Mr. Shubin has done more in one act to protect our police and military forces than many of today's politicians--or, dare I say, the entire staff of Washington Post--have done in their entire lifetime.
For that, I mourn the passing of this humble man:
Lester D. Shubin, 84, a Justice Department researcher who turned a DuPont fabric intended for tires into the first truly effective bulletproof vests, saving the lives of more than 3,000 law enforcement officers, died after a heart attack at his Fairfax County home.
Mr. Shubin was working at the National Institute for Justice, the research and development branch of the Justice Department, in the early 1970s when DuPont came out with a fabric that was to replace steel belting on high-speed tires.
Kevlar was different; it worked by deforming the bullet, spreading its energy as it hit the body armor. It wasn't perfect. It protected against 80 to 85 percent of the handguns then on the market, not rifles, and a wearer could suffer bruises or broken bones. But it saved lives.
Mr. Shubin went back to the Justice Department to wrest $5 million in research money out of the bureaucracy, and Montanarelli began developing the tests. They wanted their vest to be not only strong but also lighter than earlier versions and flexible enough so that police officers and soldiers could work in it.
Be sure to click on over to read the rest of this fascinating story.
And thanks to my friends at Fairfax Underground for the link.