GOP refusal to act on guns forces parents to buy bulletproof backpacks


Gun violence isn't a problem without a solution — it's a problem with a solution that Republicans are unwilling to consider.

In the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, desperate parents are turning to bulletproof backpacks to protect their children after Republicans made it clear that they aren't willing to do so.

According to Money Magazine, sales of bulletproof backpacks have soared in the aftermath of the Valentine's Day school shooting that left 17 students and teachers dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Sellers of bulletproof backpacks say they've been hit with such a huge surge of purchases that they are unable to fill all the orders, with one company selling out of inventory through June.

“We’ve seen a 200-300% sales increase in backpack and backpack insert sales since Florida and a 30% increase for our products overall,” Joe Curran, founder of bulletproof equipment maker BulletBlocker, told Money Magazine.

Another company, Bulletsafe, said sales of its backpack inserts spiked 450 percent in the days following the Florida massacre.

Parents are right to be concerned, but the fact that they are being forced to turn to bulletproof backpacks instead of lawmakers is a sad reflection on the state of gun violence prevention in America.

Polling in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting shows that about three-quarters of Americans think that gun laws should be stricter than they are today.

Yet even with this overwhelming public mandate, Republicans are still blocking meaningful action on gun violence. According to NPR, "Plans for a speedy Senate vote on gun legislation crumbled Thursday as Senate leaders announced plans to move on to long-planned banking legislation" instead of taking up the issue of gun control.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he hopes to take up a vote to improve the background check system "at some point" but did not provide a timeline or any details.

"The lack of commitment is the surest sign yet that Congress does not plan to quickly address gun access, despite pressure from the White House and survivors of last month's deadly shooting at a Florida high school," NPR reported.

Gun violence isn't a problem without a solution — it's a problem with a solution that Republicans are unwilling to consider.

And until Republicans make safety a priority, parents around the country will continue to face impossible choices about how to best protect their children from the preventable scourge of gun violence.