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Old March 18, 2013, 04:04 PM   #101
JimDandy
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We'll have to agree to disagree. To claim on one hand that for YOU it's not ok, but for ME it's perfectly fine is hypocritical. In other words, to say it's illegal for a felon to be in the same house as a gun in a closet of a room he doesn't go into is too far to trust the guy, or the actual owner, but for DHS to have a drone with hard points is just fine because Hey, the government never does wrong. Waco, Ruby Ridge, Internment Camps, etc. to the contrary.

I have a gun, I have a hardpoint. The two have not been combined yet.

I have a gun, in the back seat, I have a round of ammunition that rolled out of a range bag six weeks ago under the front passenger seat. In some jurisdictions I have a loaded gun.

Time and time again, the govt sees fit to legislate against having two things at the same time. But apparently drones and hard points for them isn't one of those times.
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Old March 18, 2013, 07:15 PM   #102
SPEMack618
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I think the whole sorid state of affairs in which we cannot trust the Government not to misuse drones, be they armed or unarmed, is pathetic.

If the DHS could just assure me that the drones were to be used only by CBP/ICE and only in thier mandated missions of border security, everything would be honky-dorey.
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Old March 18, 2013, 08:27 PM   #103
MLeake
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sigcurious, I'd still prefer they not have the hardpoints. Hardpoints on regular civilian aircraft would be major modifications, requiring a lot of money, plus FAA STC approvals for the modification, with additional restrictions in the STCs as to how those aircraft could be operated.

So, this may, in your opinion, be a trifling matter of ease of modification, but really it's a matter of a whole different breed of platform. My guess is that your background is not in civilian nor military aviation. Mine is in both.

Additionally, my background is in ISR in wartime environments, and I am not at all happy about the idea of this technology being used by DHS in the US, whether on the hardpoint and potential arming side of the equation, or on the surveillance and civil rights violation side of the equation.

As to why I would be more concerned with DHS having these than with, say, the Coast Guard... While they do fall under DHS now, the Coast Guard does not have a Ruby Ridge, Waco, or similar under its belt. Certain other LE branches under DHS do.

US Customs, on the other hand, is notorious for ripping people's boats apart when they return from Caribbean trips, and not reimbursing owners for damages when no contraband is found.

Don't even get me started on what ATF would do if they had new armored vehicles, based on what they have done in the past.
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Old March 18, 2013, 08:42 PM   #104
sigcurious
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Really, which branches? Ruby Ridge and Waco were both primarily ATF and FBI issues. Even if the ATF or FBI were under DHS, it is specious to attribute their failures to an entire organization that did not even exist at the time of those events.

I may not have a background in aviation, but your appeal to authority and specious statements do not support a counter argument. I am not saying the government never has been or ever will be bad, what I am saying is the mere presence of objects does not indicate or make the government any more or less fallible.
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Old March 18, 2013, 08:46 PM   #105
SPEMack618
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The sight of FBI HRT guys riding about in a Bradley with the Bushmaster removed and then running up the ATF flag as fire still smoldered in the background is enough for me to be wary of any government agency outside of the DOD having armor.
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Old March 18, 2013, 10:29 PM   #106
MLeake
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sigcurious, my "appeal to authority" (note: the authority to which I appealed was my own experience...) was to point out that you have no idea how hard it is to weaponize a system that is not built from the beginning to be weaponized. It's no small task; it is often harder to retrofit an existing frame than it is to create a new one from scratch.

My "appeal to authority" was also to point out that these things have capabilities that most citizens will not even contemplate, and that's with yesterday's tech.

Furthermore, while ATF and FBI still fall under DOJ, I suppose I should be more clear - I do not support DOJ nor DHS having such equipment. The military is barred from LE actions in CONUS, under most circumstances, so I don't have the same issues with DOD having the equipment.

You are far more trusting of government than I am. The thought of Janet Napolitano and her ideological successors having such toys doesn't bother you. I fear you will come to regret that, if this goes unchecked.

Meanwhile, as to your argument that
Quote:
the mere presence of objects does not indicate or make the government any more or less fallible
; name a capability that has been handed to a federal law enforcement agency that has not, at some point, been abused, until (and in some cases even after) intervention by the courts or Congress.

Why give them toys that are likely to tempt them to test the limits further?
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Old March 18, 2013, 11:37 PM   #107
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"does it really matter what branch of the federal government has the objects? The federal government already possesses...tanks, bombers, fighters, armed UAVs, self-propelled howitzers etc, etc etc. You speak of the level playing field as if it weren't for DHS having a handful of X and Y, we'd be on equal footing. What you're basically asking for is a complete disarmament of the military in order to ensure people aren't enticed by inanimate objects.

I think what you are not considering here is that all of these branches have specific jobs to do. The border patrol does it's border and enforcement thing. The military, well, they are still busy doing what they have been for the last 10+ years. The ATF, Homeland Security etc. seem to be coordinating efforts inland. Sure, there are other missions, I am positive. Why these groups which are focusing on Mainland US need such arms is a bit disturbing. If they could clarify, why heavily armored vehicles and drones are needed here, it would be a good thing. However, we are living in a era where the people, whom the electorate are supposed to serve, do not need to know such trivialities. This silence and arrogance only serves to further isolate the people from their elected government. When you couple this increasing firepower with the rhetoric about disarming citizens... well, that just gets downright disturbing to me. Just like marriage counseling, it only takes honesty and communication. Again, if I had a government that brought trust back in to the fray and didn't increase ways of spying on the people, I would be delighted.
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