Saturday, February 23, 2013


Does the 2nd Amendment give citizens the right to shoot down drones that are spying on them?

by Larry Geller

Who would think that this blog would link to a Fox News story… but this story on the proliferation of domestic drones seems to be trending.

…the Federal Aviation Administration has already granted 327 licenses, and it projects as many as 10,000 licensed systems by 2017.

“It's really just an extra tool in the tool kit for first responders to use, and it's more affordable than a lot of the manned assets that are out there,” said Gretchen West, executive vice president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems.

West says most of these drones are small, about 20 pounds or less. They cannot be armed. They cost between $10,000 and $50,000, with typical flight times of about an hour or less.

"They would use them for specific missions such as finding  a lost person or a missing child that's lost in the woods, or for monitoring traffic, or potentially for crowd control. In the meantime, the firefighting community would be interested in using these to fly them over a fire and identify hotspots.

[Fox News, Government plans for drastic expansion of domestic mini-drones, 2/23/2013] (includes video)

For the reasons given in the report, these mini-drones are certain to be deployed widely, and can serve valid purposes. Hobbyists have been messing with them for years—in fact, it’s strange that they are only now becoming popular.

We are assured that these little drones will be unarmed and innocuous. But we know that police lie. Just wait. They will be armed. In the meantime, expect that they will begin to carry increasingly invasive surveillance electronics. One day soon, when you turn on your cell phone, you might see a little speck in the sky following you around… Look, police like to spy on civilians these days. New York Police spied on mosques up and down the east coast. Even Honolulu police video Occupiers, and they’ve set up a camera devoted to monitoring the Thomas Square encampment 24/7. Wait until they get hold of some drones to deploy. It’s just a question of time.

Question for Fox: Does the 2nd Amendment give citizens the right to shoot down drones that are spying on them?


the false dilemma. what is the test that an individual would have to be able to prove that a drone was spying on them as opposed to someone else that would justify the firing of a weapon? would the constitution allow me to shoot at someone sitting in a car in the street across from my house because he was trying to take pictures of me through my window. i doubt it. constitutional rights are negative powers. they limit the government from doing something. they are not productive powers that empower someone to do something.

Chilling to take your story and add it to the story in Civil Beat today about the utter lack of transparency regarding police abuses.

Only a matter of time before we arm ourselves with radar guided laser pointers to ward off those portable drones.

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