Posted on

My Day with the Vest

Unnoticeable Armor

My supervisor came into work yesterday wearing one of his typical outfits: khaki pants and a checkered short sleeve. The only difference was that he was wearing his shirt un-tucked. I didn’t really think anything of it, though. About an hour later, once my supervisor had made the rounds and seen everyone at the office he came back and told me he was wearing one of our vests underneath his shirt. I had not noticed at all. He told me that the owners here had challenged him to wear the vest over the weekend and report to them about his experiences.

I was honestly shocked that I did not notice the vest even a little. Immediately I was impressed that we produced such an unnoticeable piece of armor, but my supervisor let me know that it was a process to get to that point. So I asked him to tell me his experience.

The Funeral

My supervisor realized that the vest was less noticeable if he wore his shirt un-tucked. He had a funeral to attend, and that it definitely a tucked-in shirt kind of event, so he was really struggling. He told me that tons of people at the funeral kept coming up to him and asking if he was okay. Apparently everyone there thought the vest was a back brace. It really annoyed him that everyone thought he was injured, when he actually felt more invincible than ever before. The vest was just showing too much.

Out and About

He did say that it was fun wearing it out and about. When he went to Wal-mart and saw some interesting looking people he didn’t try to avoid them. He said that he didn’t care at all when he was wearing the vest, but that he normally would have. I read him recount other little snippets of his day, but reported that it was also really hot. He said he was sweating all day long with the vest on underneath his shirt. So, he needed to tweak it a little.

Finding Solutions

I didn’t notice my supervisor’s vest when he came into work yesterday  because he was wearing a bigger shirt than he normally wears. He told me he bought a shirt a size larger than usual because it made the vest less noticeable. It also made it less hot while wearing the vest because there was more “wiggle room” between the skin and the vest, and the vest and the shirt. I would like to mention that I also didn’t think his shirt looked too big for him–I had no idea it was a size larger than he usually wears.

Posted on

Rotten Hard Candy and Soft Body Armor.

The Story of Hard Candy

A friend told me a funny story recently that has an important application to body armor. Eight years ago, my friend and his wife were helping his mother-in-law prepare for a move. When they came to her food storage they found 3 or 4 #10 cans of hard candy that were over 30 years old. 

The mother-in-law adamantly explained that she bought that hard candy because, when times were rough, the hard candy could be used as a method of currency. She could use it for bartering.  When my friend suggested to her that they open  one of the #10 cans, she exclaimed that sugar does not go bad. My friend was  not so sure, so he opened one. What he found inside was a black mess he compared to tar. Hm, not so appetizing. As you can imagine, the tins of candy got added to the pile of stuff to take to the dump.

Now, fast forward to just a few days ago. The mother-in-law is now living with my friend and his wife. They were helping her “dejunk”  the other day to stay prepared for “the inevitable”. They were surprised to discover one of the #10 cans that they thought had been thrown out. When asked, my friend’s mother-in-law admitted to sneaking one tin away and had kept it ever since.

Peace of Mind

My friend was laughing as he said to me, “Why? Why on Earth did she keep that nasty, totally unusable candy?” We decided together that she didn’t keep that tin because she wanted the candy, of course not. She sneaked that tin away from the trash pile because it represents something to her that we all seek: peace of mind.

I mean, honestly–that candy was already rotten eight years ago, but she still kept it until just a few days ago. They brought all the other expired food and worthless junk to the dump and that was fine with her. She just could not let go of the candy. When you think about it, it makes sense. It may not be a #10 can of candy, but I keep around stuff that symbolizes peace of mind for me. I’ve come to understand that her behavior wasn’t unreasonable–we all latch on to things that give us a feeling of security.

The Real Strength of Soft Body Armor

Body armor is becoming more and more popular because it is starting to be seen as a necessity. People want peace of mind. Just as my friend’s mother-in-law wanted to keep that candy because, for her, it was a symbol of being able to make it through a hard time, so it is with body armor. You never know when you will need to barter with candy to keep food on the table, and you also never know when you will need to be protected because you find yourself in a dangerous situation. We cannot ever know exactly when, but it is becoming more and more likely that it will happen to us. Just like she needed the candy, we need the body armor, to give us that treasured peace of mind.

