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Arizona rep. proposes lawmakers wear body armor

An Arizona lawmaker said that it may be time for state representatives to wear protective vests.

According to Talking Points Memo, Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-District 6, emailed Arizona House and Senate members Thursday inviting them to attend the April 10 event at the capitol about bullet-proof vests. A company known as Arizona Tactical will address the topic from a sales perspective.

Thorpe said in his email that body armor could be a necessity at public venues considering the aftermath of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting involving Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

In the wake of Tucson shooting, I have been researching body armor in order to inform our members about the costs and options for those wishing to purchase a vest for their personal use, for example, at town halls, parades and other public events. These vests have prices ranging from about $600 – $800, and options that include their weight and comfort, bullet stopping ability and colors. Just like our police and DPS officers, you typically wear the vest under a shirt or top, which conceals their use.

However, other legislators such as Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-District 16, explained Friday that wearing protective vests would simply add fear and personal paranoia rather than serve the public.

“It’s just a fantasy world that a lot of these legislators, particularly Republicans, are living in, that they’re going to be wearing body armor and they want to arm themselves and, you know, thinking that they can somehow be Rambo,” Gallego told TPM by phone.