Dan’s recent post on body armor and the attendant comments got me thinking. Most of the commenters complained about how the armor was uncomfortable for daily wear and furthermore many people seemed to consider daily body armor use a level of paranoia that was beyond reasonable. What amused me is that many of the negative comments were similar to the excuses used when People of the Gun are asked why they don’t carry daily. Granted, many carry a firearm every day, but many others (including myself) don’t. Frankly, I have not found a solution that is comfortable and completely concealable in every situation therefore while I often carry concealed; it’s not a daily thing for me . . .
I can anticipate the responses – “How can you know if you are going to need it or not?” “Wouldn’t you rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it?” “Get over your laziness and figure out something that works then use it daily.”
I can’t argue against any of these points – they make good sense. Seems to me that all of the comments in the paragraph above could apply to daily body armor wear. If you feel the need for daily concealed (or open) carry, why aren’t you wearing body armor? Let’s face it, if you have to deploy your firearm in a gun fight, there is a really good chance that some rounds are going to be headed your way. Given that, wouldn’t it be a lot better to be wearing some protection?
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that adding body armor to your daily carry kit certainly ramps up the paranoia factor. But let’s not kid ourselves. We carry guns against that terrible, (and for most of us) extremely unlikely event that we’ll need to use them. Since we plan for a gun fight, shouldn’t we go all the way and plan to protect our bodies? Why not invest in a good suit of soft body armor?
Today, options exist that offer relatively lightweight and concealable choices for a reasonable prices. The one pictured above is $460 – about the cost of a decent handgun and looks reasonably comfortable. Granted, the smartasses might suggest that if you’re going to go with armor, you should go with hard armor to protect against rifle rounds. The fact is though that the likelihood of facing assailants armed with rifles is so unlikely (unless you are police) as to make it not even worth considering. No, a good set of Level II or Level IIIa would do fine for most people.
In the final analysis, all of the good reasons people can offer to carry a gun daily arguably apply to daily body armor use. If you are expecting the gun fight, it pays to be fully prepared if it comes. So, my question is, if you carry daily, why not armor up?