Deer Trail, Colorado is considering passing an ordinance that will encourage people to shoot down drones, according to this report (which I first read yesterday morning in the Austin American-Statesman). The title of the first article I read was, in complete Orwellian splendor: “FAA warns people against firing weapons at drones.”
The Statesman article begins, “People who fire guns at drones are endangering the public and property and could be prosecuted or fined, the Federal Aviation Administration warned Friday.”
The suggested ordinance would allow Deer Trail to grant hunting permits to shoot drones, and would encourage drone hunting with a $100 award to anyone with a valid license who proves to have shot one down. The citizen who authored the proposal and got the necessary petition signatures commented: “I don’t want to live in a surveillance society. I don’t feel like being in a virtual prison. This is a pre-emptive strike.”
While filing the petition, which forces the town council to consider a bill, is mostly a performance piece aimed at highlighting the hierarchy, getting such an overblown and hypocritical reaction from a federal agency must surely be counted as a success (the introduction of the phrase “drone hunting” alone is something of a victory). This little episode is happening against the backdrop of Obama administration lawyers claiming that US courts can’t second-guess drone strikes carried out on US citizens in foreign countries. Violence can travel down the hierarchy, but never up it.