Drone mania is coming to America. Law enforcement agencies, companies and universities all want licenses to fly drones. Most of them are getting them. That does not even take into consideration the drones the Federal Government is flying in the United States.
There is a logical development to this story. If you are not worried yet, perhaps you should be.
What is it?
Overseas, the United States flies two types of drones, unarmed and armed.
Is the next logical development for American drones in American airspace to be armed drones?
From CBS News:
With the use of domestic drones increasing, concern has not just come up over privacy issues, but also over the potential use of lethal force by the unmanned aircraft.
Drones have been used overseas to target and kill high-level terror leaders and are also being used along the U.S.-Mexico border in the battle against illegal immigration. But now, these drones are starting to be used domestically at an increasing rate.
The Federal Aviation Administration has allowed several police departments to use drones across the U.S. They are controlled from a remote location and use infrared sensors and high-resolution cameras.
Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas told The Daily that his department is considering using rubber bullets and tear gas on its drone.
“Those are things that law enforcement utilizes day in and day out and in certain situations it might be advantageous to have this type of system on the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle),” McDaniel told The Daily.
Is anyone else just a little concerned about this?
There are a lot of privacy issues with reconnaissance drones just floating around but when we start talking about arming them, even with “non-lethal” weapons, we are taking this to a whole new level.
Here is a question someone should be asking. Why does any law enforcement agency need an armed drone? What is next? Do we start giving the police departments surplus A-10 attack aircraft so if someone barricades themselves in a house, the police can just drop a 500 pound bomb on the house and not have to worry about going in?
There is the other issue of drones being hacked. Many believe the Sentinel drone that was forced down in Iran was in fact hacked. Does anyone doubt that there are hackers out there with that kind of sophistication?
But the question remains, why does ANY law enforcement agency need any type of armed drone, even if the weapons are so-called non-lethal.
That is a question our leaders in Washington need to be asking.