School shootings are a very real problem in the United States, with very hazy solutions. There were 74 school shootings in just 18 months between December 2012 and June of this year. Naturally, there has been an influx of consumer products seeking to help save lives in the seemingly inevitable next attack.
On paper, the new "Barracuda Intruder Defense System" appears to be the most effective at thwarting a gunman in school. It's a small metal bar, developed by an Ohio firefighter and SWAT team medic, that can be easily slid under a door or over a door handle to lock it in place within seconds. It's essentially a steering wheel lock for doors.
Its inventor, Troy Lowe, teaches shooter response training programs, but he noticed that people in high-tension situations have a hard time getting their bearings.
"You'll see the fine motor skills go away when you increase the pressure a little bit," he told ABC 6.
In a video shot by an Ohio FOX affiliate (above), Lowe shows that a small child can easily use the defense system, securing a door from the inside within seconds. It seems to work a lot faster than the standard procedure of barricading a door with chairs and tables.
Plus, Lowe says, it's strong.
"When they were tested in the factory, the door failed before the devices did," he said. "There's potential to save a lot of lives."
School safety officials disagree on what teachers and students should do when a gunman enters the building. Most schools tell teachers to lock their doors and wait for police to arrive, SWAT officer Greg Crane told ABC News. But he says that method is insufficient, and pointed out that the 18 people shot and killed in the Columbine library sat there for five minutes before the shooter entered.
"We don't recommend just locking a door because locked doors have been defeated before," Crane said. "Try to make yourself as hard a target as possible."
Manufacturer Bilco is reportedly selling the Barracuda device for about $100. Visit the website for more info, and let us know in the comments below if you think this will work.
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