Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tab Clearing...

  • Bobbi has a more detailed writeup on yesterday's range trip, including reports on firing her backwards-turning revolvers.

  • Look, I loathe me some bunny-huggin' human haters as much as the next person, but I thought conservatives were supposed to be all about the rule of law, and the eco-terrorists were the ones who resorted to property destruction, like tree spiking and SUV torching? When did self-identified conservatives start high-fiving each other over naked vandalism? Next thing you know, graffiti will be okay, so long as you're defacing somebody else's property with "Palin '16!"

  • Interesting post discussing LE Use-Of-Force issues.


Kristopher said...

That private UAV was flying at under 500 feet altitude over someone's property, with the expressed intent of violating their privacy.

If a nosy neighbor, with known bad intent towards you, kept poking a video camera on a boom over your fence to film you, about how long would it take for you to consider some form of response?

Tam said...


They're being applauded for, and I quote, "balls".

No. "Balls" would have been going on with the pigeon shoot and giving the bunny-huggers the bird.

Tam said...

(And was it shot down over the range, or was it across the street? The fact that the cops wouldn't do anything about it suggests that the bunny-huggers weren't doing anything illegal...)

Anonymous said...

I think this is a case of "pictures or it didn't happen"

What I haven't seen is a video of hordes of cammo-clad shotgun welding dick cheney wanna-bes blazing away at the sky in violation of all the rules of gun safety from the UAV's eye view. Instead we got a press release and a few photos sourced by SHARK themselves that don't show the damage.

If it bleeds it leads would apply to the UAV too.


Anonymous said...

Bam! found it.

The video evidence is conclusive, not!

All that shooting managed to only hit one plastic propeller, kinda exactly the way you would if the UAV strayed too close to a tree or a wall. No other damage is shown.

I think we have a case of a false police report.

That being said, I think the local town needs to pass a "using a UAV to circumvent a private event or the price of a ticket to a public event" law. Just think of all those drive-in-theaters and celebrity weddings!

Standard Mischief

StanB said...

Really to be hit by pidgeon loads it had to be LOW. We have had the kid mowing the impact area behind the traps 100 yards out and it is raining down. Range on shot is not that great.

Anonymous said...

Operating an aerial drone under the influence of ________.

A - Gaia
B - Patchouli or related controlled substance...Sudafed maybe.
C - Stupidity
D - Self righteous indignation
E - All of the above

Don M said...

This was analogous to someone driving their car into my livingroom, and then complaining of the damage don't to the car by those right wing propertarians.

Hat Trick said...

Standard Mischief - I agree. I think they set up a hoax to claim that their drone was fired on. The propeller damage indicates that it struck a fixed object (likely the pavement when it landed) A bullet would have only struck one end of the prop and left the other end undamaged. They didn't show any other damage in the video that would indicate a bullet strike.

Robbie said...

I am a bit confused by the article. Was the UAV trespassing over private property, or was it filming from off-property?

If it was flying and recording from public property or from property owned by the environmentalists, then I totally agree with you. If they were flying it over private property to film the shoot, then I have no problem with the UAV being shot down.

Of course, I'm a gun-toting environmentalist, so I am never in complete agreement with either side.

Peter said...

The bunny humpers (ad nauseum) have been using violence for years. #OWS has racked up an impressive tally of violent acts against people and property in a remarkably short span of time.

Our side has been self-restraining so far (which is a good thing, don't get me wrong), but wrapping our arms around the 'law-abiding' thing as hard as any tree-hugger does is simply an excuse for inaction, and cedes the battlespace to them. A small taste of their own medicine isn't necessarily a bad thing.

(pauses to readjust wookie suit more comfortably)

The final stage of this year's election cycle has all the potential of becoming two-for-one-bloodbath day at the Coliseum, and I for one plan on buying a ticket.

Sorry to disagree with you, Tam, but if the other side thinks that violence is justified, you're not gonna see this boy turning the other cheek.

The Jack said...

Yes, for me the conclusive question is where the 'bot was (including altitude).

I'll agree that I don't think it shows balls to shoot a little robotic snooper if it's over your property.

But it would still be legitimate if it was on the property.

Well, at least it's not as bad as cheering the French scuttling a Greenpeace boat.

And I like the irony of me needing to prove I'm not a robot to post this.

Anonymous said...

Birdshot of the size they were likely using (let's be really generous and call it 7 1/2's) are going to a) lose so much energy and b) spread into such a wide pattern at the distance from the shooters to the drone that it would take a magic pellet to hit their flying bug.

Of course, the vast majority of the public, and even a large chunk of the gun-nut public won't know this. Birdshot has a very short range - shot typically used in dove hunts will be 7.5's, 8's and 9's, and the smaller it gets, the shorter the range. We're talking max horizontal ranges of a bit over 200 yards, and max altitudes for the shot of less than 300 feet. Spherical projectiles have horrible Bc's. Look up Journee's forumula, for those who want to learn something.

Having dealt with these sorts of animal rights assholes when I was in farming, they're notorious liars, frauds and media whores.

Ted said...

