|Only for "21st Century Bird Watching"|
The small town of Deer Trail, Colorado made national news in July of last year when they announced the bold proposal of offering residents bounties of $100 for every drone shot down via official drone hunting licenses that would be made available.
The proposal understandably drew the ire of the FAA who stated that those engaging in such activity would be severely penalized.
As Mac Slavo wrote:
Phillip Steel, who authored the original proposal in Deer Trail, Colorado says his ordinance is a “pre-emptive strike” against what he calls a “virtual prison” being created through continued expansion of the surveillance state. (Source)Despite an initial wave of support for the concept, the small contingent of voters have now decided overwhelmingly to defeat the measure.
Deer Trail has 348 registered voters, but officials say many of those are probably inactive.However, the central message went far beyond this tiny community and forced a federal response and wide mainstream news coverage. According to supporters, all is not lost:
Federal aviation authorities warned it's a crime to shoot at drones, but backers said the measure was a tongue-in-cheek challenge to surveillance programs.
Some residents called the election a novelty response to show displeasure and raise money through permits.
For now at least, any drones flying over this town will not be shot down, and might be relegated to mere drone spotting; or, as artist/activist Ruben Pater calls it "21st Century Bird Watching." Pater's drone spotting guide, which served as the image for this article, is complete with survival tips - like using the reflective aluminum surface of the guide itself. It's available in multiple languages HERE for $15 including shipping, or via various free downloads at the same link. For now, this will have to suffice.
Meanwhile, if drones do start taking flight in swarms over the U.S. and employed as death machines like they have in foreign countries, a new bill has been proposed to force the government to reveal drone strike casualties. Perhaps if such a death toll is visited upon U.S. citizens inside the United States, the Colorado proposal will no longer look like a mere novelty after all.
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