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The Disturbing Reality of Bulletproof Backpacks

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Bulletproof backpacks have broken into the mainstream in the last few months, with interest spiking after a rash of school shootings in America, and now major retailers like Office Depot carry them alongside your everyday JanSports. Advocates of the military-grade school supplies say they’re an essential line of defense for students—but some experts argue that they’re only stoking fear, fueling the hysteria around gun violence in a way that does more damage than they’re worth. VICE’s Lee Adams met up with the founder of a bulletproof backpack manufacturer in Massachusetts for an in-depth look at how they’re made, and how well they hold up in the line of fire. Then he sat down with a few high schoolers to hear what they think about them—and what it says about the state of our country. Click here to subscribe to VICE: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE Check out our full video catalog: http://bit.ly/VICE-Videos Videos, daily editorial and more: http://vice.com More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideo Click here to get the best of VICE daily: http://bit.ly/1SquZ6v Like VICE on Facebook: http://fb.com/vice Follow VICE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vice Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/vice Download VICE on iOS: http://apple.co/28Vgmqz Download VICE on Android: http://bit.ly/28S8Et0
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Text Comments (8288)
No (6 hours ago)
12 gauge? Might protect center mass but its still a shotgun and your limbs and head are gonna be hit if they are far enough
Cassius Richardson (8 hours ago)
So doc and rooks secondarys
that random bag (14 hours ago)
Just ban assault and heavy firing weapons. This is why School shootings are happening because trump and past presidents have avoided this. I know it takes time for the ban law but just do it now?
Kekistan Shitlord (19 hours ago)
Bulletproof backpacks are no different to normal ones, you can put that insert or plate into a regular backpack too, the only difference is that the „bulletproof“ backpack has a pouch for the plate, seriously people
despacito man (20 hours ago)
Bullet resistant not bullet proof
Jimmy Lor (1 day ago)
*cant we just ban guns like in canada ?*
DJ K.I.D (1 day ago)
You can’t control your class mates and that’s why parents buy protective equipment. I mean if you really feel bad about having a literal life saving shield that can ultimately determine your fate , and I’m pretty sure thousands of other kids would want that extra security.
Petar Manco (2 days ago)
lucky monitor (2 days ago)
America is just fuckd up
Grant House (2 days ago)
Y’all should’ve put some notebooks and a textbook in the backpack
eatenplague 181 (2 days ago)
Saying it's sad won't stop em from doing it😂😂
Calab Ong (2 days ago)
Get that bag add a lot of slime to slow down the bullet that is my personal loadout
ranger gaming (2 days ago)
I would only hope no child would have to use this.
zaiver everk (3 days ago)
You can double the stoping power by caring a 5 pond type 3 steel plate and school books in the bag and with the 5 pond type 3 steel plate you're able to stop 223 and 7.62 rounds from going all the way through the bag
Thisistrueart (3 days ago)
You're playing this out way too ridiculously it's not that bad it's not like there's a school shooting every day or buildings are getting bombed out every single week think about that for a second Vice
Hastytkd (4 days ago)
Those kids are dumb af
I swear these people want gun control, well they better get used to knifes and acid cause thats honestly way more painful. The pains not an issue but these other attacks will get more and more violent plus more bombs will most likely be made. Gun laws wont stop a criminal from getting a gun, theres always a way to get these thing somwhere in the world.
Wait a minuet if only we didnt jave clear backpacks
Zeridi (4 days ago)
Just ban guns lmfao
Eros Bastro (1 day ago)
Zeridi if you ban guns people will still manage to get there hands on them banning just makes it harder for people to get. Drugs are banned all over the world and yet there are still drug addicts and people selling them all over the word
Ashutosh Patil (5 days ago)
Butt hurt (5 days ago)
rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it
Monica Henao (5 days ago)
The kid that said it’s really sad that the backpack is bulletproof I don’t get u id be ok to get that it literally protects u also just don’t shoot each other yes it’s that easy
Aaron Umetani (5 days ago)
(does jazz hands) "CAPITALISM!"
adam levitzki (5 days ago)
beautiful invention
rectriangular (6 days ago)
im not sure why those kids are saying that shootings are the norm now. that its sad that this is normal, when it is not. the guy just said that the rate used to be much higher than today, so how is it that nowadays it is normal? if anything, its is the media telling us that, telling us it is normal, they are the ones normalizing it and causing the hystaria amongst the people. it is not normal, it is a sick thing to do
Chistopher R (6 days ago)
If you need to bring bulletproof anything to a children’s place of learning, maybe it’s time to start digging into your countries fucked up practices. Like selling guns to anyone at any Walmart.
