed within a few seconds.
Here are those –
Now you can buy a bulletproof blanket specifically made for your kids to use during school shootings
The Bodyguard Blanket, made by a company called ProTecht, is a bulletproof 5/16-inch pad, made from the same materials used by our military, except it’s for kids. They even come in different sizes.
From Bullet Blocker Company in USA – is this $2,000 bomb blanket that can hang on the wall until it is needed. Seems a bit pricey for every student to have one of those at their desks or hanging on the walls for them – but possible, I suppose.
In demand bulletproof backpacks put to the test
My Note – apparently only metal armor would slow down or stop assault rifle rounds coming at innocent people.
Leatherback Gear™ is the world’s ONLY patented bulletproof backpack that converts into a protective vest in less than 5 seconds, offering immediate protection in any situation.
Latest in School Supplies: Bulletproof Plates for Backpacks
Schools also build fortified safe rooms against mass shooters; skeptical experts say a building-wide lockdown is best defense
Feb. 26, 2018
Schools and parents seeking ways to blunt the impact of mass shootings are investing in safe rooms to shelter students, backpacks with bullet-stopping panels and whiteboards that double as bulletproof shields.
(Must subscribe to WSJ to see the entire story – which is not bad really, they have lots of good stuff.)
Bullet-proof origami: folding Kevlar shield designed by BYU mechanical engineers
BYU mechanical engineers have created an origami-inspired, lightweight bulletproof shield that can protect law enforcement from gunfire. The new ballistic barrier can be folded compactly when not in use, making it easier to transport and deploy. When expanded — which takes only five seconds — it can provide cover for officers and stop bullets from several types of handguns.
The barrier Howell and his colleagues designed is made of 12 layers of bulletproof Kevlar and weighs only 55 pounds (many of the steel-based barriers in current use approach 100 pounds). The BYU-built barrier uses a Yoshimura origami crease pattern to expand around an officer, providing protection on the side in addition to protecting them in the front.
In testing, the barrier successfully stopped bullets from 9 mm, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum pistols.
Bulletproof Fashion for Men: Extreme Clothing for the World Traveler
JUN 15, 2016
The development and refinement of bulletproof clothing now includes highly stylized and contemporary fashion for all elite travelers. Armored clothing is moving from hard, stiff fabric to more moveable and soft materials making options even greater. Current fabric offerings include Dupont Kevlar and the incredibly resistant Dyneema. Dupont is currently working on creating more futuristic blast proof materials that will eventually be incorporated into wearable clothing.
There is also a wide variety of bulletproof clothing for all budgets.
(etc. with lots of great info – )
How is bulletproof clothing made?
In order to make bulletproof clothing manufacturers start by producing fiber or filament that is lightweight but strong. One of the most well known is Kevlar®, which is produced by spinning a solid thread from a liquid chemical blend.
Another fiber, Dyneema®, is made from a polyethylene base and is manufactured by means of a gel-spinning process that combines extreme strength with incredible softness.
(Definitely go read all these – really great description of the process without over-complicating it.)
The panels used in bulletproof clothing consist of multiple layers of the basic ballistic material and extensive testing is required to identify the proper thickness of ballistic material. The thickness of the final product depends on what level of protection the manufacturer is trying to achieve.
If you really want to see how this works – (great explanations and analysis of what happens when bullet proof materials are hit and deflect rounds of ammunition / projectiles.) –
Published in the International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 4, Issue 5, May-2013 [pg.s 1789 – 1796]
ANALYSIS OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS
USED IN BULLET PROOF VESTS USING
From 1981 –
ONE ANSWER TO VIOLENCE: BULLETPROOF CLOTHING
Published: May 16, 1981
More and more public officials, faced with the threat posed by modern-day terrorists, are turning to the ancient solution of armor. They are having Du Pont’s bulletproof fabric sewn into ordinary clothing such as vests, raincoats, even umbrellas. This so-called soft body armor adds only two to four pounds to the clothing’s weight.
(Yeah – go read the whole thing, seriously. Great info and it is from 1981 before the recent spate of mass shootings in America and at schools.)
Armour of America, a Santa Monica, Calif., security company, reported selling bulletproof blankets and draperies to bankers in the Pacific Northwest. In Houston, a spokesman for South Central Research, a security firm, said customers for bulletproof clothing were mostly oil company executives and lawyers who ”feared for their lives here in Murder Capital, U.S.A.”
