No one is ready for everything. That was proven- again- this weekend. No one expected unseasonably warm weather to meet a cold front and morph into tornadoes this close to Christmas.
But it did.
Six people in our area died. Others find themselves homeless, but will celebrate simply for having survived.
Unfortunately, not all the threats we face today are from nature.
Some people’s filters have slipped to the point that violence has is their first response, not their last resort.
Violence seems to be everywhere.
When faced with it, my advice is simple: get away if you may. Do it quickly if you can.
That won’t protect anyone from unexpected violence -but it might help them survive.
I’m no John Wick. Bobbing, weaving, spinning and fighting were never my strong suits.
Where Wick’s tightly tailored, bullet-resistant suits enabled him to fight hordes of attackers, mine aren’t bulletproof. They don’t even repel spills.
That’s why I perked up at a news release about a jacket that included a “body armor concealment system” from Body Guard.
The Peacemaker Concealed Carry Jacket wasn’t just designed to allow quick access to your concealed firearm, it offered bulletproof protection from handguns.
So I made a phone call. Not long after, I received a package.
Inside was a Peacemaker jacket and pair of soft armor plates rated for Level 3A (NIJ Level IIIa) protection. If you’re not familiar, Level 3A is rated to stop handgun rounds ranging from .22 LR through .44 Magnum, and standard shotgun pellets.
That’s not same amount of body armor worn by police officers. And it’s not hard armor designed to stop rifle rounds. It’s protection from pistol rounds for your essential centerline vitals – front and back. An informational video explained the Peacemaker jacket offered “protection for you
r vitals when you’re crouched down with your handgun.”
The jacket features a breakaway construction (they call it their HIDDEN DRAW system) allowing you to easily put your hands into the (shallow) pockets or slip you hand around your firearm under the jacket.
At that point, you can either draw and fire through the jacket, or use the breakaway to present the weapon. That could be an advantage when you’re looking at the normal “rip and draw” training required to carry under most “cover garments”.
Their website also asked -and answered a basic question: “why a bulletproof jacket and not a bulletproof vest?”
Two reasons: convenience and concealability.
A jacket with bulletproof inserts is far simpler to wear- inconspicuously- than a bullet proof vest or body armor. And the whole idea of concealed carry is…concealment.
The Peacemaker jacket with plates isn’t a cheap solution. Their $349 price tag is considerably more expensive than other lightweight, waterproof, windproof, triple-layer nylon jackets.
The higher cost is -obviously- the bulletproof characteristics.
Which begs the question: are they really bulletproof?
The shortest answer is “yes.”
Knowing the jacket wouldn’t stop a bullet, I shot one of the panels. It stopped my three chosen rounds:.22 LR, 9mm and .45ACP. None of them penetrated the panel, but each of them left a decided impression.
That means none of them should penetrate the wearer. But keeping bullets from punching holes in you won’t make you John Wick. You’re not going to be jumping right back up and resuming the fight if you take a hit in a soft armor panel.
There will be trauma.
You’ll be bruised and battered, but you should live. That’s the point -to keep you alive where you might not survive otherwise. The purpose of the Peacemaker is the same as first aid. It’s not the only aid you may require; it’s the aid to allow you to survive long enough to get real medical aid.
The edge that may mean life and not the alternative.
It’s the reason police officers, soldiers and other first responders carry IFAKs (Individual First Aid Kits) and tourniquets, wear body armor and carry guns – to help ensure their survival.
They’re not looking for trouble, but their jobs are to deal with troublemakers. They’re equipped accordingly.
We should be equipped for avoidance, not conflict.
But not all conflict can be anticipated nor avoided. That’s there reasoning behind concealed carry – and protection like the Peacemaker jacket. Fighting isn’t the reason; surviving is.
We’ll keep you posted. — Jim Shepherd