With every mass shooting in the United States comes renewed fear of another.
It's a fear particularly potent among parents of young children and especially now, days away from the start of the school year. It's not unwarranted -- CNN examined 10 years of shootings on K-12 campuses and found two sobering truths: School shootings are increasing, and no type of community is spared.
Joe Curran founded Bullet Blocker 12 years ago after a shooting at Virginia Tech killed 33 people.To protect his two school-aged children, the former sheriff's deputy inserted body armor into their backpacks, he said. Classmates' parents asked for inserts for their children's bags, and it grew into a business.
The company's website calls the bulletproof backpack a "consumer favorite." Prices range from $160 to $490. Most are JanSport or High Sierra backpacks retrofitted with ballistic panels sewn into the back. The smallest offering, the "Junior Pack," is suggested for preschoolers.
Raquel K.W. Donahue decided to purchase a bulletproof insert for her 6-year-old son before he starts first grade. She opted for the insert instead of the pricier backpack because he'll outgrow a bag quickly, and the insert was marketed to last 20 years, she said.
Donahue is a reference and instruction librarian at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. About an hour and a half away is Santa Fe, Texas, where 10 people were killed at a high school in May 2018; 10 hours away is El Paso, where a gunman killed 22 people at a Wal-Mart on Saturday.
"He's worried about things I never dreamed of," she said. "It makes me sad -- and angry."
She's had active shooter trainings at work, too. After a 2014 shooting in a library at Florida State University in Tallahassee -- the same town where a gunman would kill two women in a yoga studio four years later -- Donahue and her fellow librarians have planned what they'd do in case of an attack.