Our body armor is state-of-the-art protection that provides real security. It will give you real peace of mind.

Posted on

“I can’t believe this shooting happened in my hometown.”

Active Shooting Becoming Too Common-Place

Utah seems to be showing up more frequently in the “Acitve Shooter” news column. With the Sandy shooting earlier this month and now the Taylorsville incident, the truth seems to be that we are joining the crowd when it comes to where shootings happen. We’re definitely still in the lower percentile in shootings per capita but for victims and those impacted, any shooting is one too many.

“I can’t believe this happened in my hometown.”

We here this over and over on news reports across the nation every single day. We never think it will happen to us in our hometown–it’s always happening to someone else, somewhere else. Unfortunately that’s just not true anymore. Tragedies know no boundaries; next time could easily be in your hometown. But that isn’t reason to be scared, lose hope, or feel defeated. There are resources out there that can help keep us safe even in the face of danger.

Mike Anderson from KSL paid us a visit yesterday to talk bulletproof vests, backpack inserts and the increased awareness of bulletproof clothes. We shared what our best-seller is, how our sales have increased and why we think that is. This morning KSL published our story side by side with the news of a gunman shooting Rep. Scalise at today’s early morning baseball practice. More and more people are realizing that active shooter situations are common-place. They aren’t going away, so we need to find a better way to fight back. We are providing one better way to fight back. Check out the KSL story here.

Posted on

Sandy Shooting–Preparing for the Unthinkable.

Sandy Shooting — Too Close to Home

It was rough coming to work this morning listening to the report of the shooting in Sandy, Utah.  I wondered what I would do if my children had been out on that street. Is there anything I could have done to protect them?  Just 45 minutes from where I am typing this, three lives were taken and two others were severely injured. There’s something about being so close that brings on a mixture of fear and sorrow, wrapped up in the scary contemplation “What if it had been my neighborhood? What if it had been me?”

What’s worse the shooting took place when children were walking home from school. I probably feel so shocked because this is a situation where you never expect a shooting to happen. Children have been walking home from school for years. It seems like a totally normal activity, not a time when parents would have to worry if their child would be exposed to bullets whizzing down the street (see news coverage link below.)

Not Here, Not Now

So often we think we know when, where and why shootings happen. They take place in alleyways downtown in the middle of the night because someone got way too drunk. Or shoddy neighborhoods on the other side of town because someone cheated someone else out of their drug money. It doesn’t happen in a nice upper-middle class suburb in Sandy, Utah, three blocks from the neighborhood elementary school.

 Prepare Yourself

We cannot control what others may do, and we cannot anticipate when something like this might happen. We never will be able to prevent all dangerous situations. So what do we do when we feel like isn’t even safe for our kids to go to school? We prepare ourselves.

Backpack insert
Citizen Armor Backpack Insert

Preparedness is a two fold process. First, we arm our children and loved ones with the knowledge of what to do in such a dangerous situation. We can discuss this topic with our children so instead of a dangerous situation shocking and leaving them unresponsive, they are able to recognize the threat and act. (Click here to download a free document to help with your discussion.)

Second, we can give them something that will protect them physically. Many do not know that they can easily protect themselves and their loved ones by using a simple armored backpack insert. Such a situation will always be scary but think of the reassurance that could reduce your fear if you knew your child had been prepared with an armored insert in their backpack and had been taught to how to use it as a shield from stray bullets.  Our children deserve that protection and we deserve the peace of mind that comes with it.

Protecting Against the Unthinkable

I don’t bring this subject up lightly. I am in no way presenting a “what if” or “only if they had” scenario. What happened in Sandy is heart breaking and our prayers go out to the mourning families. But this is a reminder that our lives can change at a drop of a hat. Yet, we can find security through the knowledge and protection that physical armor provides against such unthinkable situations.

