Notes From The Editor: 20 School Children Died Today

Dec. 18, 2012

More than once during a former career I arrived late to an airport and then sprinted through the corridors to get into the gate before it was closed.  That is not how it is done today.  There is no sprinting.  Every air traveler is now subjected to long waiting lines, bag inspections, proof of identification plus removal of shoes, belts and metal objects. Finally you must either go through a metal detector or stand like a criminal with your hands against the wall while an x-ray machine checks your body.  This is all necessary for millions of travelers because of a small group of non-conformists who found hijacking airplanes as a good way to further their cause.

Similar events are now occurring in schools as a few non-conformists again have found an easy target for whatever their displeasure may be. As the distressing news filtered in on Friday concerning the events at the Sandy Hook school, I was reminded of what the government response has already been at airports.

Sandy Hook has not been the first school where a murder has occurred. "Lockdown"  is now part of our language.  The Sandy Hook school had reportedly taken some of the current suggested security precautions and thought that they were prepared. 

My normal sales pitch as a locksmith was to tell people that locks were for honest people. Given enough time and a big enough hammer, any lock will eventually be defeated.  That was good enough when almost everyone was law-abiding and operated by the same rules. The small group of people bent on crime were usually quickly identified, caught and convicted.

These are unsettling, changing times. Larger groups of people are now trying to change the world social order.  These people function normally one moment and can cause mayhem  in the next moment. It can happen in another part of the world or at Sandy Hook School.  Early identification of intentions is an issue that police have not fully solved.  The result has been more and more tragic events and often with loss of innocent lives.

The security industry cannot solve every problem or save every innocent life but we can make a big difference. We are the industry people turn to when their life and property are threatened and today is one of those times.   It is up to manufacturers to make locks better than just good enough for honest people.  It 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.