$1000 Security Blankets for Each Kid at School?

Hi ksethyitba
Readers! This is from the mom of four in Canada who wrote about the fear of “dry drowning” last week. Today, a new peeve that peeves me, too.

Dear Free-Range Kids: As seen around Facebook lately, sales of the ProTecht BodyGuard blanket have, in the words of the manufacturer, already “far exceeded our wildest expectations.” It’s been on the market for about two weeks.

Hooray! Another ineffective, expensive product touted as “the way” to keep our kids alive! Maybe we can keep the economy afloat by stocking up on dubious antidotes to our already statistically irrelevant “worst nightmares” — products that guarantee us a spot in heaven reserved for Parents Who Cared Enough About Their Kids to Purchase “Safety” Gear That Doesn’t Actually Keep Anyone Safer. (Bulletproof backpacks, anyone?)

I am sad that this product is being marketed at all, and highly doubtful about most of its safety claims. Where to begin? Let’s start with the “tornado protection” aspect.

This “blanket” (actually a tri-fold mat that attaches to the kid with backpack-like straps) is being held out as some sort of economical alternative to a bona-fide storm shelter. That doesn’t quite add up.


One BodyGuard costs $1000. If your school has 500 students in it, and you purchase one for each student, that’s a half a million dollars. I know excavating underground is not cheap, but $500,000 might help fund some kind of space for storm situations that could perhaps double as a movie room or a dance studio or something— at least you’d be getting more bang for your buck than you would harbouring lockers full of pricey, tangerine-coloured space-wasters.

Also: I grew up in the Midwest, where sirens serenaded us every summer. There’s something about strapping a semi-rigid sail (ahem, I mean “blanket”) onto your body that seems antithetical to tornado safety. People killed by deadly twisters are getting hit by airborne debris. My gut tells me that being tethered to this thing may actually help you BECOME airborne debris. The best place to be when a tornado hits is underground. If you’re above ground, all bets are off, no matter what you’re strapped to.


But wait, you say. This blanket isn’t just for tornadoes. It’s also intended as a good-luck charm during the several-times-statistically-less-likely event of a school shooting.

So if there’s a maniacal shooter roaming the halls, calmly direct children to a special locker where they’ll get out their $1000 ballistic blankets, strap them on, and become even LESS maneuverable. Because wearing this on their backs or cowering underneath it is going to ward off gunshot wounds better than simply jumping out the window and making a run for it?

Last time I checked, running for your life was absolutely free — and proven effective, since moving targets are a LOT harder to hit than stationary, cowering ones topped with a bright orange mat (oh, dear Lord, that LOGO of theirs. Gah!).

The blanket, by the way, is only rated to stop 9mm and .22 calibre ammo. Assault rifle rounds, like those fired at Sandy Hook, will go through it like buttah, but of course, that fact isn’t featured in the creepy-as-hell ballistic-blanket-testing video:


In summary, this product’s application to deadly-but-unlikely situations involving projectiles reminds me of the advice given to Atomic Age kids at their schools in the 1950s and 60s. “If you see the flash of a nuclear bomb blast, quick! Duck and cover!” — Canada Mom


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56 Responses to $1000 Security Blankets for Each Kid at School?

  1. Jen June 16, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    There doesn’t seem to be any end to the insanity. As a marketer, I enjoy looking back at must-have products of the past for a good laugh. . .I am hoping that some day, we will have regained out sanity and get a good laugh over some of these ridiculous products that are coming to market that some people really think are enhancing our lives and keeping our children safe.

    In other news, today is the last day of school at our local elementary school — it’s a traditional field day with tag, relays (where people actually win),tug of war and water guns (oh, the horrors). We got a note to send our kids in WITH sunscreen and wearing a particular color shirt so (mixed grade, k-8) teams can be readily be identified and rally together to cheer for each other (possibly upsetting children wearing other colors). I packed enough sunscreen to (heaven forbid) share and sent my child off with a lunch box full of dangerous treats like grapes (not cut in half) and a dessert even though I know they will probably be loading up on popsicles and Kool-Aid through out the day. Summer is here. . .let the chaos ensue!

