SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Amid talks of new gun control legislation and arming teachers across the country, some parents are taking matters into their own hands. They're outfitting their kids to deal with an intruder.
We put this question on our Facebook page Thursday: "What are you as parents doing differently to protect your children since the Connecticut shooting?" Most of the responses focused on what people would like to see the schools do: armed guards, metal detectors, better locks. Very few locally say the changes should start at home.
Arturo Marrufo has something most natural-born Americans don't have after the shooting in Connecticut: perspective.
"It's better than being in Mexico, when you see the numbers, how many people have been killed in the last five years or so," he said.
Marrufo moved his family here from a small city about eight hours from the Texas border for that very reason.
"Because of all the bad people, the drug cartels," said Marrufo.
His son, Arturo Jr., like the 20 children killed Friday, is in first grade, but Marrufo still feels safe sending him to school, unlike many other parents. Sales of a bulletproof backpack have shot up 500 percent since the shooting, and parents nationwide are talking about homeschooling their children.
"I started when I was 12, karate and traditional martial arts, got into boxing, kickboxing and self defense at 16 or so," said Jake Martin.
Even experts like Martin, who teaches an Israeli-style self defense called Krav Maga for adults and soon to children, say there's only so much mom and dad can do.
"Unfortunately, kids are kids. You don't want to scare a kid. 'Am I in danger now? How about now? do I need to get out of here?'" he said, mimicking a paranoid kid.
Martin doesn't trust the bulletproof backpack either.
"When I went to school, we didn't carry our backpacks around, so that presents a problem. Second, most of the ones that are cheaper, $200 to $500, won't stop rifle rounds."
He says Marrufo might have the right idea: "Paying attention to what the politicians are saying about the gun control," holding his kids tightly, and knowing it could be worse.
"Even with those shootings that happened lately, it's safer for the kids," Marrufo concludes of the United States.
Gun control legislation will likely come to a head soon. Vice President Joe Biden is heading up a committee, including members of the president's cabinet and outside organizations. President Obama asked for their recommendations on gun law changes by January.
Schools this week already have made changes within the current law. Near Newtown, Conn., schools have been keeping every entrance locked during the day. And many have set up buzzer systems similar to the one that Sandy Hook Elementary had.