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Don’t worry, kids, we’ve got your back (sorta, kinda)
by Barry Friedman

First Appeared in The Tulsa Voice

(Optional Video Accompaniment)

Comes to us this week a story from our almost-paid-for big-screen television, which confirms that the gun debate in America, generally, and in Oklahoma, specifically, has moved from the floor inside the Expo Center, during one of its 112,000 (more or less) annual gun shows, to a kiosk out in the parking lot.

And the debate’s over. We lost. In fact, so spectacularly is our defeat, we are now sitting under a brightly colored surrender flag, just watching the joint, while the owner runs to the bank.

We met up with Officer Perry Lewis at the Tulsa Police Department gun range to test the products.
That was KJRH-Channel 2 Reporter Deana Silk, a few weeks back, introducing her report⁠ about—wait for it—protective bulletproof backpacks; specifically, she reported on their efficacy in stopping various kinds of bullets before traversing through a six-year-old’s vertebra.
We bought a pink one with a DuPont Kevlar shield built inside, listed for $250 on
How cute! I love pink.
Ed Burke, VP Sales and Marketing for Bullet Blocker, says sales are skyrocketing. He told 2NEWS his business has grown 200 percent over the last year.
Good for you, sir. Couple more national school shootings and incoherent tantrums from berserk, racist Ted Nugent and God can only imagine what kind of year 2014 will be for you.
Officer Lewis agreed to shoot the backpack and insert using a 9 mm, a 40-caliber, and an assault rifle.
KJRH did not put the backpacks on child mannequins. Rather, the station set up the backpacks against a wall. It looked more like an arcade than a classroom. Officer Lewis had headphones and everything.


Anyway, using a 9mm, 40-caliber, and, yes, an AR-15, the report offered the results for both the DuPont model and a bulletproof insert device ($100) that can be placed inside an existing backpack—presumably, between the Lunchable and the take-home 3 Plus math practice quiz.

Backpack with built-in shield.
Bullet entered but did not exit. Product passes the test.

Bulletproof insert.
Bullet entered but did not exit. Product passes the test.

Order today and get an “I’ll Give Up My Bulletproof Backpack When You Pry It From My Child’s Cold Dead Shoulders” bumper sticker and keychain absolutely free.

I may have made that last part up.

Backpack with built-in shield.
Bullet entered but did not exit. Product passes the test.

Bulletproof insert.
Bullet entered but did not exit. However, there was significant damage to the insert. Still, the product passes the test.

There was “significant damage to the insert,” and still passed the test? Forehead, meet open palm.

State legislature⁠, line one:

The bill passed on a 13-0 vote. It states that any firearm, accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured in Oklahoma and remains within the borders of the state “is not subject to federal law, federal taxation or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce.”
Since many school shootings involve a high-powered rifle, KJRH asked Officer Lewis to step back to 25 feet using a .223 AR-15.
Oh, for the love of Christ ...
Backpack with built-in shield:
Did not pass. The bullet entered and exited through the back.

Bulletproof insert:
Did not pass. The bullet entered and exited through the back.

Ruh Roh!

Officer Lewis wasn't too surprised.

"You almost have to have ceramic plates to defeat those rounds, just like our military wears," he said.
Well, get these kids some ceramic plates, dammit, because freedom! Then, let’s stop punishing them for trying to protect themselves by any means possible.

Sally Kern, line two:

Oklahoma schoolchildren could not be punished for chewing their breakfast pastries into the shape of a gun under a bill introduced by a Republican legislator.

Did anyone at the station—and let’s start with Silk—consider how batshit crazy this whole notion was, how there was something a little ghoulish about suggesting—hell, encouraging—that this placebo be taken seriously, and how utterly astonishing, pointless, and embarrassing a report like this was before putting it on the air⁠?

In 2010, 15,576 children and teenagers were injured by firearms — three times more than the number of U.S. soldiers injured in the war in Afghanistan, according to the [Children’s] Defense Fund.

Nationally, guns still kill twice as many children and young people than cancer, five times as many than heart disease and 15 times more than infection, according to the New England Journal of Medicine

Apparently not.

Not one word about the 194 children 12 and younger who died⁠6 from guns since Sandy Hook, not one word about the Oklahoma representative who invited a gun manufacturer to Oklahoma⁠ so it could be free to peddle its wares without the heavy burden of regulation, and not one word about legislative action to allow even more⁠ guns into Oklahoma schools. Instead, we’re going to talk about, as former NBA legend Allen Iverson⁠ might spit it out, backpacks.

We interrupt this program⁠:

Police in Broken Arrow say the child got a hold of his parents gun late last night and shot himself just below the chest.

And we’re talking about … backpacks.

Child-counseling services, line three:

We talked to licensed counselor Claudia Arthrell about the potential dangers of giving your child a bulletproof backpack. She fears the product could give a child the illusion of being 100 percent protected, which they are not.
That’s what she fears — that the child might have the illusion he or she is protected?  

We could tell the kids about the 300 million⁠ firearms already in America and how we’re still not safe. We could tell them about the more than 30 Americans who die every day due to guns (or the 530 Oklahomans⁠ who died from them in 2010). We could tell them about the little girl who hid⁠ in her friend’s blood and played dead at Sandy Hook Elementary.

We could tell them about Sandy Hook.

We could tell them how we’ve surrendered the narrative to those who shill for gun manufacturers, insist on “Stand Your Ground” laws, and make laws according to a convoluted reading⁠ of the 2nd Amendment one former Chief Justice Warren Burger called, " … one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public."

Or we could tell them about these new, pretty, pink, bulletproof backpacks and, in so doing, tell them how we failed them. INVESTIGATION: “Bulletproof backpacks, can they stop a bullet? Kevlar shield and insert tested”” House committee passes firearms, freedom act” “Okla. bill: No punishment for school kids brandishing pastries chewed into gun shapes” “Epidemic: Guns kill twice as many kids as cancer does” “194 children have been shot to death since Sandy Hook”. “Lawmakers lure gun maker to Okla.” “Bill to arm teachers, administrators wins Oklahoma House panel's approval” “Allen Iverson: Practice” “Neighbors react to accidental shooting that killed BA toddler” “How many guns in United States “Firearm Deaths in Oklahoma and US” “Sandy Hook Classroom Survivor Played Dead” “The Most Mysterious Right”

Originally posted to News From The Plains. All This Red Can Make You Blue on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 04:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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