  2. SOA June 16, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    I think we would be better off spending that money on fighting bullying and putting it toward mental health. That is why school shooting happens. Bullying and mental health issues. Both of which need to be dealt with. We can prevent it at the source.

  3. Sloan44 June 16, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    We go from “Duck and cover” to “Grab the blanket and cover”. And the sales/promotion of these unnecessary blankets,in my opinion,adds flame to the fire.

  4. pentamom June 16, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    And how much do you want to bet these things have to be re-inspected regularly, replaced every few years to prevent “degradation,” and replaced any time they suffer the slightest impact? That first half-mil might just be scratching the surface.

  5. TaraK June 16, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    And yet I have friends on facebook considering buying one for their child.

  6. BL June 16, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    “I think we would be better off spending that money on fighting bullying”

    Put the bullies under the blankets, then nail the blankets to the floor.

  7. Montreal Dad June 16, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Jeezum, it’s the dawn of the School Shooting Industrial Complex…everyone else sees a tragedy, these basterds see a business opportunity.

  8. J- June 16, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    This is not the first blog I’ve red mocking the idiocy of these blankets. This is the product of fear mongering at it’s worst, and the dumbest thing sold to schools since the marijuana dowsing rod.

    First, the primary cause of death in tornados/earthquakes/etc. is being crushed in a building collapse, not getting perforated by flying debris. If you want to save lives during a tornado, get kids away from roofs that are prone to collapse during high wind loads (e.g. get them out of the gym).

    Second, every story from a school shooting has the same trend: 1) calm, 2) eruption of gun fire, 3) the whole thing is over in a matter of minutes. Where are these going to be stored that the kids will have time to collect them and put them on before the gunman gets to their classroom? Or are they supposed to wear them all day?

    Body armor is only tested in the middle of panels, so the edges of each panel isn’t bullet proof. That means it’s less of a blanket and more like three sheet-of-paper size patches of bullet resistance. At least with a vest, you know it covers your vitals, this is totally random.

    If you wanted to make a device that can be used to prevent casualties in a school shooting, make heavy duty doors that are lockable from the inside. The evidence shows that lives were saved every time a teacher or student barricaded a door and prevented the shooter from entering the room. And I bet that will cost a lot less than $1000 per student.

  9. Vicki Bradley June 16, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    This is taking “bubble-wrapped” to a whole new level. Before you know it, some sleazy manufacturer is going to come out with bullet-proof clothing for the kids to wear everyday of their lives – you can’t be too careful! This product is all about making a buck by instilling paranoia and fear into people; unfortunately, many people will fall for it, thinking they’re doing the best thing for their kids.

  10. Paul June 16, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Not only does this product take advantage of people with irrational fears but if it was ever needed for it’s actual unlikely purpose it would do a poor job of protecting the child.

  11. Jen (P.) June 16, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    “Because wearing this on their backs or cowering underneath it is going to ward off gunshot wounds better than simply jumping out the window and making a run for it?”

    According to my 8th grader, our school district has changed its security protocol to precisely this. They used to have drills where they practiced cowering in a corner or under their desks or something. But now they’re telling them to break a window, get out and run like hell. Of course, some concerned parent is no doubt looking for a way to fund the purchase of these ridiculous things and will petition the school board to buy them for the 12,000 kids in our financially strapped district.

  12. Jenny R. June 16, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    What about the psychological cost of a child having this blanket at school all day? It’s like the opposite of a security blanket! Here honey, carry this blanket just in case someone tries to shoot you at school today. Talk about laying the groundwork for an anxiety disorder…

  13. Brian June 16, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    I’d note that unlike these blankets, “duck and cover” was (and still is) actually good advice for surviving a nuclear attack. Assuming you’re in the range where it makes a difference, the biggest immediate dangers are radiant heat and debris. Ducking helps protect you from debris, and covering helps protect more important parts of the skin from burn. And if you’re far enough away for it to matter, there will be a delay between the flash and the shock wave providing time to duck and cover.