FaSt_Turdle (6 days ago)
They're over thinking it.
FaSt_Turdle (6 days ago)
Honestly, mass shootings or not, I always wanted a bullet proof back pack...
OGRogue Essee (7 days ago)
It's not that people arnt doing there jobs about the gun crisis, it's thay everyday people come up with new ways to get guns or transport them and it's so dificult to intercept these new techniques. In Canada not just anyone can buy a gun but there are still some shootings because people always find a way to obtain them with having to go through the process, also this bag doesn't just have to be used for schools it can be used in the public,public places have been shot up,
Vex Saito (7 days ago)
"so many mass shootings occur" 3 gun wounds made by the tool of a deranged nutcase plus no death or serious injury = "mass shooting" right...
Nadine Beatrice (7 days ago)
Ppl go into schools w AK 47s... not handguns
Nadine Beatrice (2 days ago)
jnelson most
jnelson (3 days ago)
But most mass shootings are done with handguns by a wide margin. And almost all recent shootings were either an ar-15, shotgun or pistol.
Nadine Beatrice (7 days ago)
What if you get shot in the head
Hugh Coleman (7 days ago)
They sort of messed with Newton’s law on this one. If they wanted a real test, they would need to prop it up on a dummy or something else. Also, these vice people are the real ones praying on hysteria.
Soo COOL (7 days ago)
Just tell that to gunman who targets schools that everyone now has bullet proof items so it is worthless to so shooting at any schools so maybe it will discourage them not to shoot people at schools.
Christian Hanlon (7 days ago)
6:28 The gun doesn’t sounds like that they pulled the audio from a video game
Gabe Kontros (8 days ago)
It's worse to post this video than to make the backpack. It's just bringing attention to the problem and perpetuating the issue.
Caleb Stamper (8 days ago)
This you u become homies w the weird dude
Jose Gonzalez (8 days ago)
This is all some
TheMountain Faller (8 days ago)
Bullet proof means it can slow a bullet down so it won't kill u. Anti bullet is what your looking for.
Gio T (8 days ago)
What are the odds of someone getting shot in the back any way?
SoporificAlloy 1 (9 days ago)
Why would you take your bag when you run it holds you back
NoseySnake36933 (9 days ago)
Why don’t that gate schools of and have have teachers at the gate and don’t bring big bags to school
Todd L-M (10 days ago)
My backpack is probably already bulletproof with all of the stuff I have in it 😑
Chris S (10 days ago)
That hairs bulletproof
Jake Easter (11 days ago)
I like his waves
Most shootings happen with handguns And also if the backpack were military grade they'd stop the AR
Why is it sad to have a bullet proof backpack?
ATAT2199 (43 minutes ago)
Conservative right wing gun Owner The fact that parents feel the need to buy them is the sad part is what he meant.
Applebee’s (11 days ago)
I like how they always have add-ons for an AR-15, it’s always high velocity or large caliber (which is a flat out lie), or military grade. It can’t be just the name, it always has to sound scary so people fear what is in reality a rifle with a relatively small caliber considering the other rounds out these, it’s just that people have used this type of rifle to commit crimes
Trae Humphrey (11 days ago)
“Military grade protection “ there ratted to stop 44 mag
Sean B (11 days ago)
A backpack won’t stop a bullet to the face... that’s why I always wear full-body medieval armour at school.
Nathaniel Yourfather (11 days ago)
Nathaniel Yourfather (11 days ago)
Y'all are dumb af 😂 the reality of the situation is people are
EnderSchool 101 (11 days ago)
9:30 school shootings are not new. Information is just easier to get now. Saying school is no longer safe is like saying any other place is no longer safe. There is always a possibility of something dangerous happening anywhere so no place is no longer safe. Just because it’s safe dosnt mean things can’t still happen.