 

News coverage of the event

Posted on

Knowledge–Essential to Safety and Protection

Safety Demonstration

Whenever you board an airplane, there is always a safety demonstration before the pilot takes off toward the destination. You know, the one that tells you to “note the exit nearest you” and explains how to use the drop-down oxygen masks. The safety demonstration is how the crew lets you know that there is always a risk attached to flying, but that they have accounted for the risks and provided possible solutions to make an unfortunate situation, like a plane crash, as safe as possible.

What if there were no safety demonstrations and the plane did in fact crash? No one would be equipped with the knowledge they need to handle a plane crash properly. Everyone would be in a state of panic and many more would die than would have if they knew the safety procedures.

Mass Shooting Knowledge

What are the equivalents of the nearest exits and oxygen masks for a mass shooting? What kind of knowledge should I possess in order to best protect myself from a mass shooting? I wondered that myself when I stumbled upon gunviolencearchive.org. The website gives you access to information about any and all gun-related incidents in the US since 2014. What I discovered to be most interesting on the website was its information on mass shootings. Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as an incident involving a gun and 4 or more people. Regardless of whether the victims were killed or injured or neither, if there were 4 or more people involved it is counted as a mass shooting.

I decided to do some data analysis on the mass shootings from April 2016 to April 2017 (there were 451 of them). The results of this analysis were very telling. For instance, the most common months for mass shootings are the summer months–June, July, and August. The most common days of the week for mass shootings are the weekend–Saturday and Sunday. I was not aware of these facts, but it didn’t totally surprise me.

Body Armor + Knowledge = Safety

Though it didn’t surprise me, it was a call to action. When I am headed out the door, I need to assess the risks associated with my planned activities. Knowing when a mass shooting is more likely to occur gives me the power to better protect myself, but, my best protection is taking action based on my acquired knowledge. You don’t buy body armor in the hopes of using it, but you buy it in case you have to use it.

At the end of the day, you cannot control when, where, or how a mass shooting will occur. Someday you may get caught in a bad situation on a Wednesday in the middle of Winter–you never know. That is why body armor provides the ultimate protection. Body armor plus knowledge creates the perfect ability to stay alive in a risky and perhaps deadly situation.

Bring Rex BackImage result for safety

Back in the 1940s, The cartoon character Rex Riley was created to inspire US airmen to stay safe. Rex Riley’s purpose was to spread messages of safety, but ultimately to save lives. Safety and protection are just as necessary now as they were to the airmen of the 1940s. In today’s world where shootings are happening every single day, we also need Rex Riley to remind us to “Keep Calm and Get your Safety On.” Let’s use our tools, like knowledge and body armor, to be like Rex and save lives. Let’s bring Rex back.

 

Posted on

Is Body Armor Legal for Civilian Use?

Civilian Body Armor Legal?

Is body armor legal for regular people?  Ballistic body armor has had a certain stigma surrounding it for a long time as an item only military and law enforcement are able to obtain.  Some people wonder “Why would you even want body armor?”.
The truth is, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by an active shooter, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.  Just ask anyone from Ohio State University, Orlando, San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Chattanooga, Charleston, Isla Vista, Ft. Hood, Aurora and too many others to list them all. Continue reading Is Body Armor Legal for Civilian Use?

Posted on

Shooting Analytics – when and where are we most at risk?

We recently tabulated information from the website GunViolenceArchive.org to determine when and where shootings occur in the US. We analysed the data for mass shootings (incidents involving 4 or more people, killed or injured) and found a total of 452 in the past year. That’s more than one a day (see “Recent Multiple Shootings” ticker on this page.) We looked at shootings by month of the year, day of the week and shootings by state. Here is what we found.

WHEN DO SHOOTINGS OCCUR?

When we graph the data by day of the week and by month we see that Summer week ends are the most dangerous.

shooting by day of week            shootings by month


Options for Protection: click to watch this .45 FMJ slug bounce off a soft body armor plate.