If the proto-terrorist's show up again next year I hope someone from our side shows up with an RC P-51 and takes it down again, and again and again... as many times as necessary.

In a couple of years (depending on how many drones "SHARK" buys we could have an Ace on our side.

Grayson said...


What caliber for annoying UAV?

Lewis said...

Um, whether or not it was on their property is immaterial to the question of defacing and/or destroying the drone. (Note, I'm not saying that anyone did shoot at it, or if they did, if they hit it.) I mean, if the Google street view folks parked their van in my driveway, locked the doors and walked away with the cameras running, I still couldn't take an axe to it.

Y'all need to take off the tribal warpaint for a minute and think. Unless you're willing to go full Mencken (you know, the spitting on the hands, the hoisting of the black flag, the slitting of throats), then there's still the law. I'm pretty sure the law says "first, call the po-po and file a report."

Now, when SHARK starts to fit out their UAVs with Bobergs, that's a different matter.

Tam said...

It would not surprise me at all to find out that nobody shot the drone and it crashed from ineptitude, (or even deliberately.)

What I was commenting on was the high-fiving reaction to the report that the drone had been shot down.

I just finished reading a book about the early '20s in Germany. I'm not looking forward to the mainstreaming of street-level political violence. And I have to look askance ant anyone who is.

Anonymous said...

How about the mainstreaming of self-defense by citizens resisting the ongoing mainstream every-level political violence?

K said...

I remember when MLK was marching in the 50s-60s and all the talk radio conservatives could respond with was how them dang uppity protesters were breaking the law by sitting in the wrong part of the bus and sitting down at lunch counters where they had no right a sittin.

Is it conservative not to break the law in North Korea? Nazi Germany? Would you refuse to shop in a Jewish owned store if it were against the law to do so??

The default answer to that is to organize and change the law. Nice try - when you're living in a crypto fascist corporate nanny state where the government bureacracy, media, schools, unions and big business are aligned against change - breaking the law isn't the last option, it becomes the only one.

Anonymous said...

Big money live bird shooters use high brass 5's or 6's. The pigeon must die with in a set distance or it's called lost. It was a big game/sport in PA when I was growing up and lot's of money bet on it.

Yes Tam your right. Vandalizing someone else stuff is wrong.

But can I at least giggle that the broke their own UAV?


Still Human

Lewis said...

K: If you can think of only one option, you've got a mighty limited imagination.

And yes, I mostly agree with you: it's a bought and paid for state, guns and butter, and Lincoln's storied "of, by and for the people" is just a bitter joke.

If it makes you feel any better, Washington and Jefferson were traitors too.

Tam said...


"I remember when MLK was marching in the 50s-60s and all the talk radio conservatives could respond with was how them dang uppity protesters were breaking the law by sitting in the wrong part of the bus and sitting down at lunch counters where they had no right a sittin. "

Were those people sitting at the lunch counters, or smashing the lunch counters?
Do you see a difference between those two things, or do you find them morally equivalent?

Tam said...

(And I'm not being facetious; I'm asking in all seriousness.)

perlhaqr said...

I think you might well be on the wrong side of this one, Tam.

If someone's flying a robotic camera over my house, I don't care if the hardware is someone else's property, the widget is mincemeat if I can get a projectile into it.

Now, I might significantly temper the caliber of my response, given that I live in a residential neighborhood, but in principle, fuck that flying spybug.

Tam said...


"If someone's flying a robotic camera over my house, I don't care if the hardware is someone else's property, the widget is mincemeat if I can get a projectile into it."

Up to what altitude?

Robb Allen said...

Also, I seem to get the gist that the robotic drone was interfering with their ability to hunt thus an active tactic and not a passive one.

Sorry, but if you stick your JVC Camcorder on a long pole, shove it over my fence and try to peek in my windows, there is nothing immoral about applying some Louisville Slugger behavior correction.

Anonymous said...

Small point of law: if you start shooting at things flying over your property, expect to be wearing handcuffs.

My ex neighbor decided that the hot air balloons flying over his sheep were justification for sending birdshot in the aviators general direction. The PSP, district attorney, judge and jury told him otherwise.

I’ll also mention your responsible for were you where your rounds end up and any unintended damage they may do.

Pigeon shoots are just that. They are not hunts.


Anonymous said...

Political violence is in the mainstream. You've just been ignoring it until now because it hasn't been on your watch.

Ask mink producers, bio-labs, pharma companies, medical researchers that have used animals in experiments, toxicologists, et al about the tactics of the "animal rights" types in the last 20 years. Or the developers who have had to deal with the aftermath of the Earth First! idiots setting fires to developments.

Sometime, do some homework on the Ruckus Society and tell me that political violence hasn't already been mainstreamed. Look at where they're getting their money. It isn't from some far-off fringe group or some bunch of 40-something nutjobs in their mother's basements or some Harvard grad holed up in a cabin in Montana. These assholes are getting money from mainstream sources, getting access to mainstream media, etc.

The problem in 1920's Germany wasn't merely the presence of political violence - it was that the side that favored police and decent society didn't become violent enough to quash the Nazis.

