How body armor became a common feature in mass shootings

30/5/2022 3:24:00 AM

Like AR-15s, body armor and other tactical gear have become increasingly common in mass shootings.

'Obviously if you take the time to put on a tactical vest… it tells you that they know they’re going to war.'

Like AR-15s, body armor and other tactical gear have become increasingly common in mass shootings.

.Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.May 27, 2022 Though his teacher lay on the floor bleeding, she repeatedly told the students,"Stay calm.

“It’s no wonder 18-year-old kids are buying into this,” he said.One of the companies utilizing social media is RTS Tactical, a Miami-based company which, according to its Facebook page , “sells high quality, dependable tactical equipment for everyone from the enthusiast to the professional.Along the more than 1,900km of border between Mexico and Texas, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies respond to one another's calls for backup and regularly conduct joint operations.” Such equipment, which can be purchased online — and shipped free within the United States — includes a wide range of products, from plate carriers and ceramic inserts to ballistic shields and bulletproof memory foam pillows.County sheriff's deputies.“Here at RTS Tactical we believe everyone should wear body armor,” reads one post on the company’s Instagram feed.It was highly unusual, however, for ICE officers to be pulling children out of school windows, and for Border Patrol agents to play such a central role in response to a school shooter, firing the bullets that killed him.Mendel Berns, RTS Tactical’s marketing director, said the company’s marketing strategy is geared specifically toward military and law enforcement, not civilians, but the company does not refuse to sell to anyone.By mid-morning on Saturday, several dozen people had gathered at Uvalde's courthouse square, which has become a sombre place of homage to victims and survivors.

“If civilians buy it, we don't have a problem with that,” he said.(Even though the Border Patrol's mission is to secure the nation's international boundaries, it is allowed to operate up to 100 miles from a land or coastal border.That fell to the chief of a small police department created only four years ago to help provide security at Uvalde's eight schools.“We live in America.[You] have the right to protect yourselves, and we stand strongly with that.50pm.” Berns emphasized that RTS Tactical sells defensive products, saying, “We sell products that save lives.The degree to which some law enforcement officers on the scene disagreed with the decision to hold back became more apparent on Saturday, as more became known about their frustrations in the protracted chaos of Tuesday's shooting.We don't make products that take away life.Border Patrol created Bortac in 1984 in response to rioting at immigration detention facilities.Too much grief' President Joe Biden was due to visit Uvalde on Sunday to again make the case for gun control, as activists set about galvanizing voters on the issue in the run-up to November's midterm election.

” He argued that the positive uses of body armor far outweigh the negative ones.“If you wake up one morning and you have an urge to go out and kill people, then yes, they shouldn't be buying body armor,” Berns said.In April 2000, it was a gun-wielding Bortac agent who seized Elián González, the Cuban boy who was at the centre of an international custody battle.Inside the classrooms, children whose classmates lay dead around them quietly called 911 over and over again, at times pleading with dispatchers to send police in to rescue them.At the same time, he argued, it’s impossible for companies to vet whether a customer may turn out to be a mass shooter.He suggested that policies restricting civilian access to body armor could end up denying lifesaving body armor to people who really need it.The little-known unit, headquartered in El Paso, Texas, has about 250 agents.“I don't think that falls under our responsibility to do the vetting,” he said.Ultimately, the police officers assembled outside won permission to enter the classroom." "We have to stand stronger," he told the graduates at his alma mater.

Kenneth Hall, CEO of the Nevada-based Armor Research Company, which manufactures body armor and ballistic shields.Most of the people that the unit targets are violent, with lengthy criminal records.Hall’s company, where Westrick also works as a consultant, requires customers who want to purchase body armor to prove that they are an active service member in the military or a certified sworn officer with a federal, state or local law enforcement or other government agency.Civilians, including those working in private security, must provide a letter showing that they’ve been vetted by a government or law enforcement agency and are working for a reputable security company through which the armor can be purchased.They arrived at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday with three ballistic shields, which are designed to stop or deflect bullets and other projectiles."The change from Columbine has not necessarily been accepted by agencies across the country, and that's what you saw in this situation," said Chuck Wexler, the head of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based think tank.Hall said there are a handful of scenarios in which his company would consider selling or even loaning body armor to an individual civilian, though the person would still need to provide a letter from the highest local law enforcement or government official saying they’ve been vetted.These include couriers responsible for transporting high-value items, such as ATMs or jewelry; social workers who work in dangerous neighborhoods; or victims of stalking or domestic violence."We are looking for an overall combination of toughness, heart, intelligence and integrity," Mr Mike Marino, a supervisory agent with Bortac, said earlier this year.Texas has long been one of the most gun-friendly states.

Other than that, Hall said, he can’t think of many other legitimate reasons that civilians would need to wear body armor in their everyday lives."When the story is ultimately told, he did exactly what they were trained for and based on pragmatic experience in the fog of war," said John-Michael Keyes, whose group conducts active shooter trainings for police officers and school districts in Texas, speaking of Arredondo.“If you’re out on the street wearing body armor, you’re anticipating a conflict,” he continued.You have to get a sense of person's true being.“I think anticipating a conflict means you’re looking for it.” Hall mostly blames video games for teaching mass shooters to wear body armor, noting that one game even allows players to purchase a ballistic vest based on a real-life product made by his company – despite his efforts to stop it.Children run to safety after escaping from a window at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022.A young child and a man pay their respects to the victims of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting on May 28, 2022.But he thinks companies that market body armor to the general public also play a role.16pm reported eight or nine children still alive.

“They’re marketing geniuses, and they are getting the average person to buy armor,” he said.That June, Trump sent 66 agents from the specialised unit, along with other federal law enforcement officers, to Pearland, Texas, for the burial service of Mr Floyd, a Black man killed by a white Minneapolis police officer.Westrick said he thinks there should be tougher restrictions on purchasing body armor, but he thinks the state of the larger gun debate makes that unlikely to happen.Investigators were also looking into whether an attempt was made, during the standoff, to take incident command away from Arredondo.“If you’re not going to say that people can’t buy assault weapons, how can you say 'You can’t buy armor?'” he asked.They were sent to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers with arrests of immigrants living in the country illegally.Hall, on the other hand, is “really torn.” He said he would not support legislation to restrict access to body armor – or guns for that matter – but suggested that civilian sales could be regulated by industry-led associations.Although it is rare for the Bortac team to play such a central role in the response to a local crime, it has happened before.He said city police might then pass along control to an agency like the Texas Department of Public Safety, once it was established on scene.

“I do agree there's a problem that needs to be solved,” he said.Advertisement.A member of the team shot and killed Matt, after the team found him hiding in the woods.

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