Drones don’t kill people. Those following orders from our Commander in Chief do.
And most drones, like most guns, won’t kill anyone. In a civilian capacity (at this point) they are used for police and border surveillance. Sure there are privacy issues ([[4th Amendment]] and all) like with any such technology, as seen in more than one case of infra-red to find urban pot growers. But we didn’t storm the gates over [[naked machine|naked body scanners]] and total body physical searches at airports, so the citizenry already demonstrates widespread acceptance and compliance right down to our very person. This isn’t about privacy anymore, and certainly not public privacy, lost long time ago with cameras at intersections catching people running red lights.
So why are so many people obsessively recoiling from the very idea of using of drones in America? Are we afraid of a [[Rise of the Machines]]? Do we fear a police state that some argue already exists with or without such machines? Or it is because of things like the [[NDAA]]’s provisions to hold citizens without a trial, extensive military assassinations and operations without Congressional oversight (and against international law), and even CIA [[Torture and the United States|torture]] practices? When we hear about all the proposed military drone bases on American soil, no wonder we are concerned.
But under that reasoning, what difference does it make if it’s a drone or an old Air Force jet flying out of Niagara Falls or Langley or Nellis? And with everyday people already demonstrating their own RC aircraft with lightweight cameras or even paintball guns, there’s no closing Pandora’s box.
Drones are here to say.
They’re not going away any more than guns, or cameras, or sticks and stones. We just don’t like the idea of them being over our heads all the time. We want the illusion we are not already living in a fishbowl — unlike our current generation who is growing up thinking it has always been that way and hardly cares.
So what do we do? Using a parallel of the [[Right to Bear Arms]], should we make personal drones illegal? Or do we trust citizens to “bear drones” but not the government? After all, they already have an advantage or two in their war closet compared to the average ammo-stocking [[2nd Amendment]] activist if push came to shove. What is this really about?
A quick Google search will yield countless tips and tricks for avoiding infrared detection if you want to grow plants in your basement. People are already shooting down civilian drones, repeatedly, and there are plenty of discussions on how to take down military ones. One news commentator warns, “I would predict, the first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring down a drone that’s hovering over his house is gonna be a folk hero in this country.”
But others have the sense to ask, “What’s the point?”
Safety issues and legal ramifications aside, shooting down a drone because you don’t like their existence makes a statement. But it’s like dumping a shipload of tea into the Atlantic hoping the British won’t deliver more. And in this case, we’re LIVING in Britain.
Of course, the appropriate first measure would be the ballot box. But if that made any difference, we’d hardly be where we are today. The above-mentioned breaches of ‘guaranteed’ rights and the sovereignty of other nations isn’t going to be up for referendum any time soon, and all branches of the government are complicit accomplices in these crimes. Voting no longer works to ensure accountability — if it ever really did.
Ideally, we could peacefully demand change through activism and protest. Well, we’ve done that for some time. And psychologically, the reason freedom-loving ‘Mercans’ brag about their eagerness to use drones as “target practice” (like the Mexican cartels are purported to do) is because they want to revolt, but not necessarily kill anyone. And like those using guns, it is those guiding the drones — or giving the orders — that are the ‘right’ target. To commit to that would mean attacking a military installation, or perhaps so far as to deprive a general — or even the Commander in Chief — of due process in defense of that same due process we as citizens demand.
Fortunately, there have been no known uses of drones to execute citizens, at least within our borders. (Drones have taken out citizens abroad on the CIA “kill list”, as well as America collateral deaths.) There has been no widespread use of the [[Patriot Act]] or the NDAA to bypass due process, with the possible exception of confusing legal statuses of those at Guantanamo. But the fact remains our beloved government has left it on the table, a reserved yet remote possibility.
But the fact Washington is passing around more and more pieces of paper that creep closer to laws and policies that are blatantly unconstitutional is concerning. We have every right to speak out. But let’s not shoot down any drones. If it comes to a point where the line is crossed and we must act to protect a basic right of due process, we must decide how to deal with the people behind the drones.
After all, machines aren’t the ones committing crimes against America and can’t be held accountable. It is our leaders that must, figuratively or if all else fails, literally, be in our cross-hairs.