by Barry Campbell
The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has stirred up several debates; including gun control, the use of psychiatric drugs, God in school, and media coverage of such tragic events. In regard to the last one, I will not even mention the killer's name, but let us all remember those of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary:
But what prompts me to write this now is an article published by the Editor-in-Chief of an industry magazine that offers no such suggestions and seems to want to use the event to push an unrelated agenda. Out of the limited respect I have for this person and the publication, I will not name them, but I will quote from the article.
He states that his “normal sales pitch as a locksmith was to tell people that locks were for honest people.” It is no wonder to me that he believes the public has little regard for the locksmithing profession when he shows such contempt for the industry himself. If the locksmith can only protect people from “honest people,” what is the point? While it is true that a determined criminal can find a way to eventually circumvent virtually any security device, that is a far cry from only offering protection from honest people. Every step taken to deter or delay someone with criminal intent makes it that much less likely they will succeed.
He further states that, “[i]t is up to manufacturers to make locks better than just good enough for honest people.” While that may be somewhat true of the brands commonly found at the big-box stores, I think most professional locksmiths already use and recommend locks capable of keeping more than just “honest people” from bypassing them. More to the point, my understanding of the events in Newtown includes the killer breaking glass in order to make entry to the school. I would suggest that the use of a product such as ShatterGARD® available from Jordan Frankel and Global Security Experts, Inc would have delayed, if not prevented, his unauthorized entry. Obviously, prevention is best, but any delay would have allowed more time for authorities to respond, which is critical in any situation such as this.
Sadly, it seems the killer had relatively free movement once he made entry to the school. Hopefully, any professional locksmith would have recommended intruder-function locksets on the classroom doors. Again, the technology has been around for years, available from several manufacturers. They do not need to “make locks better,” we just need to promote the appropriate hardware that is already available.
Finally, he adds that, “[i]t is also necessary for every locksmith in the lock industry to broaden their image from key makers to security consultants, professionals who can select, furnish and install security products required in this new era.” He has already denigrated the locksmith profession but, somehow, calling ourselves something different would be an improvement, when he does not even mention the available products that a professional locksmith could have recommended and installed? In fact, the editor, who I assume considers himself a security professional added that, “Sandy Hook school had reportedly taken some of the current suggested security precautions and thought that they were prepared.” If that is true, I would take the recommendations of a professional locksmith over a security consultant any day.
Tom Lynch, CRL