Divemedic said...

I find it hard to believe that persons can fly drones over your property with the stated purpose of interrupting your enjoyment of your property, and there is not a law to stop that, nor is there a law that states that I may use force to stop the trespass.
After all, if a person is on my property, I can ask him to leave. If he refuses I may use reasonable force to remove him.
What makes this interesting is this legal question: does anything change if it is not a person trespassing, but a remotely controlled device?
If not, does it matter if that device is not in contact with the ground?

Montie said...


"I remember when MLK was marching in the 50s-60s and all the talk radio conservatives could respond with was how them dang uppity protesters were breaking the law by sitting in the wrong part of the bus and sitting down at lunch counters where they had no right a sittin."

Really? Who would all those talk radio conservatives be? KLUF in Gaveston pioneered the concept of talk radio on the '40's but not about conservative politics. In the '50's WMEX, Boston tried it out, but still not in the conservative political venue.

In the '60's KMAX and KABC in L.A. as well as KSXX, Salt Lake City all tried the talk radio format out, but yet still didn't fall into that so successful "conservative talk radio" schtick we see all over the country today. In fact,it took the mass exodus of listeners toward the FM band in the '70's along with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 to give conservative talk radio the foot in the door it needed to become what it is today.

I say all this, not to be a smartass, but if you are going to put something out there like that, it should contain a modicum of truth. So again, what conservative talk radio personalities were you hearing those quotes from?

AM said...

The question boils down to justified verses unjustified violence in terms of legal and illegal.

The consensus seems to be "Justified yet illegal" which in Dungeon and Dragon terms is "Chaotic Good"

As opposed to the villains like the Westboro Baptist Church "Lawful Evil" to the EnviroWeenies "Chaotic Evil."

Since it was property damage against property aiming to damage someone else's legal activity, I'm really hoping someone followed the 4 rules and winged that sucker.

Critter said...

good shooting! :)

Tam said...

Suppose the interloper is at 750ft agl in a Cessna? What caliber for 152's?

Tam said...

The two factions in 1920's street-fighting in Germany were the Communists and the proto-Nazis. Which one didn't oppose the Nazis enough?

Jim said...

Montie, you beat me to the punch on the historical note. During the MLK days "conservative radio" meant Perry Como.

I'm not sure I high-fived the amateur ack-ack platoon. My main reaction was laughter at SHARK's alleged surprise.

Look, you sing the Horst Wessel at a bar-mitzva, you get drunk and flash money in a South Bronx bar, man, the reaction isn't too hard to predict. :)

Anonymous said...

The people who wanted order and law who sat on their hands for far too long.

You're giving into the false dichotomy that there were only two factions in that battle. There was the much-larger third group, which was "none of the above." They went along with the National Socialists because in the ensuing mayhem, the Nazi promise was what appeals to Germans far too much - civil order.

An informed public should have looked at both parties and decided that down both roads lay madness, then they should have come down on both groups with a fury. The trouble was, the nation was broke and out of money. There were effectively no funds to continue civil governance.

You're about to see a similar situation erupt in Greece, and the root cause of both situations is the French, but that's another discussion for another day.

Back to our situation: The Constitution isn't a suicide pact and neither is civil discourse. There's nothing logical about standing for "the rule of law" and "civility" while people use said legal system (through clever lawyers) and uncivil propaganda to burn down constitutional governance around your ears. The animal rights whack-jobs have had a free run of the press and propaganda for decades now, and it is high time people started exposing these clowns for the frauds and professional protestors that they are.

perlhaqr said...

Up to what altitude?

100,000 AGL! MUA HA HA HA HA.

Ok, point. I was picturing someone with, oh, an RC helicopter and a camera rig flying the blasted thing close enough over my domicile that I might have to worry about direct property damage from the thing hitting my house. I suppose, functionally, (since I can look the pictures up myself) there have been plenty of camera wielding overflights of my place as it is, and I haven't shot at any of those satellites yet.

And, to clarify even further, I'm likely to restrict my ire to unmanned vessels. If the news choppers or the ghetto bird circle my place, I'll most probably restrict my munitions to both middle fingers and the f-bomb.

I just have a viscerally negative reaction to the thought of a Sinfest spybot hovering outside my bedroom window.

PS: The new captcha images are really annoying

Kristopher said...

Agreed, that the UAV owners did not break any laws. And yes, slaughtering an ox with a gigantic ax blow to the neck, and barbequing it in front of their camera would have been awesome.

However, this still looks like trespass to me, even if the statutes have not kept up.

If the PETArds sued over the loss of the UAV, and the Hunting Club sued them over trespass and violating their privacy, who would you award damages to?

Tam said...


"PS: The new captcha images are really annoying"

Yeah, I'm less than amused. I try to remain comforted by reminding myself that we're crowdsourcing scans of books. It's hard. :s

Tam said...


"If the PETArds sued over the loss of the UAV, and the Hunting Club sued them over trespass and violating their privacy, who would you award damages to?"

That's a very good question. I'll need to ponder it from that angle...

