Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bulletproof Hoodies

Bulletproof Hoodies

As a fashion statement, hoodies have never really done it for me. Crimes, Guns, and Videotape pointed to me this article about bulletproof hoodies. When I saw that someone was starting to market bulletproof hoodies, I was underwhelmed. Ah, you are thinking, all your liberal friends can start clucking about evil America is, failing to get guns under control--and look where it leads! Except that the company marketing bulletproof hoodies isn't in America. From the April 4, 2008 London Times:
Gun control groups have condemned a new “bullet-proof hoodie” which claims to protect against street violence.
The £300 Defender hoodie makes the wearer’s upper body invincible to every bullet up to a high velocity rifle, its makers claim.
It was developed by Bladerunner, a London based company which also makes stab-proof tops.
Barry Samms, the owner, said that a mother from Walthamstow, East London, had asked for the Defender after her son had been mugged three times.
“Our current customers range from undercover police officers to concerned parents,” he said.
But gun control groups said today that the company was practising “exploitation at its most grotesque”. They predicted a rise in gang violence, saying children would buy the hoodie as a status symbol.
Raymond Stevenson, a spokesman for Don’t Trigger, an international anti-gun campaign based in Brixton, London, said: “It’s not helping kids to provide them with bullet-proof armoury. These companies are just encouraging the escalation of the urban warfare.
“It’ll give people the false impression that they’re protected and will encourage more aggressive behaviour.”

This is a tragedy--that Britain--which completely banned handguns in 1997--has reached a point where parents are buying these for their kids.

There is one point where I will agree with Stevenson: they will give a false impression of protection. A bulletproof vest will generally stop a handgun bullet, but it doesn't cover every part of the body. A criminal who shoots someone, and doesn't see consequences, will aim at an uncovered part of the body. Police officers wear bulletproof vests mostly to give them time to draw their weapon and return fire. On someone who can't draw a handgun--after all, they are illegal to possess in Britain--the benefits seem somewhat dubious.

UPDATE: A reader suggests that this might be useful if you are worried about being an innocent bystander. Yes, this might be a good reason to wear one if not able to return fire.

No comments:

Post a Comment