    In a storm, on the other hand, the right thing to do is get underground, and in a shooting, either cower behind a locked and barricaded door or run away. Hiding under a bulletproof blanket just isn’t very effective.

  14. fred schueler June 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    Parents Who Cared Enough About Their Kids to Purchase “Safety” Gear That Doesn’t Actually Keep Anyone Safer = PWCEATKPSGTDAKAS – pronounced puke-kwpibs-akas

  15. Reziac June 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Uh… if the wind is at tornado force, how the HELL do you expect a kid to be able to hang onto a ‘blanket’ … let alone haul it around with them all the time, just in case there’s a tornado?? Do you really think a kid is going to get himself perfectly centered under this ‘blanket’ with no body parts sticking out?

    Okay, I can buy the “safety orange so you can see them in the rubble” (if you have everyday rubble, I guess), but that can be accomplished with a two-dollar neckerchief.

    As to protection from a shooter, wouldn’t you be better off to just run away? I mean, if you’re hiding behind a glare-orange blanket, not only does that scream “TARGET!” it also means you’re a stationary, target, easier to approach and aim at (around the edge of the blanket). Assuming, of course, that you have these every day in your school (NOT!!!!!)

    Oh, as to the dowsing rod thing…

    Here’s a better alternative: figure out why it costs a school district $30 million dollars to build a “tornado shelter” when any housing contractor can build a covered basement for a fraction as much. It’s a hole to hide in for a few hours, it’s not somewhere you’ll have to live for months on end. It needs a water tank, a box of plastic cups, maybe a battery and some LED lights, and a few portable toilets; it doesn’t need all the comforts of home.

  16. Marni June 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    This reminds me of that company that was trying to market parachutes for office workers in high rise buildings after 9/11.

    I predict that this will be just as successful.

  17. Heather June 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    I notice that they don’t show how long it takes to get each kid strapped into one of those! I live a few miles north of Moore, Oklahoma, and while I am in favor of making the buildings more storm resistant, this is ridiculous. My daughter is in elementary school and last year was very upsetting because we did not have a procedure for what was going to happen once the weather did get bad. I was so relieved this year that the new principal is being proactive about the procedures and not making the kids duck and cover in a huge wind tunnel(the hallway), but I will laugh in is his face if he suggests this.
    As for school shootings, whatever! Of course EVERYONE in this state but me owns a gun apparently. 😛

  18. Havva June 16, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    These things don’t resemble a blanket so much as a very small gym mat. The kids look awful exposed to me.


  19. BL June 16, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    “In a storm, on the other hand, the right thing to do is get underground, and in a shooting, either cower behind a locked and barricaded door or run away.”

    Run away? There are rules against running in schools. It’s unsafe, don’t you know?

    And rules are rules.

  20. SOA June 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    I am telling my kids once they are old enough to really get it that if there is a school shooting unless you hear or see shooters outside I would prefer you jump out the window and run for it. Every school shooting has been 100% inside. The whole hiding under desks is stupid if you can make a run outside for it. Especially if you are on the first floor. Most of my schools had big windows you could easily jump out of. or heck just step out of it and run.

    It is really hard unless you are a marksmen to hit a running weaving target. Easy to hit a giant orange mat holding still. Just saying. And those would only probably stop stray bullets. If they come right up to you like in Columbine and shoot you right in the head the mat will do no good.

    We live 2 seconds from the elementary school and in any emergency situation I am getting my kid one way or another and getting them home. I think I have a better chance protecting them the school does most of the time. Like if a tornado is heading our way but not close enough yet, I am getting my kids and running home where we have an actual basement.

  21. Maggie June 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    Attention parents who think these are “just the thing” for your school system.

    It would be SAFER to homeschool your children in your basement. Heck, move their bedrooms down there too! No “stranger danger”, no bullies, no lurking pedophiles waiting to kidnap your kid. No driving your kids to school in the most UNSAFE thing on the market, a CAR!

    While you at it, a 12 foot fence with razor wire is a good idea, along with security cameras, an alarm system, and 3 or 4 guard dogs.

    And yes, this is sarcasm.

