Drone Wars

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drone wars IIIOn the heels of the FAA’s certification of the first commercial drones, I’m compelled to take you down the rabbit hole with me regarding the implications of our skies littered with faceless, nameless machines.

Like almost all powerful technology that has been developed in history, it can be used for good, and it can be used for bad.  Obviously armed and unarmed military drones have saved American lives in war fighting. That’s good! As long as those guns stay over there, of course! Other less intimidating uses of drones can be illustrated in the press release above regarding patrolling Alaska’s shores for oil spills – good, right?

What about our airspace? You know, the stuff you use to fly your airplane on the weekends?  We get to share those air molecules with these lifeless machines. Once the drones are used in a wholesale manner to make things “better” for the masses, us little guys could easily get pushed out-of-the-way. Too dangerous, you know. There probably won’t be as many aviators left by then anyway if we don’t figure out how to grow our ranks, which is a different, but somewhat related topic.

The conspiracy theorists paint a much more ominous picture, one that is hard not to image after growing up watching science fiction. Some of the theories of spying on Americans and other nefarious activities aren’t just likely, they are probable – in my humble opinion. Our country has chosen security over freedom and I saw that movie as a kid and it didn’t end well.

drone loadsI’m not the only “wacko” out there thinking about this stuff. An entire community in Colorado is mobilizing to put in a city law that not only allows, but encourages shooting down of government drones. Obviously this was a symbolic gesture, as it was quickly squashed by regulators citing any number of laws prohibiting such activities – how convenient. I applaud their efforts. This kind of free-thinking is what forged this country.

So whether you are a paranoid type or just an informed citizen, you might concern yourselves with the future landscape of our freedoms and let your elected official know how you feel about the impending army of aerial drones that may be on our horizon. Let them know you are worried about:

  1. You hitting them
  2. Them hitting you
  3. Them hitting your house
  4. Them hitting your next family airline flight
  5. You loosing your freedom to fly to avoid issue #1 and #2

Why worry they are only machines, and machines never break or malfunction, right? 

You can go into the civil liberties issues with your elected official at your convenience – that’s a whole separate topic and one they are probably more accustomed to hearing from joe-internet-conspiracy-guy-public.

If this comes to pass, the irony will be that we not only let it happen, but we will have financed the whole thing! – if that doesn’t give you a chill I don’t know what will.

I’ll take off my tinfoil hat now and step away from the keyboard.

Fly free!

by Brent Owens

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