Lock Picking is a skill with it’s own mystique. To some is takes on a scary even criminal connotation. To others it seems like a neat skill to have. There are tons of sites dealing with Survival that often discuss lock picking. Today I am not going to discuss the how to, but instead the why would you learn it.
Disclaimer: It is a crime in some states for average citizens to even own lock picking tools. Before getting into this check your local laws carefully. Don’t just ask the cop you know if it is legal. Really go look it up.
Never open a pair of handcuffs an officer has put on you and hand them back to him/her. They do not think it is amusing.
As a kid I always wanted to be a spook and thought Lock Picking seemed like the coolest thing ever. Two years ago, after reading Emergency by Neil Strauss, I talked a locksmith into teaching me how to pick locks through some minor social engineering techniques I learned from my stint learning to be a Pickup Artist. I practiced night and day picking every lock around me till my skill level got decent. Once it developed to a satisfying level, I slowed to just doing it once a week and with rather high security locks for the challenge.
Since I have become proficient at opening locks without using the key the skill has come in handy multiple times. On two occasions an employee of mine locked the only set of keys to a storeroom in the storeroom. A locksmith would have charged me approximately seventy-five dollars for each visit. On two more occasions my brother needed old master locks he owned opened that he had lost the keys to. Two weeks ago I needed to put a pistol up my father left laying on his desk and did not have the keys to his cabinet. One week ago I needed something out of a locker in my photography studio and I had left my key at home.
One day someone asked me why I learned to pick locks. My first answer was, “Well, in case there is a lock I need open and don’t have the key.” The grander answer would have been, “I never turn down learning a new skill.”
No skill ever goes unused. My dad drilled that into my head ever since birth. In every way, he is right. Sometimes it is through a direct use of the skill while other times it is through a perspective gained by acquiring the skill. When I learned to pick locks I figured it would just be something that became useful in some kind of disaster or emergency situation. The point is, never say no to picking up a skill. You never know how or when it is going to come in handy and lock picking is no exception.
If you want to learn there are a ton of books on Amazon and videos on YouTube. Buying the tools can often be frustrating as most shops will not sell to anyone but locksmiths and LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers). Some online stores have similar policies, some require a copy of your driver’s license, others still ask no questions; its a crap shoot.