Should a Student go to Prison for a Batman Suit?

A college student made a combat ready Batman suit with Kevlar armor. People in our government think owning bulletproof armor should be a crime.

batman armor

A headline at Comicbook.com caught my eye yesterday; it appealed to the nerd within me: “Student Builds Functional Batman Combat Suit.”

A Philadelphia University student by the name of Jackson—wait for it—Gordon constructed his own self-designed Dark Knight armor out of Kevlar and silicone molds. But since since his net-worth falls more on the side of Ramen-eating college student than billionaire industrialist, Gordon (that’s what he prefers to go by, naturally) took to Kickstarter to fund his suit. After successfully raising over $1,200 in 30 days, Gordon then built the suit in just under two months. And he didn’t even need a butler to help him.

The finished suit clocks in about 25 pounds, with the protective cowl comprising 3 of those pounds. Despite the hefty weight, Gordon said that he hardly notices it. 

“If this were to inhibit my movement, it would be completely useless,” Gordon, an industrial design student,  told USA Today. Hey, as long as Gordon’s batsuit lets him turn his head, then it’s already a win. 

I couldn’t help think as I read about the Kevlar construction, “Will making such a suit be illegal soon?” As you may remember, a bill is being put before Congress to make body armor illegal. Supposedly, even though (I have been informed) it is already a crime to use body armor in the commission of a crime, the mere possession of body armor should also be a crime. At least that is what the government believes about us serfs. The police can have more body armor because they are all in danger from nefarious “sovereign citizens.”

Of course, even though Gordon used Kevlar, his armor is almost certainly not really bulletproof. But, that begs the question, so what if it was? People come up with crazy projects and innovations they want to try all the time. Is all of that supposed to be made illegal for the sake of the national security state?

But a much more tangible threat is that, even if the law is directed at a specific level of body armor, all we need is one vague clause in the statute and one hungry prosecutor and we will suddenly find that someone is being charged in a way that no legislator foresaw. (Which isn’t that hard to imagine since the lazy scum vote on laws they haven’t even read!)

What if, to Gordon’s surprise, his three pound helmet was capable of deflecting a rifle round if it was shot at just the right angle? If the police confiscated it and tested it, then a prosecutor could argue that, since the statute prohibits armored helmets, that the helmet qualifies as Type III armor.

Is it absurd to worry about such things? Wake up and smell the Kafka! Absurd prosecutions ending in absurd jail time are happening all around us. You just haven’t been selected yet so you don’t believe it is happening.

We should live in a world where we are not constantly haunted by the fear that anything we do is somehow illegal. This proposed ban on body armor would be another bar in the cage. And building a batman suit is a perfect example of the kind of creative endeavor that one should be able to pursue in a free society without worrying about prosecution.