I read an article a couple of days ago about how the government is rushing to create legislation to control drones. As we all know, there have been too many close calls with commercial aircrafts and they want something done in order to prevent a potential loss of lives. Lawmakers want to tag these remote-controlled aircraft in order to better control them.
The Transportation Secretary said he would require drone operators to register their aircraft so they could be tracked down after dangerous flights or collisions. Apparently, a task force will make recommendations by Nov. 20 about how to create and run a registry.
Our FAA Administrator said, “Nobody wants this promising segment to be overshadowed by an incident or accident that could be easily avoided.”
Makes sense, right? Create a national registry and save lives. Who wouldn’t support that thought?
But here’s the thing. The government is rushing to enact legislation for something that has not yet resulted in the loss of a single life. Not one.
In this country, there are 32,000 deaths a year related to gun violence. Gun deaths have now exceeded death by auto accident. Since Sandy Hook in December of 2012, 142 more children have been killed in school shootings.
Yet we have no legislation. There is no scheduled meeting in November. or any other month, to discuss a registry.
Look, I don’t care if anyone wants to own a gun or a drone. I really don’t. Everyone has hobbies and if your hobby includes flying these electronic devices, hunting, collecting guns or going to gun ranges, I hope you enjoy yourself. Just please don’t tell me that a national registry which includes stringent background checks, including any potential psychological disorders for owners should not be part of the equation.
Do I think taking these steps will eliminate the tragedies we see everyday? Of course not, just as I don’t think registering drones will prevent an aircraft accident. Sick and irresponsible people find ways of doing things they shouldn’t do at the expense of the rest of us. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the obvious.
Next week, or the week after, there will be another school shooting. If we’re lucky, it won’t be in the town and school our children attend or teach in.
If we’re lucky.
We’ll listen to the news stories about the shooting, shake our heads and talk about how tragic this is, as we go about our business and move on with our lives. Because as a country, that’s what we’ve decided to do.
Soon we will have legislation that gives us some sense of control over those who owns drones, even though no one has died from their use. There will be no such legislation for gun control.
In the short amount of time it will take to create a registry for drones, thousands more will die from gun violence, including children.
Not to worry, though. We have drone legislation coming.
It’s good to know we have our priorities in order.