Robert Psonak (12 days ago)
I'm sorry but it's just capitalism there not a huge prob with shootings but hey let's do this anyways and I'm rich over night because of it
Regg Mehn (12 days ago)
aim for the head
DaSteamGecko (12 days ago)
woudnt it still break their back tho lmfao
Baba Yaga (13 days ago)
Bullet RESISTANT there is no way a backpack could be bullet proof
Jake O0O0 (12 days ago)
Who cares like why r u trying to pick a fight urs pointless just live
Pablo Escobar (13 days ago)
7:30 Thanks for the truth vice
Pablo Escobar (13 days ago)
2:20 I'm surprised vice admitted that
Horny Capricorny (14 days ago)
Better safe than dead
Adam Stevens (14 days ago)
LIBERALISM is a disease!
Dalen Wang (15 days ago)
Showing off my bulletproof backpack to the school shooter* Gets a load of 12-gauge in my left leg
James Johnson (16 days ago)
Hey guys the world's a ruff place kids are getting shot at school oh wait there's something else I can do besides everything else I've done bcuz I care for my children
Kilroy was Here (17 days ago)
Wow vice actually admitted that school shootings are decreasing, good job
Harry (17 days ago)
lmao the guy in this looks like a poorly rendered cgi character, anyone know his name?
Sauce Clipz (17 days ago)
I just came for the shooting. I'm out.
ThatNentendoGamer (18 days ago)
yeah of course bulletproof backpacks promote gun violence, just like hand rails on balconies promote idiots to fall off said balconies
BM Central (19 days ago)
Why are you trying to copy ahoys style in the intro.
ThatNentendoGamer (19 days ago)
9:40 yeah sureeeee, I bet places like Iraq totally have safe schools and have no need for unnoticeable and almost stylish bulletproof backpacks
Bxjn • (19 days ago)
Wave check
habitat LP (20 days ago)
i bet the nra is a big shareholder of these backpack producers
LightningZacGT (20 days ago)
Why tf is it sad that it is bulletproof? Its good cause if there is war or mass shooting, the kids can be protected like a shield
varun sreedharan (21 days ago)
So you're sad about your mom caring about you enough to purchase equipment to protect you. *ok*
varun sreedharan (18 days ago)
+ThatNentendoGamer I guess the other students didn't want to look stupid on camera.
ThatNentendoGamer (18 days ago)
+varun sreedharan not to mention she is one of only TWO students they could find in an entire school that would support their opinion
varun sreedharan (19 days ago)
+ThatNentendoGamer I just can't make it sensible thinking it out in my head.
ThatNentendoGamer (19 days ago)
4:15 seriously how does the sentence "I would be really really sad because that would mean my mom is rude about my safety" make any logical sense
Atheist Turk (23 days ago)
The bullet will not penetrate your body, but the impact force will still knock you out and potentially break your spine. I would never rely on that.
Detros (23 days ago)
what if you hold it in front of you
Tom Spencer (25 days ago)
I have no issue with this. Lol and Ilive in Canada.
Sanja Lepener (27 days ago)
Hmmhmmhmm:you better run better run.faster than my bullets hmmhmmhmm
Eugene the Meme (27 days ago)
Everyone needs protection for when eugene pulls out his ak in homeroom
Victor Lin (28 days ago)
Why so negative, this is pretty cool. People buy $1500 coats not to climb everest but to wait in line at starbucks on a chilly autumn day. You don't necessarily need it but its just cool to have lol
Azn (17 hours ago)
Victor Lin (12 days ago)
+ben1sbeast 14 Go for it. Lots of people have things they don't need, except this may actually save you once in a blue moon
ben1sbeast 14 (12 days ago)
Thank you i want to pick one of these up just to have them i dont go to school and it still would be nice to have just for a small safty concerns like wearing a light bullet proof vest dont know you need it till you need it
Take Nohtes (28 days ago)
Leave it to vice to turn a video about bulletproofing backpacks to push gun control, with people just concerned with there child's safety but to vice its about people just accepting gun violence is completely normal in today's society and you cant do anything about it.
