Prompted by the tragic deaths of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, an Australian security expert has developed a bulletproof bookcase that he hopes will save lives in the event of future school attacks.
Craig Harwood, a former policeman who runs a security firm called Secure-Corp, was prompted into action after his tearful daughter watched the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings and asked him to do something.
“I was on the couch with my 11-year-old daughter, we both had tears in our eyes, and she said: 'Dad, can't you invent something to stop this from happening?”
The idea is that the bookcase, named dFence and costing about $3,600 each, can be easily wheeled to cover windows and doors to prevent gunmen shooting through or gaining access to classrooms. Each item is fitted with layers of bullet-proof glass strong enough to stop bullets from the most commonly used rifles and handguns in the U.S.
"It is a pretty simple idea. I wanted something that aesthetically merges with the environment. Students don't know what it is and children don't need to know what it is,'' said Harwood.
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The Australian federal government has supported Harwood in his mission and even helped him arrange meetings with the U.S. departments of Homeland Security and Education in Washington last February.
While Harwood’s invention underlines the inability or unwillingness of the U.S. Congress to pass stricter gun laws, the bulletproof bookcase does represent a solution of sort, but whether it’s the final answer to a very grave problem is yet to be seen.