Not just gun control

Remember, it’s not just guns they want to control. I find several parts of this whole fiasco disturbing. Right from the beginning of the article, DHS and FAA held a “conference was open to civilians, but explicitly closed to the press. One attendee described it as an eye-opener.” When one of those attendees (who runs a small drone shop) posted a picture and notes from the conference, DHS asked him to take it down (he complied).

Then we get to the meat of the issue – that a drone manufacturer unilaterally chose to add all of DC to their drones’ internal “no-fly” map. First, of course, that their drones have a “no-fly” map in the first place, and secondly, that “DJI is preparing an update that will increase the number of airport no fly zones from 710 to 10,000, and prevent users from flying across some national borders.” This is of course, pointless, as there are other manufacturers as the spokesam for DJI points out. Wired also points out that this won’t prevent terrorism, because there will always be workarounds, legal or otherwise.

Sebastian noted a while back about the wishes of gun-control advocates to be able to erect “no-smartgun” zones at will. It looks like their counterparts in drone control will get that wish. I can only hope that DJI gets what Smith and Wesson got from firearms enthusiasts when they kow-towed to the government.

7 thoughts on “Not just gun control”

  1. One problem that I see with people like Feinstein and advocates of geofencing with regard to small UAV’s is that typically they will ban flying inside your own home, or in your own yard even at 5 or 10 feet above ground level. They don’t care.

    Failure to exempt indoor or below-20ft-AGL-outdoor use is an oversight that is going to kill at lot of nascent drone applications, IMO.

  2. Well that pretty much ensures DJI will never get my business.

    Easy way to avoid geofencing is no GPS. Back in the day, and I saw many yesterday so I know they still exist, we flew things called “radio controlled airplanes” and “radio controlled helicopters”. These things don’t have GPS guidance or restrictive controls. How are people going to deal with these? Ban them too?

    Hell, I fly park flyers and helos in the field behind my house. Which happens to be on the approach to an uncontrolled GA airport less than a mile away. FAA “below 400′ AGL and not interfere with air traffic” rules apply. I keep it at treetop height and keep eyes in the sky simply due to the fact I prefer to not have a run in with a Piper Warrior.

    I find it amusing that people are getting spun up over quadcopter “drones” and the “threat” they pose when one can buy an actual turbine-powered RC jet capable of doing 200 mph and easily fitted with a camera for onboard vision. Sure, the skills and money to fly one are much higher but the energy packed into something like that is a lot more than 10-20 pound quad dropping out of the tree you just hit.

    It’s only a matter of time before Feinstein and bunch try to get those reclassified as “cruise missiles” and ruin everyone’s fun. The only reason “drones” are popular is allows an average person to fly one first time out without the rate of destruction or blade breaking traditional R/C hobbyists have enjoyed.

  3. Oh hellz, the usual toy quadcopters don’t weigh a pound and are so flimsy that if they got sucked into a jet engine they’d do less damage than a starling. These psychopaths need rooms with very thick, soft wallpaper, and maybe those lovely long-sleeved dinner jackets.

  4. I may be optimistic, but I am kind of expecting a decent amount of enthusiast pushback on some of this. There’s a lot of templates for hobbyist activity to fight federal regulation; not just the NRA, but model rocketry and ham radio have had to deal with this sort of thing (as has the original R/C community, who had better not push the quadcopter folks out of the troika lest the government come for the R/C folks last).

    1. Are the R/C guys the “fudds” of the community while the quadcopter folks the “Gun Culture 2.0”? It may sound funny but literally every interest/hobby has its own factions. Guns aren’t the only thing that need unity to stop federal encroachment.

      1. You’d have to ask someone in that culture. Closest I’ve come is a couple of the “helis for dummies” you can buy out of a mall kiosk and fly in your living room. And my living room isn’t really big enough for even the ones you can land in your palm.

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