  22. Paul June 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    How far are we from arriving at the point where kids are actually strapped into life vests to wear 24/7, around the clock? Seriously, South Park was meant to be satire, not a prescription for how to raise our children.

  23. Mark Roulo June 16, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    “Before you know it, some sleazy manufacturer is going to come out with bullet-proof clothing for the kids to wear everyday of their lives – you can’t be too careful!”

    Done: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/designer-makes-bulletproof-clothing-for-kids/

  24. Mark Roulo June 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    “What about the psychological cost of a child having this blanket at school all day? It’s like the opposite of a security blanket!”

    Which is why these should be marketed as overpriced towels!


    But they won’t be.

  25. pentamom June 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Brian, thank you, I’ve been making this point for years. Getting vaporized and rapidly lethal doses of radiation are not the only effects of a nuclear blast for anyone, anywhere. If you’re in a zone where the windows get blown out by the shock wave, sitting there at your desk saying “But hiding under a desk won’t save me if I’m at Ground Zero” is not a winning strategy.

    But the “people were so stupid 60 years ago” mentality is hard to shake.

  26. John June 16, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    If you read between the lines in that article, it sounds as if it is somebody trying to make a buck by exploiting the emotional issues we Americans have toward children. Lenore, didn’t you post an article a couple of years ago where somebody invented refrigerated lunch boxes? That’s even more insane! The advertisement said that it would prevent our children from getting sick from food poisoning. Even though years ago, we used to brown bag our lunch and throw it in our lockers all morning long until lunch time and not one kid ever got sick.

    @SOA…..I’m sure I’ll get harpooned here BUT I really believe that “bullying” in schools should be handled the exact same way it was handled 50 years ago. Discipline the child accordingly by giving him (or in many cases, her) detention and a long lecture on the importance of respect. But yet schools nowadays will expel the kid altogether for things like intimidating and calling another kid names. Kids will do that and it’s not a good thing for them to do and they need to be corrected accordingly BUT it’s certainly not in the same category as savagingly attacking a weaker kid by bloodying his face and breaking his nose. Yes, in that case, kick the kid out and send him to reform school. But yet schools will treat ALL cases the same way. 0 tolerance, it’s ALL bullying so let’s kick’em ALL out! That’s an OVER reaction in my opinion.

  27. Nadine June 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    so wat i see in the test video (where they tested the shotgun fire “just for fun”) is them shooting up their own product. I font know what they are scraping at after every shot but if that’s supposed to be the back of my kids head….. its not good enough! and I’m sick of seeing that thing getting all the free publicity on national outlets. next year you will see these brainiacs sewing two of those things together with a zipper so your kid can sandwich himself into his own bodybag and all the media will be right on it again.

    putting my money into a responcible gun laws super pack might be more effective in changing the ods. this is getting ridiculus.

  28. lollipoplover June 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    Unless the Bodyguard Blanket performs like Aladdin’s magic carpet and sweeps kids out of crumbling rubble, I’m not

    Underground shelter works best and is most cost effective.
    What school has money like this to spend on blankets? They can’t even afford books, aides, and nurses.
    Tornado or shooter?
    Taking chances and assessing whether to flee or seek cover seems smarter than securing each mindless blob-child under the Wham-o orange target practice blankets.

  29. hancock June 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    This is stupid. So is the following: If you want to protect kids from mass school shootings, build and operate schools more prisons: far from the road, multiple security check points, body scans, metal detectors, uniforms, high walls and fences topped with razor wires, tiny or no windows, sign-ins and background checks, armed security, keep children cloistered 24/7 so they can not bring contraband from home, put bullies in to solitary confinement. The children will be much safer in a max security prison/school, than an ordinary school. Of course most schools already have implemented some of the prinson-esque policies. As we all know, safety comes first.

  30. EricS June 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Just another marketing ploy to make the rich, richer. And those who are ignorant enough to believe in this product as it’s told to them, even more ignorant, complacent, and submissive to the suggestions of the media and corporations.

