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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.

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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.

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“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.

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Shooting Analytics for Texas

After analyzing shooting data from GunViolenceArchive.org we have been able to discover some interesting information about when and where shootings occur in the United States. There were more than 450 mass shootings (incidents of 4 or more victims) in the past year – that’s more than one a day (see “Recent Multiple Shootings” ticker on this page.) Compiling the numbers by time and location we came up with the following statistics.

WHEN DO SHOOTINGS OCCUR?

Graphing the data by day of the week and by month, week ends in the summer 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?

Totaling the data for Shootings by State we see:

shootings by state

Although Texas is among the highest for number of shootings, when calculated on per capita, using populations, the states of Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee are actually more dangerous.

What about Location?

Where exactly are shootings taking place? You might think of places like schools, work and public venues but here is what the data shows:

shootings by locations

It turns out that we and our loved ones are at the greatest risk of being exposed to a gun shooting incident right in our own neighborhoods.

What cities are the most dangerous?

Click on the state link below to see statistics for 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

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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)