Body armor, which provides varying degrees of protection, has been in use for many years by law enforcement and security forces. However, there are questions about its use by the general public and whether or not it increases the likelihood of injury when an accident occurs. Is body armor a necessity? And, how should one select the right armor?
Body armor protects the torso from injury from sharp objects
particularly those aimed at the body. It is generally composed of a hard, steel core plate, which covers the body. There are also soft, plastic plates that may not be steel core. The core, however, is the part that is often broken first during an accident. Soft plastic plates provide little protection and are usually used on police and military vehicles.
Body armor protects against small arms fire
especially firearms-fired when the operator is unaware that the gun is not properly cocked or unloaded. The protective factor, however, will not extend to every form of injury. For example, the protection will not extend to the head or neck area if the wearer is hit by a flying object, such as a baseball or basketball. Likewise, if the attacker is armed with a knife or cut-throat sword, the body armor will not prevent injury to the torso. It is advisable to wear a protective shield in these cases, such as a chin-length fiberglass helmet with a face shield that fits well.
Body armor is sometimes referred to as a bulletproof vest
as it provides some degree of protection from a handgun’s impact. In other cases, the protection offered by body armor is not quite as complete, especially in the case of an automobile accident. As the name implies, bulletproof vests or bulletproof vest sleeves do provide some degree of protection from a handgun’s explosion, but they often are inadequate against other projectiles, such as baseballs or rubber balls. Similarly, while many manufacturers include a jacket, often it is too small and fails to cover the entire body.
Often, the level of protection offered by body armor
comes only after a serious injury has occurred. While a bulletproof vest can prevent the majority of small arms fire injuries, it often does not prevent fatalities, especially when the shooter has already fired several shots and fled the scene. Likewise, while a soft tourniquet can stop most bullet wounds, it is also frequently insufficient to stop a serious injury from occurring, as it lacks the strength to stop bullets fired at close range.
The proper protective armor system addresses
the concerns presented by different types of threats while providing a balanced solution that allows the user to use common sense and good judgment when carrying a self-defense weapon. For example, the fact that a soft is more effective than a hard plate does not mean that the user should purchase a soft to use in an active shooter situation. Likewise, while investing in bulletproof vests and other armor systems that provide good bullet resistance and protection is important, there is no reason to disregard the value of a good quality protective plate. Just like with soft plates, a high-quality bulletproof vest with integrated comfort layers can prevent a lot of physical trauma and allow the user to maintain a positive mental attitude toward life despite the physical dangers. Finally, smart investments in ballistic protection training can help a user avoid potentially dangerous weapons in a personal shooting incident and allow for a safer and more comfortable escape from the scene. As more states invest further in improving public safety and the implementation of laws that increase access to adequate education on deadly force, this type of protective training will become more readily available to law-abiding citizens.