We See You Comin’ But You Can’t Get In

Jack R. Noel
3 min readMay 26, 2022

From CBS News on the school shooting in Uvalde Texas — video of Governor Abbott’s statement where he says, “Two officers encountered the gunman outside the school and engaged the gunman. Both were wounded. The gunman then went in a back door. He then went down two short hallways and into a classroom on the left hand side. Border Patrol officers arrived but waited for a staff member who brought a key to get into the classroom.

CBS reporter adds that it took 30 minutes to an hour before the “gunman was neutralized.”

As a former corporate security supervisor I can again say that if school buildings had “Man Trap” entrances, the gunman would have been neutralized before he could get to the interior of the building and have time to kill 19 school kids and two teachers. It was probably possible for the police not to have to have two additional wounded or even to engage the gunman directly.

I see a lot of doubt and incomprehension over this. I would like to address this now.

The most frequent question is whether this is even possible for school buildings because (the most common incomprehension) it’s assumed that with students, teachers and visitors coming and going, the restriction of free access makes their use impossible.

Contrary to that belief it’s important for me to explain that this kind of entrance is widely used (without undue disruption) in many private and government buildings.

Another form of this method is encountered every day by airline passengers when they go through the airport security check before being allowed on the plane. But airport security takes more time resulting in delays. The kind of man trap doors we used had the advantage of not letting the person entering be free in an already crowded space.

The kind of man trap doors used at the pharmaceutical research facility where I worked was of the same kind as the Man Trap Door System in wide use. We handled visitors with appointments, 800 employees and the executive staff. They were all issued an electronic security card with identification coded in each one. Use of the card was recorded and the time of use therefore always know. Think of the few seconds involve in swiping your card to unlock the outer door and you will know how little inconvenience is involved. (If you are so irresponsible as to lose your card or give it to someone else, then you aren’t the kind of person who can be trusted.). So everyone who should get in gets in.

Outer doors to the facility were either the regular door we’re all familiar with or had lockable revolving doors you had to use to gain entrance to the building. We also had lockable turnstiles as a kind of back up for those trying to bypass the receptionist who was always part of the security staff.

What makes this kind of man trap door so effective is both the physical presence of security personnel and the electronically enhanced video cameras. They had night vision and motion detector capability. They were all weather for outside and inconspicuous inside. They were high resolution too.

The basis for the objections is that most people have never been involved with that kind of security planning, The people who do the building evaluations* are experienced professionals which the public never sees.
* It’s interesting that the National Rifle Association offered $25,000 worth of security evaluation at no charge but there have been few if any schools systems taking the offer. It should be obvious: there’s a politically based prejudice (indeed hatred) against the NRA.

Finally, the provision of armed “campus police” or arming teachers isn’t even needed because computers and hardware have eliminated that need. Man Trap Door Systems are far better.

I will be happy to answer any other questions about this enhanced security for our schools. I can understand the evolution in understanding this topic. The Columbine School shooting of 23 years ago was just the beginning. A lot has been learned about school shootings and school shooters since then but the public and our political parties haven’t kept pace with developments.



Jack R. Noel

Writer (non fiction/fiction), science buff, history buff and political commentator at large.