March 2020 marked a major landmark. It was the first month since 2002 when there had not been a school shooting in the US. And it only took a global pandemic to achieve this feat. The situation in America is astonishing to those of us looking in from the outside. The fact that these murders have become so commonplace in everyday life is difficult to wrap your head around. In a country where there’s a whole culture based around gun ownership; this can’t continue.
In Bulletproof, the new documentary from Todd Chandler, he focusses on how American schools have responded to gun violence. There’s no simple solution and if someone’s determined to go on a killing spree it’s almost impossible to stop them. These differing strategies range from fully arming security personnel, investing in a cottage industry in protective clothing and equipment to tackling the underlying issues which cause these tragedies to occur.
Gun control in America is a convoluted issue and nowhere are these complexities more distinct than in educational establishments. Bulletproof meshes the mundane rituals of school life with more recent preventative measures introduced to tackle potential incidents. The fact the latter have become everyday concerns is entirely depressing. By mixing the two together, Chandler’s documentary highlights how desensitised we’ve become to this violence.
Bulletproof screens at IDFA