“School Shooting” Safety Devices Are Not the Answer for Keeping Kids Safe

One of the saddest things to come out of the recent high schools shooting in Troutdale, Ore., is the fact that no one really seems shocked by it at all. “The country has to do some soul-searching about this,” said President Barack Obama in a statement after the event. ”This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted, in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me.”

Whether you believe that there have been 74 schools shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre just 18 months ago, or prefer to go with the more cautious 15 incidents, either way there is little doubt that there is a violent epidemic endangering students.

Like all crises, though, people are coming to the table with answers, recognizing that this simply can’t go on.

Their solutions? Blankets and protective sleeves.

Two new proposed “safety” devises have been publicized this week, both based on the idea that we need to make more effort to protect students when a shooting occurs on their campuses. The first, called “The Sleeve,” is a “12-gauge carbon steel case that goes over the door’s closer arm, securing it from the inside,” according to middle school teacher Daniel Nitzel, who modeled the device for media. “We look at it as a cheap insurance policy. If you have someone out in the hallway, and you do not want to go out into the hallway and lock your door, we want to provide you with a way to disarm that door,” he said.

The Sleeve seems similar in form to a cup that was created by a group of high school students shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting, which also slid over the hinge of the door to make it impossible to open. “So many kids and adults were killed (at Sandy Hook). So we got together and we wanted to know how we could stop intruders from entering our school,” Deonté Antrom, a high school junior involved in creating the device, told NBC.com in October of last year.

What happens if you can’t keep a shooter out? Well, others are coming up with ideas to protect the students once the gun person is inside. Blankets.

“An Oklahoma company has created a protective blanket that developers say could give children a better chance of surviving debris from a tornado — or bullets from a 9 mm handgun,” reports Fox News in Oklahoma. “The Bodyguard Blanket, made by ProTecht, is a bulletproof pad designed to protect students during disasters at school. The 5/16-inch thick rectangle features backpack-like straps that allow users to put it on, and then duck and cover.”

Yes, we are teaching kids to duck and cover again.

Are we really at a point where we are discussing the need for bullet proof coverings and ways to jam the doors? Weren’t metal detectors to enter a building a sign that we’d already gone too far? We’ve seen proposals for putting armed guards in schools, watched bills go through state legislatures considering letting teachers keep loaded weapons at their desks just in case. How far do we have to go to protect students from guns without touching the root problem — that there are just far too many easily accessible guns to begin with?

We do not need “sleeves” and “blankets.” We need responsible gun laws that make firearms that can mow down crowds of people at a time impossible to obtain, we need more checks on who should be allowed to purchase guns, and much stiffer penalties on those who allow their guns to get into other people’s hands.

Want to keep students safe at school? Give them reasonable gun policies, not bullet proof blankets.

Photo credit: Thinkstock




Kris L.
Kris L4 years ago

If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words and spoons are responsible for obesity. A gun is a tool. period. As for the concept of limiting what sort of weapon is available to citizens, consider that reason for the 2A. No, it's not for hunters or target shooters. It is there as the final and ultimate check against tyranny. Ask Hitler, Stalin, Mao: dictators prefer unarmed subjects. Think "safety" may be worth it? Try asking people in Chicago, the Gun Control "Crown Jewel" of the country. With the highest murder rate in the country, i doubt they would agree with you. Be rid of all guns? Ask Mexico. In spite of gun laws so draconian, there is only one gun store in the entire country, the place is ruled by drug lords. Controlling guns is NOT the answer. Sorry Robin, you're wrong. Again.

Theresa Robinson
Theresa Robinson4 years ago


Deborah W.
Deborah W4 years ago

To deal with the root cause of a problem should be a no-brainer ... you know, BEFORE an event occurs.

Folks don't just wake up one morning and decide to shoot someone, it's a build up process of unresolved issues, ignored "red flags", mental instability, drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, family disfunction, etc. If the will is there and the gun is not, another means of destruction will present ... where there's a will there's a way.

Emily M.
Emily M4 years ago

People with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violence, not perpetrators. The people who are doing these mass shootings have disordered thinking that might be indicative of a mental illnesses, but they're also definitely white, cisgender men who feel slighted in some way and take it out on other people. I support gun control laws and better access to mental health. I don't think institutionalization is the answer, because people with mental illnesses should be able to exist and participate in society just like everyone else, with the proper counseling, medication, and monitoring. For every responsible gun owner who has never shot anyone, there is a mentally ill person who functions well in society who has never hurt anyone. When people talk about gun control, nobody is talking about the responsible gun owner, but it seems like gun owners are throwing the large population of mentally ill people, an already marginalized group, under the bus, simply to avoid an extra couple of steps before purchasing and operating their firearm. It's unfair. We need sensible gun laws that include licensing and background checks. We need universal healthcare. We need emergency plans and training of personnel in every school in America, which would include lockdown drills and security measures. We need a huge paradigm shift in the way we raise our white sons. Hypermasculinity and racism literally kills. Let it end now.

J C Bro
J C Brou4 years ago

the new world order grows and grows

William Eaves
William Eaves4 years ago

It is obvious that America's stupid gun culture that is the problem. Why don't they get in line with the civilised world and have controls and licensing for weapons rather than just allow them to be sold to any psycho-moron.

Paul B.
Paul B4 years ago

Wanda, Robin rarely allows facts to get in the way of her rants.

Wanda Bagram
Past Member 4 years ago

Robin Marty, how about you research what changed in the last 30 years to get the REAL CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM? How about the fact that in stabbings, shootings and murder using vehicles the common denominator is Mental Illness? How about you look at the true problem that over 30 years ago when these shootings were not happening we had mental institutions to help the mentally ill instead of throwing them out into the street? How about you research the fact that in 2005 there were 17 public psychiatric beds available per 100,000 population compared to 340 per 100,000 in 1955?

You want a real solution then look at the real problem, WHAT ACTUALLY CHANGED NOT YOUR FEEL GOOD FINGER POINTING! The mentally ill are thrown out onto the streets. Even Elliot Rodgers parents were short of options and could not by law have their son treated in an institution.

Wanda Bagram
Past Member 4 years ago

Again, FALSE! Semi-Auto firearm technology has been around since 1885 and has been sold in the US to civilians since 1903,that is they have been around for over 111 years!
OK, so Semi-Auto technology wasn’t just invented and sold in the US, what do we blame next?
FALSE! ‘High-capacity’ magazines which is an incorrect term, the proper term is DETACHABLE BOX MAGAZINES, have been sold in the US since 1908, that is they have been around for over 106 years! Mass market availability of Detachable Box Magazines in the US began in 1942, so your ‘High Capacity’ magazines were sold everywhere over 70 years ago!

So now what? Remember Elliot Rodgers first of was a man who hated women and the gun did not put that in his head. Secondly, he lived in one of the most Gun Control restrictive parts of the US. Thirdly, the stabbed half his murdered victims to death.