Nationwide calls for stricter gun control laws keep growing.
In the wake of last month’s tragic shooting at a private school in Tennessee, some companies aren’t waiting for lawmakers. Instead, they are turning to technology in hopes of avoiding more mass shootings, especially in schools.
KT Security Solutions, an Alabama-based security firm, has developed a collapsible bulletproof shelter that can be installed inside classrooms.
Kevin Thomas came up with the design after last year’s tragedy at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed.
"We heard the parents in Uvalde, you know, and they were like, 'please don't let this be for nothing; don't forget us in six months.' And that day, when we heard that from one of the parents, we went into action," said Thomas.
The rapid-deployment safe room is set up in the corner of a classroom. In as few as 10 seconds, it can be expanded, providing shelter against bullets in an active shooter situation.
"There's no protection like real-life protection in the classroom that can protect you on all four sides, so to speak. Our product is not really gonna be a one-size-fits-all fix because we're just treating a symptom right now until we fix the problem," said Thomas.
The city of Cullman, Alabama, is the first school system in the country to use the shelters. They installed two of the systems in two elementary school classrooms.
The shelters cost more than $50,000 each, but Thomas asks, 'What price do you put on the life of a child?’
"We do this everywhere else for everybody else, and nobody thinks about it. Whether it's an actor or a government official or whatever, we protect them, you know, with everything we have, and our kids have nothing, and that's just not fair," said Thomas.
The Gun Violence Archives reports there have been more mass shootings than days so far this year. GVA categorizes mass shootings as incidents where four or more people are shot — not including the shooter.
The Covenant School massacre in Nashville marked the 13th school shooting in 2023.
Despite the innovation, Thomas says he understands that his design is not the answer to what’s becoming a gun epidemic in America.
"This is not going to fix the problem. This is not meant to fix the problem. We want to just protect our kids and our educators and give them a chance to go home," said Thomas.