We’re all aware that drones are used in areas such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, both for surveillance and to shoot Hellfire missiles at suspected terrorists who are on the so-called “hit list” of bad guys. These drones are hard to spot, almost impossible to evade, and almost always lethal.
Back here in the United States, far away from the battlefields of the Middle East, police departments also use drones for surveillance and to assist with locating those engaged in criminal activity.
But now the North Dakota legislature has approved the use of drones which are equipped with :
“Less than lethal weapons like tasers, tear gas, sound cannons, and rubber bullets.”
North Dakotans must feel so much safer now!
As the Daily Beast reported:
“House Bill 1328 – which was first drafted to ban all weapons on police drones and require officers to obtain a search warrant before using the technology in searches – was amended at the last minute by a law enforcement lobbyist with close ties the drone industry.”
Yeah, just a tiny amendment that takes the bill and turns it a full 180 degrees in the other direction. Halt or my drone will shoot!
What I find most disturbing about this development is the fact that citizens in North Dakota didn’t know about this bill until it had become law. Also, most are probably just fine with the idea as long as it helps keep them “safe.” And it may just be in North Dakota so far, but you know it’s only a matter of time before every state passes a similar law and every police department from Podunk to Pittsburgh will want their own personal drone force.
Personally, I find this development incredibly disturbing. What’s to keep the police from one day arming these drones with machine guns, death rays, or even deadly missiles? They’ll say it’s needed in the ever-expanding War on Crime (as the U.S. government loves to say about the War on Terror), and one day you’re sitting at home watching a rerun of “Minority Report” when an explosive-tipped missile flies through your window and blows up your entire house.
Oh, but that would never ever happen, the proponents will say. Sure it wouldn’t. And we should trust you why exactly?
I’ve used this quote from Benjamin Franklin before and it certainly applies to this story:
”Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.