Everyday the locksmith is inundated with sales pitches on how they must offer electronic security devices and how obsolete the mechanical locks are. A lot of this comes from the manufacture reps or distributors looking to earn their sales commissions while forcing new products into the market.
There is no doubt that electronic security hardware offers great features and benefits, but they also bring a wide range of problems. If someone where to ask just how to define these devices the single word would be convenience. So when in comparison to a mechanical lock definition we come up with words such as reliable, or durable, simple, or proven. All very different then electronic security.
Think of it in terms of a 2x4 piece of lumber. Placed across a door properly and that door is as secure as an electromagnet. In fact it can be proven that the mag lock has even damaged doors over time, rendering them vulnerable to defeat and bypass. Another example is a digital push button lock (PBL) that relies on AA batteries, it offers multiple users and changing user codes quickly is convenient. A mechanical push button lock on the other hand requires no power, and no batteries, they only offer a single user code, and they may take longer to change a combination. Which PBL would you like to have when an EMF Pulse, real or fictional knocks out all energy or in times of crisis when there are no batteries available or electrical power? The mechanical lock will still be operating!
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In reality both the electronic and mechanical locks work, so when you hear someone trying to convince you that opting for a mechanical lock is a bad choice, it would not be on the grounds of security as much as convenient features which you may not need anyway. Electronics have their place, but not alone at the top of the pile. So are they better than mechanical locks?
Speaking of piles, I write this blog entry after seeing a pile of banged up, failed and otherwise useless electronic security components tossed in the corner of a local lock shop and had to ask what happens to this stuff? At least the mechanical security devices can be cannibalize for repair parts and even rebuild units, but not the electronics unless you are versed in circuit board rework, trace repair, pad repair and who knows what else. I once stumbled up a company that actually offer this service, but is the cost worth it? Is it practical?
If a locksmith wants to be a solder sucker, maker or hacker and can make money doing it, I say all the more power to them because they would have a lot to work with. So for now, the locksmith just keeps them in an e-waste pile called stuff or simply junk.
How do you recycle or re-purpose used electronic gear and products?
Licensing laws should be subject to removal if :
In 2008 policy analyst Adam Summers had a crystal ball when he applied "reason" and common sense in the analysis of occupational licensing. If we apply his view of occupational licensing to the locksmith, we see his reasoning for removal of such laws to mirror current conditions.
His opinion from the past is the reality of the present, but still we see certain locksmith associations and a minority group of individual locksmiths pressing for even more failed licensing. Do they lack reasoning power, acumen, rational or the most basic common sense? Or are they intentionally trying to be destructive? If so why?
What is your opinion?
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On August 11, 2013 SOPL Director of Operations, Barry Campbell wrote a blog article titled Licensing Boards Under Fire from Federal Trade Commission - Restriction of Trade & Violating Anti-Trust Laws. In his article he briefly referenced the locksmith licensing board but added that it is not an issue of locksmith licensing in particular. As a result, while I was attending a trade show in North Carolina I was told I was an "idiot" by a person who was intimately involved in the creation of locksmith licensing and their board. I found the unsolicited remark to be off color and questioned why I would be attacked because of Barry's eloquent presentation of facts that were not initiated by the SOPL or myself and certainly not an attack upon the North Carolina licensing board.
Fast forward to March 17, 2016 and we find an article written by Matt Caulder titled State Looks to Remove 15 Licensing Boards where the North Carolina state legislative subcommittee approved draft legislation that would dissolve 15 occupational licensing boards in the state, included was locksmith licensing. So as I read this new report, I question just who the idiot may really be. I commend Barry Campbell once again for his continued insight into such issues. The opposite of idiot, is wisdom and genius!
The SOPL is the only locksmith organization that is presenting taboo topics to the hardworking locksmiths to help them become educated and informed, and it does so for the good of the order. I find the irony that some who consider themselves the elite chose to call others idiots when the results prove otherwise. An idiot lives only in his own world and who takes no outside input. The SOPL has given input, but others living in their own world do not listen.
The SOPL has responsibly advocated for the hardworking locksmiths who have been faced with unreasonable entrepreneurial interference. We have reported the facts, not created the problem. The idiots did that!
Tom Lynch, CRL