Bulletproof backpack : We can’t tell whether this is real or a joke

Why does this sound like a joke South Park would make to solve the problem of school shootings?

School shootings have become more frequent in recent years, leaving kids afraid and parents anxious. The violence has led to a surge in the number of companies selling products designed to help kids protect themselves better against handguns and some shotguns.

“We’ve got to do something that keeps these kids safe,” said Mary Barzee Flores, a U.S. congressional candidate for Florida advocating for gun reform. “I totally understand the fear of sending a child into a school. My son Adrian will be going back to a large public school this fall and it is very scary. But that is why we must demand meaningful action on this issue from our leaders.”

But while some parents are purchasing safety gear, others refuse to do so. Christine Storch of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, says she plans to focus her spending on more traditional supplies like pens, folders, and notebooks instead. “I totally understand why parents purchase them, but I refuse to let my kids live in fear,” she said.

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In response to its younger-skewing customers, manufacturers are selling plenty of brightly-colored backpacks, inserts, and jackets that appeal to teens. But the gear doesn’t come cheap: a BulletBlocker women’s parka goes for around $1,000 and Guard Dog backpacks start at $190 (although you can find lower prices at Home Depot, Jet, and Office Depot). Even a basic black panel to insert in a regular backpack is $99 from BulletSafe.