There is nothing like a DAME — T.F. Stern

By T.F. Stern,

 

Stealing a line from the hit show, South Pacific, seemed like an appropriate way to start today’s article. Far from home in the middle of the war thousands of men reminded of the fact…

“…There are no books like a dame,
And nothin’ looks like a dame.
There are no drinks like a dame,
And nothin’ thinks like a dame,
Nothin’ acts like a dame,
Or attracts like a dame.
There ain’t a thing that’s wrong with any man here
That can’t be cured by pullin’ him near
A girly, womanly, female, feminine dame!

But that’s not what the article is about; sorry to have led you down the garden path. This past weekend the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA) had Harry Sher down to teach an eight hour DAME class. DAME is the acronym for Defense Against Methods of Entry. The class covered areas of the industry which I seldom if ever venture into, my being an automotive specialist. I needed eight more hours before the end of August to keep my locksmith license up to date; don’t get me started on mandated continuing education .

Harry Sher’s been a locksmith since the 50’s and has forgotten more about locks than I’ll ever know; not that he’s forgotten much. His presentation was fast moving as he showed how to defeat one lock system after another using sophisticated audio visual tools which were all linked to his laptop computer. Some of the tools looked like they’d fit in a James Bond movie, real “Holy Crap! You mean someone actually makes a tool that can do that?”, kind of stuff.

At the half way mark, when it was time to go for lunch, Harry wanted to make sure the building would be locked up; all that fancy equipment being left with nobody to watch over it. I turned to the locksmith sitting next to me and laughed out loud, “Yea, like that’s gonna’ stop anyone”; having observed Harry defeat every lock on display.

Here’s the message, don’t bother locking your door, file cabinet, safe deposit box or safe. If Harry wants in they won’t do any good. I watched him defeat a UL listed lock in 20 seconds; UL listing means it’s supposed to resist picking or manipulation for at least 15 minutes. As for the rest of us, regular everyday locksmiths it might take “a while” longer; but there isn’t a lock made that can’t be defeated.

Rest easy, the average thief hasn’t got the smarts to use techniques Harry Sher referenced in his DAME class; for that matter, very few locksmiths could claim to be as proficient.

“There is nothin’ like a dame,
Nothin’ in the world,
There is nothin’ you can name
That is anythin’ like a dame!”

The Moral Lib­eral asso­ciate edi­tor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer, self-employed lock­smith, and gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since Jan­u­ary of 2005.
This will also appear as a feature article on Fiercely Independent Locksmiths of America’s website.

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