Kristopher said...

They weren't in a Cessna, or a hot air balloon btw. They sent an RC toy over someone else's property to snoop.

And I suspect said toy was in shotgun range. Well below 500', the dead minimum for manned aircraft over inhabited areas and not in the process of landing.

Tam said...


Since the whole thread is a mental exercise, at what altitude would a manned trespasser have to be at before you could ethically shoot it?

(Again, I'm looking for serious feedback; bouncing this around to see where it goes. I don't have any hard-and-fast answers myownself...)

Robb Allen said...

Tam, I think part of the equation that is missing here is "intent".

A hot air balloon that is losing altitude because of a leak and is scaring away your doves is not something you can shoot at because no human in their right mind (which I realize that excludes about 50% of the populace, but bear with me) would think that the balloonist is intentionally threatening your hunt, nor would it be moral to put the balloonist in mortal danger by shooting at the gondola.

Now, if someone took a bi-plane and played 'barnstormer' over your hunt in order to scare off the birds, then you have a legal issue you can pursue, but as they were not intending to cause you grievous bodily harm, you cannot respond with lethal force.

The situation we have here is a UAV that is *intended* to disrupt your private activities. If I was trying to have a birthday party in my back yard and a neighbor decides to 'crash' it with his remote helicopter because I told him he was too big to jump in the Bouncie House, then I'm bringing out a shovel and aiming for at least a ground rule double.

Property rights are not absolute in very much the same way your fist swinging rights have a stopping point. The vandalism you speak of here was not initiated by the hunters but by the cretins flying the UAV.

Tam said...


Things on which I'm not clear:

1) Was the camera-bot actually in the airspace of the hunt club?

2) Was the camera-bot doing anything other than hovering and filming?

I don't know the answers to these questions and I'm certainly not willing to saddle up the drama llama without these facts.

However, hypothetically speaking, suppose that there was an OWS encampment where they were planning to go picket the Florida state legislature to protest the passing of a piece of pro-2A legislation, and some of our people put a drone overhead and it was shot down with patchouli pellets from dreadlock-powered slingshots, how would Team 2A react?

Bubblehead Les. said...

Go away for the weekend and you miss all the fun....

Sounds like things are getting a little tense out there. But the one fact to consider is that the RV was launched to spy on the pigeon shoot. Sounds like an expensive rig, and it was deliberately set aloft.

Now what happened next depends on A) was someone's Airspace Violated vis-a -vis private property rights? and B) Did the property owner and guests retaliate w/o first calling the cops? I don't think Castle Doctrine would apply in this particular case.

I would say Yes and Yes. It comes down to "Did they Break the Plane of Entry?" Which was why my own shooting of my Burglar was declared Justified in a Court of Law. But even if the RV crossed the line, I don't think the Law allows the right to shoot back.

But the argument is over the celebration about the shooting.

Personally, I don't like the way things are getting rougher out there between the sides, but I don't see any reduction in tension.

When one side says we can disrupt and harass and destroy the other side, but don't you DARE touch us, well, don't be shocked when the other side does retaliate.

Of course, this then leads to escalation and counter escalation, and the next thing you know, we've got the Reds fighting the Greens back in the Hippodrome.

Not gonna be fun the next few years.

Tam said...

What Bubblehead Les said.

steve l said...

and it was shot down with patchouli pellets from dreadlock-powered slingshots,how would Team 2A react?

have to say, this ardent member of Team 2A would be personally awed and impressed

and legally, if its their airspace, they are within their rights to control it, no matter who they are

Bob S. said...


I think there is High-5ing over this incident more because the general public is starting to get fed up with the "we can break the law because we are on a mission from Gaia" crowd instead of the wanton destruction of property.

People have been condition to accept nearly any abuse of rights from the bunny-hugging crowd in the name of political correctness and now people are drawing the line in the sand -- or in the air so to speak.

The protesters clearly stated their intentions "Once they knew nothing was going to stop us... and "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter.",

Guess the other side learned that if you keep sticking your nose into other people's business sometimes it could get tweaked.

I noticed the article didn't have a single quote from the organizers of the pigeon shoot. We only have the word of the people intent on interrupting a legal activity as to the drone's location. Coincidence?

Tam said...

steve l,

"and legally, if its their airspace, they are within their rights to control it, no matter who they are"

I think someone in that 737 on short final to IND is taking pictures out the window. Am I weapons free on this SA-2 Guideline?

Roberta X said...

All I know is, if you're afraid to shoot what amount to flying rats if there's a camera on you, you should oughta stay home. "Airspace?" Who cares?

Brad K. said...

Drones, I think, will be more in the news in the future.

Drones taking pictures of the police during civil disorder, strikes, etc. will be violating laws and ordinances in several jurisdictions against recording the police. Why that protection against surveillance isn't extended to private citizens baffles me.

But the armed drones and drones that various law enforcement organizations are reputed to be using or contemplating -- I cannot see but that kind of activity will be splashing us all, in the hands of those less enamored of obeying laws and social niceties.