    Using Lenore’s estimated numbers (which isn’t far off from the truth), $500K can be spent on far more useful things, that are more likely to happen. ie. Tornado, and flood shelters to schools that get hit by these natural events regularly. Much needed school supplies and equipment for the school, which is required on a daily basis. More teachers in an economy that is letting more go, than hiring. These are the things that are AFFECTING OUR SCHOOLS RIGHT NOW. It’s not if it will happen, or it might happen, these are actually happening NOW, across the nation. NOT random, rare (on a national scale) events like mass shootings.

    That’s like the government spending a few billion dollars on nuclear fallout shelters for the country. And next to nothing on gun control, education, and mental care for it’s citizens. One is a waste of money.

  31. EricS June 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    @SOA: I think you may have something here. Spend the money to retro fit each classroom (especially above the ground floor), with blow out windows, and a inflatable slides. Like in airplanes. In case of an emergency where people need to evacuate, like a fire, or an unlikely shooting, the window will blow out, and the slide will deploy. Allowing everyone to evacuate the building quickly.

    If you want to go all out, replace the doors with bullet proof doors, that lock in case of an emergency. Allowing more time for each classroom to evacuate. Of course this would still prey on the paranoid mentality of many people today, but spending, let’s say $500K on something like this, would be far better spent than on bullet proof blankets. At least it can be used for multiple purposes.

  32. SOA June 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    Emotional bullying and verbal bullying is just as damaging as physical bullying. Sometimes even more so because it is harder to prove unless you are able to record it or get witnesses to come forward. It leaves no marks or scars except on your psyche.

    I never had a finger laid on me at school but I was verbally threatened about getting beat up, insulted, mocked daily and it almost drove me to suicide and I was so upset I would not even go to school. So I don’t by that that is a normal part of growing up. Its not. A parent who did that to their child would have their child taken away from them or a boss that did that to an employee would be getting a law suit, but its okay for our children? Nope. Its not.

    But that is another issue. However it does relate because the motive behind school violence is often retaliation against bullies. We need to be kinder to each other and build community.

    A kid should not be expelled for verbal or emotional bullying the first one or two times but if they are reprimanded and continue to do it, then yes, expulsion would be the answer. Just like what happens if you repeatedly break any rule. Kids have to learn if you don’t like someone then ignore them. Don’t insult them or ridicule them or tease them. Just leave them alone. Be cordial. We as adults have to do this in the work place and elsewhere so might as well teach kids how to do it.

  33. EricS June 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    @SOA: “I think we would be better off spending that money on fighting bullying and putting it toward mental health. That is why school shooting happens. Bullying and mental health issues. Both of which need to be dealt with. We can prevent it at the source.”

    That would be the most commonsensical and logical thing to do. But alas, fewer and fewer people use those things in their day to day lives. Trying to get people to do the smart things these days, is like telling an alcoholic to stop drinking, or drug addicts to stop using drugs, or obese people to stop eating unhealthy and to start exercising.

  34. Rachael June 16, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Because all flying debris and bullets come from the top… Aside from being utterly rediculous, expensive and like Lenore said, a sail, it does not protect you from many angles. You would have to be a the correct angle to the shooter or debris to do any good at all. I’ve never been in a tornado but my understanding is that debris comes from all sides. I would love to see them run tests in a simulated tornado. Let’s see if a 70lb kid could stay on the ground and what else happens.

  35. Donna June 16, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    What the … what? I go to court for the day and there are now tornado/bullet proof blankets for sale. What’s next?

  36. Jill June 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    But it protects the chiiiiildren! We’d never forgive ourselves if anything ever happened to them.
    Great flapping wombats.
    Why not just ban school altogether. Let ’em study at home online and don’t let them out of the house until they turn twenty-one. Monitor everything they do on the computer and don’t let them around any other children, in case they get bullied. That’ll produce a fine, upstanding generation of gormless nincompoops who are afraid of their own shadows.
    Come to thing of it, that might be exactly what the politicians would like.

  37. Brooks June 16, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Coming from the land of many F-5 tornadoes, I’ll tell you that the most effective safety device for a child or adult not in a shelter is a helmet. In a pinch, any helmet will do.

