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Not Everything That Flies is a Drone

Illustration for article titled Not Everything That Flies is a Drone

From the Obama Administration killing folks to pizza delivery to potential privacy violations, "drones" are everywhere and panic is setting in. Recently Google Executive Chairman and irony apologist Eric Schmidt urged regulation of civilian "drones" to protect the privacy of US citizens. Do "drones" deserve the fear and mistrust they're receiving? Do we really need a drone detector?


I was flying my radio controlled quad copter last fall in a park and a man walked up to me and said "is that there one o' them drones?"

No, it's not.

Flying RC machines is a hobby. Can I put a camera on it and take pictures? Sure. Am I going to fly up to your window and video tape you banging your wife? No. If I wanted to see that there are 100 easier ways to do it. Fearing the long shot, well, that's a uniquely American overreaction, and one that we shouldn't reinforce.


When one man tries to put a bomb in his shoe we react by forcing everyone to take their shoes off to get through security at the airport, because we mostly don't want to put bombs in our shoes. But a nutter with an assault rifle kills 20 kids and we don't do anything, because you can pry our guns from our cold dead hands... Most people don't enjoy building and flying RC aircraft. New technology is making the hobby more powerful but not more accessible, and RC has never been particularly affordable, so it's easy for most people to fear.

Radio Control aircraft and the "drone" hobby isn't the devil, and it's rarely if ever used by civilians for anything nefarious. It isn't worth the overreaching legislative efforts and ostricizing it's recieved.

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