In this case, think "green peace" and "freighter on the high seas". The yahoos strayed, I think, over private property, thus surrendering their 'copter and accessories to the good will of the property owner and those in charge of the private event they intentionally disrupted.

I think the bozos with the 'copter should be billed for the expenses incurred in organizing the pigeon shoot, the expenses of every individual present at the aborted event, and be charged with criminal mischief and damage to private property (the value of the venue for that private event). But that is my thought. YMMV.

Yes, people have a right to commit civil disobedience. And they should be jailed and fined for it, not released for being good at heart.

steve l said...

someone in that 737 on short final to IND

not clear on the finer points of air rights, they may not exist, the last recollection I have of hearing about them prior to this discussion was the movie "Burlesque", not exactly an authoritative source; ianal but I think mineral rights extend pretty far below ground, doubt air rights extend as far common sense would say they at least extend to the height of your tallest structure/ seem to remember the reason buildings only got so high in downtown Houston was that it was under an established approach to Hobby airport and all construction was capped to keep it below that path, believe your snap happy 737 rider would likely be in a similar path; even if it was off course due to weather/malfunction I think there may be some legal protection for established common carriers....on the other hand if the creepy gyro-captain from Mad Max starts hovering over your pool while you're sunbathing, then bring out the pneumatic arrow cannons and bring that bugger down

Anonymous said...

"They're being applauded for, and I quote, "balls"."

By the one guy on the Curmudgeonly and Skeptical blog, but I concede he had plenty of assent in the comments.

I'd hate to see this guy achieve any success with this method; before we know it, these things will positively swarm like gnats around all sorts of these functions. The time to make the cost of disrupting a lawful activity ought to be made high, from the beginning. We're already seeing the Occucommies switching from holding their own political protests, to actively planning and executing disruptions of other people's political events. I haven't heard of TEA party types glitter-bombing Occupy supporters, or heckling Democrat speakers, and nobody from Broxton Bridge Plantation spent a few hundred dollars and drove a long way to force Steve Hindi to shoot pigeon.

Interesting discussion in the Times and Democrat article about the shootdown which precipitated the Broxton Bridge Plantation Incident. Plenty of citation of South Carolina Code, and a claim that Steve Hindi has done this sort of thing before. I don't get excited if someone who never outgrew being a playground bossypants gets one of his toys broken. I mean allegedly broken. That YouTube clip doesn't show me much, and the jumpcut to depict shredded rotors is sort of insulting to one's intelligence, no?

It requires the most delicate judgement when speaking about Second Amendment rights, but Kathy Shaidle might have something when she says "Not showing up for the riot is a failed policy."

Prove I'm not a robot? I can only offer up to you my word, but think about this: What if I am so realistic and natural looking a robot that you detect nothing wrong, and admit me, and my kind? Can you afford to take that chance, knowing humanity hangs in the balance?

Mua ha ha, just kidding, I'm not a robot! But don't look at the finger joints too closely, those really should have had more development time.

Mike James, born of woman

Anonymous said...

Since I am not permitted to operate a manned aircraft within 500 feet of a person or structure (except as required during takeoff and landing), I don't see why I should be allowed to operate an UNmanned aircraft within 500 feet.

Also, R/C aircraft can do a lot of damage to property and persons that they happen to hit. If the drone was close enough to be brought down by birdshot, it was certainly close enough to pose a serious danger of bodily harm in a matter of seconds in the event of a loss of control or intentional collision. I'd say if you can shoot a human in self defense when they are posing a threat of death or serious injury, then shooting a dangerous machine that is being recklessly operated in close proximity to, and with reckless disregard for the safety of innocent parties is entirely justified.

Tam said...

Anon 3:35,

Leaving aside the fact that it appears doubtful that the drone actually was shot down, am I reading you correctly that you are proposing to outlaw R/C aircraft?

Ferret said...

This begs the question of if the drone had not belonged to SHARK, but instead belonged to a group whose initials ended in PD or SO? If said unmanned aircraft did fly low over private property and was, in fact, shot down, what then?

Would the sentiment vis-a-vis property rights still be the same? I guarantee the outcome would not.

Brad K. said...


"proposing to outlaw R/C aircraft"

I don't know about anon. In 1971, a couple of college dorm mates had some R/C tales. One had rigged copper tubing, single shot, servo actuated gizmos to the wings of his R/C plane -- and used .22 rounds to shoot out street lights, remotely.

The other bozo had gotten tired of his ducted fan R/C plywood boat -- and stuck a stick of dynamite on it. Buzzed the beach at a local lake, then zoomed it to the middle of the lake, far from any bystanders, and blew it up. This same afficionado lost one of his R/C planes, boasting a .60 engine, when he misjudged proximity to a power line, and severed the wing on the plane. He did rebuild the pieces into a once again flying plane.

This was 40 years ago. R/C planes have been used responsibly by individuals and in clubs, keeping their craft low profile and teaching a lot of social and technical values and information to a lot of people.

As Anon, above, mentioned, it is the reckless use, the intentional hazarding, the deliberate invasion that is the problem, and those issues are clear enough that the only issue is whether remote control carries legal responsibility.

