School shootings have become all too frequent in the United States. While tragedies like that of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this year still haven’t compelled lawmakers to pass meaningful gun legislation, businesses aren’t hesitating to profit off the fears of parents by marketing bulletproof accessories.
On Monday, Fox Business Network promoted a line of bulletproof backpacks and sweaters from MC Armor during a back to school segment. After introducing the segment with the song “Bulletproof” by La Roux, host Maria Bartiromo and MC Armor spokesperson Carolina Ballesteros Casas began to tout the products.
— Media Matters (@mmfa) August 20, 2018
While products like bulletproof blankets have been growing in popularity, these items becoming a necessity is troubling for many Americans. Bartiromo briefly touched on this before diverting the subject back to the “fashion forward” backpacks:
Oh, my goodness. It’s incredible that this has come to this, though, that we need bulletproof clothing. Some of these things are quite fashion forward.
Many on social media found the segment unsettling.
Bulletproof backpacks for children are neither fashionable nor fashion forward. They should be unnecessary.
— Jonathan D (@JonathanYvr) August 20, 2018
.@FOXNews is tone-deaf to reality. Watch as they glamorize bulletproof backpacks for children, and boast about potential profits for investors, so the gun industry can continue to promote their $31.8 billion-dollar industry, at the cost of innocent lives. #NeverAgain pic.twitter.com/HlmPPJgIed
— Brianna Westbrook (@BWestbrookAZ8) August 20, 2018
The solution to stopping school shootings isn't to limit the ability for people to acquire weapons that are used to kill people…
Apparently, it's to make bullet proof backpacks. Yep, that's where we are at.https://t.co/NJVYCnaj7l
— Alt WASO NPS (@AltWASONPS) August 21, 2018
HOLY SHIT this Fox News segment on bulletproof clothing and backpacks for school shootings is absurdly tone-deaf pic.twitter.com/dEeTavnAv1
— jordan (@JordanUhl) August 20, 2018
Callas mentioned that MC Armor, a Colombia based company, had marketed the backpacks specifically for the United States:
In the U.S., sadly, there’s the guns, Everybody can have a gun. So, here, kids need to be protected, and we have the fact that there is some school issues, so we need to bring this to the United States.
Callas also assured that the company had been working with pediatricians to determine the most effective protection:
We have a company with the research and development, and the pediatricians said kids before 15 years [old] – they don’t have fat, they don’t have enough muscles, so they need to have hard ballistics
The segment has led many to speak out against the marketing of bulletproof accessories as a long term solution for mass shootings. Among them, the artist La Roux whose song was used in the segment’s introduction.