Can a $1,000 blanket shield students from gunfire?

BY Talia Mindich  June 12, 2014 at 5:06 PM EST


A blanket designed to shield students from debris flying through the air from tornadoes is selling as gunfire protection, due to anxiety over national school shootings.

The orange, 5/16th in. BodyGuard Blanket was developed by ProTecht in Oklahoma after a tornado in the city of Moore killed 24 people in 2013. It was designed to give an extra layer of protection to students without access to tornado shelters, co-developer Steve Walker, a podiatrist, told The Oklahoman.

But now, parents and educators are turning to the $1,000 blanket as a defense against bullets, the company reported Thursday.

“The government is not going to do anything in law about guns, and there is nothing else out there to protect the children,” said co-developer Stan Schone.

Schone reported that his company took 1,000 orders the first day the blankets were made for sale.

While many schools are turning to armored accessories and shields, some security experts say that they could be a diversion from real, practical safety resources.

“Schools have limited resources and they ought to use that money very wisely, put it into an additional school psychologist or a school police officer, train your staff and work with first responders. The most valuable school security tools are invisible,” said Ken Trump, a school safety consultant and a father of young children, during his interview with NBC News.