How if someone took a guard dog, taught it to tear women's clothes, and turned it loose on a wedding for personal reasons? Same remote control, same remote and deliberate intent to harm others in a private function, same exposure of the mechanism of harm to interception and to causing random damage. And same opportunity for "the ones" to use, abuse, etc.

I just cannot wait for a drone with a message "fill bag with money or I will detonate myself" to show up at a bank. That should be about as legal as the pigeon snarks.

Divemedic said...

Several times here, people have compared shooting at a drone to shooting at a manned aircraft. I don't think that is a fair comparison. Shooting at an unoccupied machine like a car is different than an occupied one.

The law needs to keep up with technology here, because this will become a more common question, now that unmanned drones are affordable for the average person.

Another question: Currently, the courts have ruled that police cannot enter private property to peer in your windows without probable cause (or a warrant), but that overflying your property with a police helicopter is perfectly OK. Just how low can a police drone fly before it becomes an unlawful intrusion? Where does your fourth amendment begin? 500 feet? 100 feet? or does the cop have to be in contact with the ground?

Larry said...

Roberta, it's worse than flying rats. The pigeons in question were...clay pigeons. Bright orange clay targets used specifically by shotgunners to shoot at.

But wait, there's more! Now I hear that SHARK is claiming someone on a motorcycle shot their drone on both tips of a single propeller while it was 50 feet in the air, using a .22 rifle. That's pretty good shooting right there.

Yeah. He crashed it. Nothing to see here, move along.

And FWIW...if he was intending to fly this thing in amongst clay targets as they were being blasted at by shotguns he should have expected to lose it.

Rodger the Real King of France said...

I wondered where that traffic blizzard came from. You have a lot of juice Tam. As you ought.

Anonymous said...

2 watt laser right in the camera's eye.

DOuglas2 said...

I completely missed the "high-fiving" on that thread and many others.

What I saw, even on Democratic Underground, was "Well what did they (the UAS operators) expect?"with lots of gratuitous commentary about rednecks.

On the trespass front, although the claim of the operator was that they were at all times within the right-of-way or the airspace above it, their own video clearly shows them going over the treeline.
Legally, a landowner's private property extends "to the heavens" although there is an implicit right-of-way above the FAA allowable minimum. Even then, there have been cases where damages were paid to property owners or injunctions entered against airports or aircraft operators for trespass that interfered with the owner's own use of the property.
Although congress just passed a law to force the FAA to allow civil use of video/photography drones, as of now it is totally illegal for anything except "hobbyist" use. The same regulations that caused trouble for the Whooping crane "Operation Migration" pilots also bar this 501(c)3 from using a video drone.

Goober said...

If it was close enough to be damaged by a shotgun loaded for pigeon, then it was very, very close. Close enough that i'd think a guy could pretty easily make a claim that they were trespassing and/or harrasment of some sort.

We aren't talking distances measured in yards, but feet. My guess is that it was within 30 yards, or 90 feet, of the shooters. That ain't vandalism. That is shooting down a noisy assed drone that some a-hole next door is using to ruin your private party. I think it is wholly justified, and while I'm not hihg-fiving anybody, I would say that without a doubt I'd have done the same thing.

Justthisguy said...

R/C aircraft, hell! What about free flight models? No tellin' where they'll end up, except generally to leeward. Yes indeed I have trespassed when chasing model airplanes. It was fun; sort of like fox hunting, I imagine.

ASM826 said...

I think it's a false accusation. I think the pilot crashed it, planned the whole thing from before the take-off.

I'm not buying the idea that it was shot without some real proof.

bob r said...

Shooting down drones might be a bit more difficult than expected with just a touch of design work. See this at Kevin's. Looks like fun.

Gewehr98 said...

I most emphatically was NOT PRESENT blanketing the 2.4Ghz band with a few watts' worth of white noise, making that RC helo appear to have been shot down.

Although it could easily be done, or so I heard...

CarlS said...

One of the earlier comments led me to these thoughts:

Was the operator of this UAV under the influence of alcohol or other drug?

Is the operator of a UAV required, a la FAA, to be licensed?

And, far fetched, but worth thinking about: If an operator of a camera, UAV, ROV, or hand-held, is using it to make and post video available to the public, is there anything in individual state law requiring union membership (see Motion Picture Photographers and Camera Operators Union),

In other words, can we geld them by using their own bureautifc BS against them?

CarlS said...

bureautifc bureaucratic

Kristopher said...

CarlS: This is all undiscovered territory in regards to legality.

I don't think there are any laws anywhere forbidding someone from sending an RC copter with a wireless camera onto, over, or inside of someone's property.

I'm sure that the government will find a way to overreact in the most inappropriate way possible.

dustydog said...

ETA was interfering with an unorganized militia drill; what they did is a threat to homeland security.

Imagine trying the same RC-video taping trick for police training exercises, or military training, or a private Obama fundraiser. What laws would get applied then?

Mark Alger said...