WHERE ARE WE MOST AT RISK?

When we total the data for Shootings by State here is what we see:

shootings by state

The chart shows that California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and Georgia have the highest number of shootings. But when calculated on a per capita basis using state population Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee rank the highest.

shootings per capita

Shootings by Location

Statistics show that more shooting occurs on the weekend during the summer but where exactly is the risk the greatest? At school, at work, at the mall?  Here is what the data revealed:

shootings by locations

It is disturbing that the majority of gun-related incidents happen in residential areas. It’s not at the airport, the post office or on the roads but in our own neighborhoods that we and our loved ones are most at risk.

Check Out Your State

Click on the state link below to see shootings by city:

AL   AR   CA   CN   FL   GA   IL   IN   KS   LA   MD   MI   MN   MS   MO   NJ   NY   NC   OH   PA   SC   TN   TX   VA   WA

Posted on

What Concealed Carry Reciprocity Means for You

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act 2017-2018


The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is one that many CCW holders have been waiting for.  Imagine unwittingly committing a felony by taking one wrong turn on a highway or getting off the wrong exit.  This is the way it has been for years.  For example, the Utah concealed carry permit allows the holder to carry in 30 other states.  If the Utah CCW holder were to carry in any of the other 19 states, they would be committing a crime.  This inadvertent “crime” has called for nationwide reform.  If other licenses, such as your driver’s license, work across all 50 states, then why shouldn’t your CCW?  Enter: the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017-2018.

Opposition and Misinformation

Opponents of the bill make emotional claims such as “The new law would allow virtually anyone to carry a loaded concealed gun with them, anywhere”.  The same article also claims that in some states, teenagers with violent crimes, domestic violence and convicted stalkers are able to obtain a permit.  The article specifically calls out South Dakota as a state which would allow a teenager who has been convicted of stalking to obtain a permit.  South Dakota’s website shows the state’s requirements for permit holders.  It states that a holder cannot have a history of drugs or violence, has not been found to be a “danger to others” within the last 10 years, has not been convicted of a felony or crime of violence, among other requirements.

A nice lady at the Utah Department of Public Safety informed me that each permit in Utah is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  She told me a story of a man with a felony was denied his permit, but appealed the decision and due to the nature of the felony, he was able to obtain his permit.  However, when he went to the local PD to recover his guns, they still denied him because he is not federally allowed to own firearms.  The most his permit can do for him is look pretty framed on his wall.

She also informed me of people who are from states which recognize Utah’s concealed carry holders come to Utah to get a permit and carry in their home state.  This CCRA would not allow this.  The act would allow those who have a permit from their own state of residence to carry throughout the rest of the nation.  The CCRA specifically states that those who are qualified will be able to carry throughout the nation.  Those who now carry without a permit will not be able to do so throughout the rest of the country.

#DefendtheSecond

Any time there is a proposed bill to allow for firearm freedom, there will always be very vocal opponents.  Just as with many other subjects, people allow themselves to get stirred up before they know the facts.  Citizen Armor will never condone irresponsible gun ownership, but we do believe that a permit like your CCW should be valid throughout the country just as your driver’s license it.  If you are properly trained and have gone through the right steps to become a concealed carry permit holder, there’s no reason why other states shouldn’t recognize that.  Can you imagine not being able to drive through California or New York, just because you don’t have a driver’s license in that state? Ridiculous.

If you support the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, make sure to contact your local congressperson and urge their support.

Posted on

WHEN & WHERE DO MOST SHOOTINGS OCCUR?

Statistical report of shootings in the US for 2016 – 2017 analyzed by time and location.

 

Through recent research, we came across a website (www.gunviolencearchive.org) that tracks all the gun-related incidents across the US. It shows where and when the shootings happen, provides a news source, and lists all the released details. We decided to pull the data on mass shootings from the past year and analyze it. This website classifies any incident involving 4 or more people, killed, injured, or not, as a mass shooting. We discovered there were 452 mass shootings in the past year. That’s more than one a day (see the news ticker on the right side of this page.) When we began to create graphs from the data, we saw some trends in active shooter situations.

