Active Shooters in our schools are an epidemic. Although current
red-code drills are at an all-time high, so are the deaths and injuries.
DefendAPack is a patented-safety device, designed to keep our Children and Teachers Safe in Schools.
Our goal is for DefendAPack to become a national safety protocol standard.
I was born on Valentine's Day in 1971. But, instead of celebrating my birthday with my family on Valentine's Day, 2018, I was grieving with parents who lived less than 20 miles from my house.
You see that was the day that a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, killing 17 students and staff members and injuring dozens of others.
I will never forget the fear that was in my daughter's eyes, as we watched the horror unfold on the television.
I will never forget the sense of helplessness I had, trying to find the words to comfort her...and put my own mind at ease.
Then she looked at me, and asked, "Dad, how am I ever going to feel safe in school again?"
She asked, what I was already feeling. And that's when it happened; I honestly felt like I got a flash from God above, about creating a product that would keep her safe, her friends, her teachers...everyone...protected at school.
So, I got out my sketch pad, and designed a bulletproof vest, and backpack, that she could bring to school. Now, I did not have an engineering degree, nor did I have any military or law enforcement background. But what I did have is a love for my daughter, and a compulsion to keep her protected.
So, I showed her the pattern I drew, and asked her to teach me how to use her sewing machine...as she is really a talented designer.
In less than 24 hours, I had a prototype of what is now, the "DefendAPack Vest".
I showed it to her and she was amazed and said she thought it was an idea from Heaven, sent down to protect her.
And then she asked me, "Dad, what about my friends?"
That's when I knew I had to make this product available for all children, so that parents could have the same sense of peace sending their children to school, as I now did for my daughter.
Never had I felt such a burden in my life, to do something...and do it FAST. I knew that as long as the gun advocates and policy makers were going to go back and forth on gun safety vs. new laws, we needed a solution NOW to keep our children safe.
What started out as a goal to protect my daughter, has turned into a mission to protect as many people as possible...both children and adults at school!
Arming our teachers is NOT the answer! Imagine how they would feel if a child stole their gun from them, and used it on the students?
Or worse. Imagine how a teacher would feel if he or she was forced to shoot a gun at a child, teen...anyone???!!!
Police officers train for this, and in situations when they are forced to shoot their weapon...and as a result, injure or kill anyone...they still need counseling afterwards.
So, while congress and gun lobbyists continue to argue, we need to do something NOW to protect our children and teachers from an active shooter situation in the future (God forbid it happen again)!
Larry James - CEO, DefendAPack, LLC
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