FBI (29 days ago)
I swear they have this guy in some real sensitive topics and he goes at them and exaggerate a lot of things like we just shot a back pack like wtf did you kill Dora’s talking backpack
Spooky YT (1 month ago)
My mans had waves 🌊😎 Like if u had the same idea
J T (1 month ago)
It's a unfortunate reality.
Phluphphie Boi (1 month ago)
I dont like how they make it look like the bullet proof backpack is pushing the gun violence in schools. I mean oh shit drunk drivers and people texting have killed more people in a year then all mass shootings combined. So now are cars disturbing that they are the cause of most deaths in America.... nope not at all. I dont want a school shooting to happen but if they do there is a means of some protection. also that backpack can be used in more ways then one. they covered it at school but walking home and getting jumped or you commute through a rough neighborhood. You have something on you for protection encase something happens not that it will but encase it does
Asahel Chavez (1 month ago)
But can your your calculas notebook stop a 7.62 armor piercing round?
dayofthedog (1 month ago)
Of course it's fuckin Lowell
Nick Calla (1 month ago)
Just don’t have guns like us aussies
YorkyPlayz (1 month ago)
Just wear one of those suits that John wick has
Elise Park (1 month ago)
"A bulletproof backpack is not going to protect them"? Are you kidding me? It gives the kid a better chance than not having protection at all. A chance is all you can hope for and that is enough to warrant the purchase. That's like saying women can't over power men so they shouldn't invest in jiujitsu or muay thai. It gives them a chance and 9/10 it succeeds. Fuck out of here dude with this over dramatic video with the arrogant "risk perception consultant" acting as a credible resource of survival skills. Any navy seal will tell you a little protection, a little knowledge is better than none. Why didn't you ask literally anyone in special or armed forces? People who deal with shootings on a regular basis? SWAT? literally anyone besides the two dramatic children, a fat entrepreneur, and "a risk perception consultant"? Yea we shouldn't have to worry about shootings. But you're also not living in reality. Reality is people are 100% unpredictable and confiscation doesnt stop bad guys. Poor journalism. Just sensationalism.
xd voltage (1 month ago)
This man spinning look at the waves
1andrew123 (1 month ago)
At first I thought these kids were missing the point. Then they started talking about fixing the problem instead of treating the symptoms and I see where theyre coming from
Thy Lord George II (1 month ago)
How about just tighten up the gun laws in america? That would be more logical than using heavy bulletproof backpacks
Kade Oz (1 month ago)
If we had armed guards in every school, we wouldn't have shootings. Gun laws take away guns from good guys, bad people get it from bad places (black market) robbing stores is illegal but it still happens😅
jonathan lopez (1 month ago)
poor kids are already brainwashed to be anti-gun. SMH.
Metro Vanrss (1 month ago)
There’s going to shot you in the head when your down and you don’t wear your backpack when in class
Dominic Ross (1 month ago)
4:23 obviously they haven’t “given up” if they’re making these products. Giving up would be providing no security because you’re bound to die anyway.
OGRogue Essee (7 days ago)
Glad to see someone's thinking
OGRogue Essee (7 days ago)
Glad to see someone's thinking
OGRogue Essee (7 days ago)
Couldn't aggree anyone with you
Jake Brassard (1 month ago)
I know there's stigma but just like he said it's a tool nothing more,i know there not trying to but they kind of make it seem like the backpack us worse than the school shooter.Should we take away narcan because it's sad that we have to use no.The drug addiction is sad in this country but luckily we have things like narcan to save the lives that we can.No student would walk into class with a bullet proof backpack and have people then basically sobbing over the fact,in my experience in class when I was going to school the more likely thing would happen is kids would make fun of you and maybe even call you pussy for wearing it.
Kyle Patterson (1 month ago)
Why wouldnt you put 5.56 with the Ar15?
trooper max vampir (1 month ago)
Jack is stupid
Ethann LEW (1 month ago)
The backpacks are not bullet proof but they are bullet resistent
Sly Fox Duke (1 month ago)
Those kids are brainwashed. All they hear is the fear-mongering and overexageration of the media
Bonsy B (30 days ago)
Sly Fox Duke nah this is a real issue, there was a shooter threat at my school just a few months ago but they caught the kid who made the threat. This was never put in even local newspapers. Schools obviously don’t want to come off as dangerous so they try to keep small events like this contained from the media

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