Shop owners, some of whom have been previously robbed or wounded, are buying the kind of bulletproof vests used by the police, according to Louis Imperato, owner of John Jovino, a policeoutfitting store in Manhattan. In Los Angeles, a spokesman for Safari Land, said it was receiving inquiries about body armor from ”the Chinese Grocers’ Association, the Retail Liquor Dealers’ Association and everybody in between.” The grocers were interested in bulletproofing their aprons and the liquor dealers wanted bulletproof undershirts.
The vests are made so that the bulletproof material can be taken out and slipped into other vests, jackets or raincoats that have been specially prepared with ”pockets” to hold it.
Solutions also carries Kevlar umbrellas costing $900 to $1,200, which ”are good for shielding submachine gun fire,” and a $1,000 fake arm cast with a Kevlar sling and a .357 magnum pistol molded into the cast. It has sold 250 pairs of $800 ”ballistic knee shields,” mostly to Italian executives Shopping by Mail Order
Progressive Apparel, 29929 Eskridge Road, R-4, Fairfax, Va. 22031 (703-573-0700), also offers by mail order a variety of clothing, including undershirts at $103 to $252, dress shirts in several colors at $131 to $280, suit vests at $228 to $470, wind breakers at $290 to $486 and raincoats at $365 to $638.
Aside from bullet proof clothing, book bags, shields, umbrellas and other nifty items – all of which seem to be pretty expensive for every student to own and likely not all of them useful every single day, or super fast in deploying them when something happens maybe – I had a couple other brainstorm ideas about increasing safety at the schools to deter a shooting from happening again.
Of course the best way is to do everything possible for it to never happen in the first place –
I thought of stopping people, especially young men such as the ones who have recently been shooting up schools and theaters (and other places) from wanting to get the guns in the first place, or of wanting to use them to shoot people. If every single student from third grade onwards and especially in junior high and high school were required to take anger management every school year in some six week course and include conflict resolution skills, emotional skills and anger management, would it stop shootings from happening because it would give other choices to do something with the anger?
Then the second thought is to disable the shooter while they’re shooting off the gun. Apparently sprinkler systems wouldn’t dissuade a shooter already mowing down people, but if every single person in the school, from students, to teachers to administrators to parents were tactically trained? Could they be standing behind some shooter like that and bop them over the head with a fire extinguisher like in the movies? I don’t know.
The third quick thought I want to include here, although I did write down a bunch of others, was about school security and the costs that people have been talking about in the news, on facebook and on twitter. If schools were moved over to the large shopping malls, some of which have lost anchor tenants and have massive spaces and various storefronts sitting empty, they would be safer because malls already have vast security camera and monitoring equipment set up, an army of security guards and undercover security already being paid during shopping hours and then around the clock to some lesser degree – including both throughout the mall and outside in the parking lots.
Schools could lease the spaces, fit them out for classes – and the security at the shopping malls are already in place and they will be paying to have them there regardless, it is part of the cost of renting space at the malls. So, for a much smaller cost than maintaining and entire security force, buildings and every damn thing else – public schools could hold their classes at shopping malls (or state and federal buildings, many of whom are fully outfitted with metal detectors, x-ray machines, armies of security personnel and vast empty spaces from classroom sized offices to auditoriums, conference rooms and other huge spaces, many of which are not commonly in use or not being used right now at all.)
One last thought before wrapping this up, aside from throwing liquid nitrogen on that AR-15 or any other assault rifle, there is probably not an easy way to stop it from firing once someone has it in hand and is firing it. Running for cover is what is being used now, and maybe that saved everyone else the shooter would have killed if those drills to do that had not been in place, but that cannot be the only answer. If a laser pointer had been aimed at the shooter’s eyes, he might have been temporarily blinded, but with his hand on the trigger, firing would’ve likely continued. Students in the hallway when they were behind or near him and realized he was firing an assault rifle, may or may not have been capable of stopping him by bopping him over the head with something or slitting his throat with a broken cellphone screen or other handy item – even if they were trained in tactical actions and strategies.
However, having nothing else on the menu of choices is not acceptable either. Dogs can be deployed with handlers to sweep schools for gunpowder indicating guns are there, metal detectors can be added – or move the school classes to places that already have those in place.
Let’s find more answers that can help do two or three critical things here – stop shooters from wanting or needing this way of expressing their anger, frustration, AND better protect students, teachers, people at theaters and shopping spaces, and sports events when and if something does happen. ALSO, get people a better understanding of what they can do to protect themselves in these situations with resourcefulness and fast strategic thinking skills to use when it matters most.