I have slightly different take from most here. I think this is -- or could be -- a landmark case, and it should go all the way to SCOTUS. There's a lot of this coming at us and we need to squelch it fast.

Imprimis: I contend that we have an innate and absolute right to privacy. I further contend that there is no compelling public interest that trumps this, and that no change to the text of the Constitution is required to make this right enforceable. The Fourth Amendment does not specify an actor. It is an absolute proscription: the persons, papers, and effects shall remain inviolate EXCEPT when a warrant obtains in very narrow and closely defined circumstances.

Point B: even if the Fourth didn't obtain, the Ninth certainly does. No statute is required except for the establishment of sentencing guidelines. The little trick of flying a UAV to violate a person's privacy is already against the law. And the Supreme Law of the Land at that.

Viewed from this perspective, the actual location of the UAV is immaterial. Having established intent and that the violation occurred, the bunny huggers are in the wrong. In acting, they have committed a crime.

Now: violence used in mitigation. Given that the use of force -- even lethal force -- is permitted (or even required) to prevent the commission of a felony in progress, what level of force is permissible in the prevention of a civil rights violation -- a violation of the Supreme Law of the Land?

If property damage occurs in such a situation, I propose that that is on the aggressor -- the bunny huggers. And, if injury or death eventuates... Well, it would seem to be felony assault or murder at least and that 18USC241-242 might obtain.


montieth said...

I think equating this to deadly force against people vs the use of destructive force (also deadly) against property is a red herring Tam.

If I remove a protestor from my property with a bull dozer I'm probably going overboard.

If I remove a protestor from my property with threat of use of deadly force I'm possibly in legal justified areas.

If I remove a protester's property from my property which he left there to cause an issue and do so with my bulldozer, it's NOT deadly force.

The Bunny-Huggers were clearly the provocateurs in this case. Perhaps there's a case to be made for destruction of property on the part of the hunters, I'm not sure the video supports that or not. A deliberate crash or an out of control state could also cause what we saw on the video.

As to what's best for a C-152, Tam, I'd suggest a quad .50 Maxon Turret as both a practical and historically interesting method. The SA-2 Guideline might leave your property a bit scorched. Though, if you want rate of fire, one of the Boulton Paul quad .303 Browning turrets might be more useful. I'm sure you could put a plea out to the gun-blogger sphere for an operable example of either. ;-)

Brad K. said...

@ Mark Alger,

I think the FCC is the primary regulation for hobby model R/C gimmicks.

There is a limit to the strength of the transmitter that can be operated without formal Federal Communication Commission licensing. Hobbyist type controls are manufactured to that limit. I don't doubt that hotshot hackers have beefed up their transmitter to exceed those limits, but that ain't legal; every transmitter comes with a de facto license that describes power, frequencies, modulation, etc. It looks like a common Underwriter Laboratories form thing, but still meets FCC requirements.

Since the early days, sensitivity of the receiver has continued to improve, extending the range somewhat. But the choice of radio frequencies (and common thumbstick operator controls) limit the thing to line of sight, mostly.

If you happen to be running higher-powered controls, I imagine that you might want to examine the pilot credentials. FAA pilot certificates might be required, once you exceed hobby level flying. I sure would require that anyone operating outside the hobby community (i.e., courteous toward neighbors, aware that the noise and presence annoy non-aficionados, etc.) take responsibility, in the Federal Aviation Authority sense, for operating a light aircraft in a lawful, safe, and sensible -- and legally liable -- fashion.

I wonder, who insured that expensive camera mount, and are they aware that their insured property was used in a provocative fashion?

Should camera drones be required to post a multi-billion dollar bond against being used to sneak peeks through bedroom windows and into back yards, or film law enforcement officers on duty or in private?

"I contend that we have an innate and absolute right to privacy" Ahem. Try walking into the post office without trousers. Or laying out with a few friends in your back yard without clothes, or a privacy fence.

Try building a chicken house against the backyard fence where the building codes require a clear set back, or forbid chickens. Try letting your dog bark at every fool squirrel and cloud that passes by, in a common neighborhood, or having a great, loud party. Or build a primitive blacksmith forge in the back yard, and learn to forge with iron ore and coal.

What about those creepy guys that always smell of that funny colored smoke. Or single guys that follow the little girls around. Or that organize shooting events with *gasp* guns and what they claim are "pigeons" when you know they are really going to be slaughtering, will-he, nil-he, song birds and other graceful wild creatures.

The neighbors will quickly stick their noses into your business. So much for inate privacy.

I mind me of a movie filming west of Goodyear, AZ, 10-15 years ago. The grandstands of a failed race track were blown up. When the big bang came down, pigeons that had just been rousted away had snuck back in, and were caught in the conflagration. Much lawsuits ensued.

DirtCrashr said...

Light a candle to stop the film-drones!

w/v: one omboop - this is ridiculous.

Mark Alger said...

Brad K;

Citing examples of where one's right to privacy has been infringed by custom rooted in outdated social mores does not persuade. Too often and for too long, people have felt it meet to mind other people's business. And because they have not had their snouts wapped often enough or hard enough like training-breaking puppies with a rolled up newspaper, they continue to think they can get away with it. That does not mean that a muscular assertion and defense of the right cannot win the day.

