Published on 5th October 2018 by

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.

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