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Colorado Town Votes To Not Issue Drone-Hunting Licenses; Freedom May Survive Anyway

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Last July, we told you about thefun idea proposed by the town of Deer Trail, Colorado, (population 546): sell novelty "drone hunting licenses" that would promise a bounty to anyone who brought down a federally-owned unmanned aerial vehicle. You know, for a laugh, and to raise money for the town, and to send the message that the federal government better not mess with Liberty. Nobody was seriously thinking that the law would result in drones really getting shot down, since the $25 licenses would only allow “hunting” drones with a shotgun. But now, the humorless voters of Deer Trail have turned down the ballot initiative by a 75% margin, so their town will have to find other sources of revenue, at the small price of not becoming known as "that crazy place that lets you buy a license to shoot down drones." After all, what could possibly have gone wrong?


The guy who proposed the ordinance, Phillip Steel, was completely serious about the proposal, at least as a symbolic kind of thing, describing it as a “call to all who love peace and freedom to stand up and resist all those who would trample precious liberty.” And then the town leaders joined in, because what better way to attract tourists than an annual Drone Days where people could maybe shoot down radio-controlled planes at a shooting range or something. This is America, and we like our whimsical small-town celebrations. If you can add in some raging anti-government paranoia and some firearms, so much the better.

Despite some enthusiasm from the shoot-anything-that-moves community, the Federal Aviation Administration was never really on board with the idea of licenses to shoot at aircraft, even though the town would have said very clearly that they were only joking about blowing things out of the sky. Those party poopers issued a statement last summer saying that you shouldn't go around shooting aircraft out of the sky, since you could put an eye out when flaming drone chunks hit the ground:

“Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane,” the FAA said.

Some people just have no sense of humor, now do they?

Here's a story from Denver station KDVR, with the added attraction of some very serious lovers of liberty explaining that a joke ordinance to allow drone-hunting would "send a message" to the federal government, as if it weren't already abundantly clear that some folks just can't wait for the chance to shoot some feds:

KDVR's story notes that Deer Trail voters also voted out the Mayor, Frank Fields, who had been pushing the proposal. It's almost as if they preferred not looking silly over a perfectly reasonable fund-raising option. Now some other town is going to have to become the nation's drone-hunting capitol.

[KDVR / RawStory]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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