How to Use a Bulletproof Vest to Protect Yourself and Media Workers

The concept behind a proof vest

It is designed to provide military and law enforcement personnel the ability to be protected while they are on the job. A vest is a full-body protective equipment usually consisting of a full sleeve design and an interior lining of some kind.

A bulletproof vest is just that: a vest, or piece of protective clothing, made of bulletproof material that allows a fired round to impact against it without penetrating the material itself. This protects both the wearer and the shooter. For instance, a vest worn by freelance journalists working in major cities like Jerusalem or Tel Aviv could provide bulletproof protection to Israeli police officers at a given point in time. In this case, the bulletproof vests worn by international media outlets reporting on violent events in the Middle East would protect the journalists from being harmed by any of the projectiles fired by suspected protesters. The same principle would apply if an American freelance journalist was to be shot at by anti-American protesters in Washington, D.C.

a sniper with an automatic weapon

Vests designed for reporters have been shown to be effective in protecting American journalists working in places like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from attackers who wear masks and conceal their identity. In the case of freelance journalists, the same protection would extend to journalists who report on acts of vandalism and violent protests against Israel. If a freelance journalist were to be shot at by a sniper with an automatic weapon, he or she could remain in the location covering the event without fear of harm coming to him or her.

The Israeli government, in keeping with its long-standing practice of arresting peaceful protesters, has employed the practice of placing undercover officers in areas where violent confrontations might occur. The undercover officers are there to diffuse the situation by using nonlethal force only when necessary. In this case, it would serve the purpose of keeping the peace better than using a bulletproof vest. In fact, many international journalists covering the ongoing unrest in the Occupied West Bank have reported that they do not feel much danger while covering the events because they are surrounded by security forces and police officers. When they are wearing a bulletproof vest, the possibility of being shot in the leg or other vital organs is minimal compared to what they experience in regular street demonstrations.

provide substantial benefit to the wearer

In fact, many of the vests being worn by international media outlets have already been proven to provide substantial benefit to the wearer. For instance, one officer who was wearing a vest that showed him to be a member of the elite Special Police Forces was able to stop a knife-wielding terrorist who tried to attack him with the knife before he was subdued by other officers. Another participant, a freelance videographer, was also able to film the arrest of a knife-brandishing terrorist moments before other Israeli security forces took the man into custody. He was saved when another Israeli policeman noticed the camera and tackled the terrorist, allowing the videographer to capture the entire event on video. This incident, which occurred less than a month ago, serves as a case study in the use of a bulletproof vest for journalism.

As proof of the value of these vests to both the public and the Israeli security forces, consider that just days after the September 11th attacks in America, a member of the US National Guard was captured near Ramle, near the border with Israel. He had on him a large orange vest that read “US army” with an identification mark of an “army major.” A search of the person’s clothing brought no further results. His colleagues, who had seen him earlier that day, confirmed that he had on the orange vest. The Israeli authorities did not find any weapons in his pockets or in his coat pocket, indicating that he was indeed a national guard serving in the occupied territories.

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