Meantime, the state has asserted the lawful authority to infringe upon the right by placing GPS trackers on cars, or spying on citizens within their homes -- using the oh-so-weak excuse that the heat patterns are visible on the wall to the technologically-enhanced. And now, they claim they can spy on us -- and, in the not-to-disant future one may anticipate, kill us -- from UAVs in the domestic skies.

As we have learned from millennia of statis gradualism, it is not the last camel's back-breaking straw we should object to, but the first stick in the load -- the small, seemingly risible snuffling of the camel's nose under the canvas. This. Is. It. If we do not vigorously assert our liberty-based objections to the practice, it will become common.

And then, people will deride you for complaining the po-po shot your dog in a fell swoop raid. Indeed. What did you expect?


Netpackrat said...

>Leaving aside the fact that it
>appears doubtful that the drone
>actually was shot down, am I reading
>you correctly that you are proposing
>to outlaw R/C aircraft?

Not at all (not sure why it made me post as Anonymous). What I am saying, is that R/C aircraft are potentially hazardous to persons and property, which is why responsible hobbyists generally take measures to protect others from harm caused by their activities. An R/C aircraft being operated within birdshot range of uninvolved, and unwilling participants to that activity, IMO constitutes reckless and dangerous operation of said device, so they were entirely justified in ending the threat in self defense. There's not really any need to unnecessarily complicate the issue by arguing about who owns the airspace, privacy concerns, etc.

Then again, why when am I prohibited from operating a manned aircraft within a certain distance from persons and property, should it be a free-for-all with regards to remotely piloted aircraft? Which are generally more trouble prone, and harder to control? (been there, crashed that) As others have alluded to, if harassment like the animal rights freaks were up to here becomes widespread, there will be restrictions coming down, and we're probably not going to like them at all. Far better to set the precedent that the harassed party has some leeway in dealing with reckless RPV operation, without involving Johnny Law.

Brad K. said...

@ Mark Alger,

I don't disagree with you. I do point out that the courts do acknowledge and bow to an *implied* waiver. That is, if it hasn't been enforced, then it would be unfair to start enforcing a particular statue at some particular moment.

In addition to opening the doors wider to abuse by Johnny Law, I have seen few databases or tools that haven't been compromised, lost track of by governments. And few tools of coercion that so excite the LEO's haven't been exploited, in full, by lawless folk. Just one for-instance -- consider camera drones operated by paparazzi. Or private contractors prowling for evidence of pot growing, selling videos of law abiding folk through the bedroom or bathroom window.

Now, the argument might be persuasive to use drones for Amber alerts and Silver alerts (missing children and seniors), or backwoods stills and meth labs. Or trespassing illegal aliens, or spies creeping into an oil refinery.

Yep. I get the argument, and I agree about the dangers.

Tam said...


"Meantime, the state has asserted the lawful authority to infringe upon the right by placing GPS trackers on cars"

Am I misunderstanding you, or have you not been keeping up with the jurisprudence? :s

Anonymous said...

I give you another animal rights loon in your general region of the US:

Mark Alger said...


Actually, no. The Kabuki that goes on in the SCOTUS building fails to persuade, also. If their writ held sway, we would have instantaneously had, upon the Heller ruling, a 180 degree volte face on the part of 2A-violating municipalities nationwide and Nanny Bloomberg would have been hauled off in chains for 18USC242 violations, his MAIG conspiracy disbanded.


Sorry. Pulled my snarcrililliac. Gotta watch that.

So, until I see a good solid century of legislation and jurisprudence that affirms the Fourth, instead of rat-nibbling around infringements, nodding and winking at outright rape of the concept, I'll continue to believe that the organs of the state don't really believe what it actually says.

And, yes, my bowcaster DOES have an ammo belt with it.



Patrick said...

The Supreme Court generally holds that we own the airspace above our heads to the extent that space is required for our enjoyment of it. In simple terms, that means we cannot claim to own enough to ask United Airlines for a toll, but we own enough to prevent two neighbors from stringing a line over my yard between their houses.

If someone takes a drone and flies it to intentionally disrupt the legal enjoyment of property, they are in trespass. Depending on state and other laws, items in trespass (as opposed to persons) can be subject to several treatments. Cameras have been dropped onto people's property by nosy photographers, who found that their high-dollar gear now belongs to their intended target.

I'd say that morally speaking, if they intended to disrupt a legal shoot with their drone (which they admit), then they were playing a game where they put their toy into trespass and harm.

My range is posted and obvious. If some dolt drops a drone in front of my target while I am shooting, it is going to lose altitude. If a person enters that range while I am shooting, they are going to get arrested.

There is a difference. Harming someone's toy (intentionally placed to trespass and harm my rights) is not the same as hurting a person. It is not a "violent" act.

That said, I am not a fan of animal "shoots" for fun. And in general I'd be more satisfied taking the idiots to court than shooting their toys. Still, to each his own.