WHEN

Are there some days of the week when a shooting is more like to happen? What about months of the year? Here is what we found:

shooting by day of week            shootings by month

I guess it makes sense that more shootings would happen on the weekend. Why the summer months? Is it because people are out of school, on vacation? Regardless of the reason we know we should be extra alert at this time of the year.

WHERE

Where are shootings most likely to occur? Here is the data tabulated by State:

When we initially created this first chart, California, Florida, Illinois and Texas had many more active shootings than the rest of the country. We quickly realized that 3 of those 4 states, California, Texas and Florida, are the 3 most populous states in the nation. When this data is calculated for per capita, California, Texas and Florida are less alarming. Illinois is worse, accompanied by Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

shootings per capita

Shootings by Location

These charts give a lot of insight into the when and where of shootings but what about the specific locations where the shootings take place? We are most at risk on the weekend, during the summer, in Illinois, but where, exactly? At school, at work, or at the mall?  Here is what we discovered:

shootings by locations

Maybe the most disturbing revelation is that the majority of gun-related incidents happen in residential areas. It’s not in the airport or at the post office or on the roads. It’s in the places that we live.

Pre-Release Video Giveaway

These statistics can feel frightening, but there are resources out there to protect our families. We are in the process of creating a video compilation to give information on how to train yourself and your family on what to do in an active shooter situation.

 

 

Data for this analysis was derived from the Gun Violence Archive.

Products of Interest

Posted on

De-Escalation Training for Local Police Saves Lives.

SLC Police Department De-Escalation Training

A friend showed me a video the other day that really struck me. The video gave information about a de-escalation training program implemented by the Salt Lake City Police Department to reduce the number of police involved fatal shootings. The training teaches the officers to create distance between he/she and the criminal in order to buy time. The extra time helps both parties to calm down and think more rationally.  The training is working; the Salt Lake City Police Department hasn’t had any fatal shootings in over a year.

Maybe you feel skeptical about this training–I did, too. I always hear reports of Utah being one of the safest places in America. I decided to look up some stats about Salt Lake. According to areavibes.com, Salt Lake City has an F Rating for crime.  There are 27.91 crimes committed per 100,000 people daily in Salt Lake. That is pretty grim when we compare it to the likes of Detroit (16.04 daily crimes per 100,000 people) and Chicago (10.55 daily crimes per 100,000 people). Crime in Salt Lake is right there with the other dangerous cities of the US, and definitely on the rise.

Buying Time

So how does this de-escalation training work? One of the most important aspect of the  department’s new  training is buying time. This is the core of the training because those few seconds save lives. Those few seconds allow the officer (and offender) to detach themselves from the situation and consider viable options for ending the conflict. It takes training, though. For example, in the video (see link below) the officer stays behind his car door for the first few seconds, not only to create a barrier that could act as a shield, but also to force him to “give ground” between him and the offender.

This distance is how the officer buys time to calm down and behave more rationally. The human instinct in these moments of danger is to act quickly and impulsively. That is why there are so many fatalities. Both parties feel vulnerable and therefore, more often than not, shots are fired. But because the officers are being trained to create distance and buy time, there are fewer fatal shootings.

Body Armor: Enabling Rational Rather Than Impulsive Behavior

Although the video didn’t address body armor, it’s something that really gives you a leg up in high-stress crisis situations. Just like how the officer uses the car to give ground and buy time, body armor can accomplish the same thing. You feel more confident in body armor to act rationally in a crisis situation. That confidence buys you time, and though it only makes a few seconds difference, that is all the time you need to transition from an impulse-based to a rational-based plan of action. If you are in a dangerous situation, but know you are protected with body armor, your brain will not be overloaded with thoughts of vulnerability. That protection is key to buying yourself time to act rationally in a crisis and walk away with the least amount of fatalities and injuries possible.

 

SLC De-Escalation Training Video (Twitter)