    And regarding the blankets, wouldn’t the shooter just point under the thing?

  38. Emily June 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Okay, so, are the kids supposed to wear these things on their backs all the time? If so, how are they supposed to participate in gym or drama class, or play on the playground at recess, or do any of the normal things that kids are supposed to do at school? I guess this would mean that recess would be replaced with iPad time, or something. Then, the companies would have to keep making bigger blankets, costing more money, in order to cover the backs of increasingly obese children, from the lack of physical activity caused by the “necessity” of having to wear these blankets.

  39. no rest for the weary June 16, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    Ballistic test video, @ 2:43 “Just for fun, we tried the shotgun…”

    Aw, come on. You can make it more fun than that! How about you procure samples of all the assault rifles and ammo that featured so prominently in the last five or so massive school shootings and test THOSE.

    But don’t just test them. Put a little cowering kid mannequin, made out of ballistic test clay, if you’d like, and strap your silly blanket to that as a target. Better yet, fill the little mannequin with raspberry Jell-O.

    You’ll get, like, 30 million views on YouTube in a week! Now THAT’S what I call FUN.

  40. no rest for the weary June 16, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    And where’s the tornado test video? Too complicated to stage a building collapsing on a dummy strapped underneath your orange mat, I guess. Plus, who really cares about tornadoes? Far less sexy that school shootings any day.

    Suffice it to say that the BodyGuard is useless for protection. Might make a nice yoga mat, though, and Lord knows kids are going to need ways to calm down with all the adults around them going… yeah. Ballistic.

  41. Dhewco June 16, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    Point of order (if someone else mentioned this, sorry) not all school shootings are indoors. The ones in recent memory were, but I can think of at least two that weren’t. The Jonesboro, Arkansas school shooting occurred when the two shooters ran in, tripped the fire alarm and set up outside as the kids did as they do in a fire drill (walked outside by class, I believe). Another one, in 1979, shot from her house into the school yard across the street.

    Look at the wikipedia page on school shootings. This has been going on for a disturbingly long time. I think the 24-hr news cycle is the reason everybody is hyped up now. When a lot of us were kids, there were at least one a year…but I don’t remember worrying about it or my parents thinking about it. They wondered about what made those people do that, more than what if it happens here.

  42. Puzzled June 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

    Dhewco – the point of order is not well taken, the member shall be seated. (Sorry, studying for parliamentarian exam.)

    When I saw this on Huff Post, the comments immediately turned to gun control. What seems to unite gun control supporters and opponents, though, is a failure to understand mental illness.

    The mentally ill are less likely than average to commit acts of violence. They are more likely than average to be victims of acts of violence.

    Opponents of gun control like to use mental illness screening and profiling as an alternative to gun control. Supporters of gun control like to use disarming the mentally ill as a “common sense” gun control measure (which is very easy to extend – just have DSM VI include a disorder whose symptoms relate to distrusting the government.) Both are using the mentally ill as political punching bags.

    School shootings, and mass shootings in general, having nothing to do with mental illness, and “screening” for mental illness will do nothing to help.

    Shootings haven’t gone up in any statistical measure. In any random distribution, there will be clusters. However, there has been a change in the types of shootings that tend to occur. I think that change can be attributed more to economic trends than anything else – we’re ripping people off badly, and it’s enough to push some people into violence, especially if they think they have nothing left to lose.

    Violence in general is a difficult topic. There is socially sanctioned violence, such as traveling around the world to kill random strangers. There’s socially tolerated violence, such as rape within marriage. Then there’s the least tolerated violence – acts of violence by the oppressed against their oppressors. The last is what the news tends to focus on.

  43. J.T. Wenting June 17, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    yes, and that’s really going to keep a child safe from someone intent on massacre.

    Have them all duck in the hallway with a blanket over their face (after all, if you can’t see bad people bad people can’t see you, right?).
    Bad guy just has to walk down the hallway, kick the children over one by one, and shoot them in the head…

  44. flabdablet June 17, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    Any parent considering buying one of those blankets is an irresponsible piker. It’s completely obvious that your kids are just not going to be safe until you send them to school in one of these.

