Man Shows How Textbooks Can Save Lives During a School Shooting


On Wednesday, Feb. 14, in Parkland, Florida, 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were shot and killed by a teenager with an AR-15 rifle. The whole country mourns with the families and loved ones of those precious lives lost.

It’s is difficult to know how to respond to such a shocking and tragic event. Unfortunately, violent shootings happen more often then we’d like to think.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization, there was 15,590 deaths in violent shootings in the year 2017 alone. Of those, there are 364 mass shootings which occurred that same year.

While it’s natural to want to place blame on organizations or political structures for these lost lives, it’s also important to find ways to bring positive change in the face of each tragedy. In Batesville, Mississippi, a man by the name of Ricky Red has done just that.

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Red created two individual videos that demonstrate an innovative way to use one particular resource most children in schools have access to in order to defend themselves. This resource is, surprisingly, textbooks.

The videos he posted show a dummy with a backpack hanging on the front, protecting what would be the chest and stomach of a potential child.

He pulls out a textbook that he has just finished shooting a couple rounds at, and shows how the bullets did not penetrate through the textbook.

Red asserts in the video, “One of the best defenses our kids have is right there in their hands is these backpacks with these government issued textbooks.”

In the second video, Red is shown shooting at the backpack, and again pulling out the books to reveal that they did not penetrate through the stack of books.

Red posted on Facebook, “I’ve been asked more than once to make the following public. I did this to educate my children, and I hope it can do the same for yours.

“These videos are not meant to provide scientific information regarding the use of books as body armor. It is meant to demonstrate the need to use the resources available in order to provide another level of protection.”

In addition to innovative ideas on how children can protect themselves in the event of a mass shooting, a Go Fund Me page has been created specifically for the victims of this most recent shooting.

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The website says, “Donations raised here will be used to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific shooting.”

The page was just created on Feb. 15, and at the time of writing over 1 million of the reported 2 million goal has been raised.

It’s encouraging to see the country coming together to support those affected by this terrible tragedy.

Our hearts and prayers here at Liftable go out to Parkland, Florida. We pray healing and peace for the city, as it attempts to recover from this weeks catastrophe.

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A proud reference librarian at San Diego Law Library, Havilah is a recent graduate from iSchool at San Jose State University with her master's in library and information science.
A proud reference librarian at San Diego Law Library, Havilah is a recent graduate from iSchool at San Jose State University with her master's in library and information science. She is passionate about writing and education, and most recently created content for the iStudent blog at SJSU. She is also on the board at SANDALL, a chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries, currently serving as secretary.