  45. no rest for the weary June 17, 2014 at 3:13 am #

    Flabdablet, that’s a freaking brilliant link. Thanks for the laugh!

  46. SteveS June 17, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Puzzled brings up some excellent points. I recall reading an article by a criminologist last year that pointed out that mass killings are not on the rise and the peak was in the 1920’s. This fact doesn’t prevent the media from exploiting fear and various political advocacy groups (such as gun control) from advancing agendas.

  47. Dhewco June 17, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    I don’t really want to help create a ‘gun control’ argument here. I don’t really think it’s the subject of this post. However, I was unhappy that someone equated distrusting the government as a potential mental illness. It’s not the government that people distrust (at least in my case), it’s power and we all know that old adage about power. The more the government takes, the more they’ll want to take…it’s just human nature. An armed, sane citizenry is the best hope to keep that government in check. That’s not insanity.

    But in the age of biometric controlled handguns, taking all the weapons is unnecessary. Give me a gun that can only be controlled someone with my prints and it will cut down all these kids ‘borrowing’ their uncle/parents/grandparents’ arsenals.

  48. Dhewco June 17, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    Of course, when the government has drone weapons, airplane mounted lasers, and rail guns in development…my little .380 isn’t much of a hope.

  49. Donna June 17, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    “An armed, sane citizenry is the best hope to keep that government in check. That’s not insanity.”

    It is delusional to think that your guns keep the government in any kind of check. Theirs are much bigger and far more plentiful. The government’s view of your guns pretty much copies the knife scene in Crocodile Dundee.

    And considering that many democratic countries do not have the US love of guns and yet have not devolved into cruel dictatorships, I think the general theory is flawed. Unless, of course, your stance is that only Americans are corrupted by power and most other western cultures are immune, which again seems a tad delusional.

  50. Donna June 17, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    And I am not anti-gun. I’m actually taking a break from filing a motion to get a judge to approve the arming of my 9 year old client (kids in CPS custody are not allowed to be around guns and my child client wants to hunt with his family).

    I simply think any argument that guns have any purpose other than sport is ridiculous. Neither the government nor criminals really care about your guns. They have their own and less hesitation to use them.

  51. Puzzled June 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    Dhewco – while I don’t totally agree with you, you misunderstood what I said. I wasn’t saying that distrusting government (or power in general) is a mental illness. I distrust the government, not surprising as I’m an anarchist. What I’m saying is that if laws use mental illness as a reason to prevent a person from owning a gun, the government can then apply pressure to the writers of the next DSM (which is already a political process to begin with) to label distrusting the government as such, and thereby disarm anyone who has the ‘wrong’ opinions.

    I agree with Donna that guns do not keep the government in check, but I would say they can influence the decision of the individual soldier or police officer to behave in a certain way. And yes, I do think American politicians are uniquely, well, not corrupt, but blind to issues of privilege and uniquely scientistic in their approach to governance, making the US more susceptible to tyranny than other countries. Hayek explained that in Constitution of Liberty as being linked to the lack of a long philosophical tradition in America.

    Anyway, the point isn’t that the absence of guns leads inexorably to tyranny, but that the presence of guns can be a last-ditch effort to prevent tyranny. Getting rid of them doesn’t guarantee tyranny. In any case, that’s the argument, but a handgun is a rather pidling thing to use to stand up to a tank. It’s usually more useful to face a tank with no weapon at all, since PR is the most powerful weapon on Earth.

  52. Puzzled June 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    By the way, I’ll enthusiastically support any gun control measure that disarms the police and military (thus bringing the military home.) All are equal under the law, right?

    To clarify – no, guns won’t stop government from acting tyrannically. That said, politicians don’t shoot people (or spy on them, for that matter.) They send hired muscle to do so, and, other than private contractors, don’t pay very well. Hired muscle might be a bit less enthusiastic about going into houses if they face a well-armed population.

    Or, it produces an arms race, as it did in the war on drugs, where attempts by those targeted in this war (on our own citizens) to arm themselves led to the development of SWAT teams, leading the drug dealers to get more powerful weapons…

    In any case, the point is just to make the people at the end of the chain a little more hesitant. You won’t actually stop them, but if you can cause a general refusal to follow orders, you can prevent a tyranny. There are reasons that dictators have proposed gun control. (Not that only dictators do it, but most do disarm their populations before doing much of anything else.)

  53. John June 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Quote: “Emotional bullying and verbal bullying is just as damaging as physical bullying”

    @SOA….There is no way that anybody can convince me one iota that repeatedly calling a kid shorty against his will is just as damaging as sitting on his chest and pounding fists in his face and breaking all his sinuses. The two situations don’t even compare. Obviously for some lame and crazy reason, kids threatened and verbally bullied you. So who am I to minimize what you went thru? I wasn’t there to see it so I am not in a position to judge what you went thru. But it certainly sounds like it was to the extreme.

    But what I am saying is that kids, in general, at times can be cruel and I do believe there is a certain age appropriateness to that behavior. But in the far majority of cases that I have seen and experienced from childhood to adult, these same kids change and turn out just fine without any drastic measures taken during their childhood. It’s called maturing.

    I was bullied myself by two little tough guys, Danny and Doug who were brothers, back when I was 5-years-old in summer Park School. All of the kids were afraid of these two little hellions and I remember Danny always pushing me down. I used to get real nervous when going to Park School because of these two boys! During one episode when the teacher was reading us kids a story, I was in the midst of a coughing spell so both Danny and Doug were throwing sticks at me. The teacher yelled at them but they wouldn’t listen. Sometimes she would need to send both Danny and Doug home early for being naughty. But they never were expelled from Park School and neither one of those boys were ever sent to reform school. But you know what? Both Danny and Doug turned out just fine. Both of them are now married with grand kids and are two of the nicest men you’d ever want to meet. I certainly don’t bear any ill will towards them now because WE WERE JUST KIDS back then when they were being little bullies and I’m certainly not scarred for life because of their bullying!

    I remember verbally abusing (now called bullying) a kid myself named Mike back when we were in 3rd grade. Well, Mike’s brother told me the next day that I made him cry all night. Now when I look back, I really feel bad and sorry for what I did and said to Mike. As an adult, I would NEVER treat anybody like that. But you know what? Mike doesn’t hate me for it today and we always have a good time together at our class reunions because….WE WERE JUST KIDS back then when I was being a little turd to him!!! And yes, I did mature!

    Again, I am not minimizing what you went thru because obviously it was a very bad situation for you. Neither am I saying the way Danny and Doug acted and what I did to Mike should not be addressed. Yes, kids need to learn respect BUT let’s not over react because of a few drastic cases. I really believe these school shootings are more due to a chemical imbalance in the brains of the killers than from bullying.

    In the far majority of cases, there is no need to expell kids from school and/or to call the police and/or to get Lawyers involved because they might have been mean to other kids. But that is what schools do nowadays under their stupid 0 tolerance policies and that can be more damaging in the long run! I say, deal with each situation on a case by case basis.

  54. Dhewco June 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    As my second post says, my little .380 doesn’t make much difference. I’m not crazy. I know that the government can do what it wants. However, the argument that they haven’t gone into dictatorships doesn’t mean they won’t. It just means that they haven’t. The impetus isn’t there. They’re relatively successful and the people are generally happy. Change any of that and the scenario goes out the window. Dictatorships don’t begin when the people are well-fed and mostly employed. I mostly want a gun for the zombies anyway. (j/k)

    I think I’m pulling the thread off topic. I’m going to keep quiet.

  55. Papilio June 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Said it before and will say it again: spend that money on safe, active travel encouraging routes to school. At least those are useful twice a day, every day, and help against the very much more common threat of getting fat.


  1. Maggie's Farm - June 18, 2014

    Wednesday morning links

    Fun with a sharp knife Sugar Daddy University Opening in New York Herbert Hoover: Midwife of the Great Depression $1000 Security Blankets for Each Kid at School? GM Recalls Another 3.2 Million Cars: May Constitute Last Vehicles GM Ever Made!