Drones are just about everywhere these days, and people are getting nervous. Americans value their privacy, and the idea that anyone with a little disposable cash can buy a camera-equipped flying machine and soar onto other people’s property, recording them in their most intimate and private setting, is understandably upsetting. Some of those who’ve taken exception to these violations have taken matters into their own hands, but so far things have not gone well for them . . .
In California, a court decided against a man who shot down a hexacopter that was flying on or near his property. According to the ruling, the man “acted unreasonably in having his son shoot the drone down regardless of whether it was over his property or not.” In other words, even if the drone was over his property and actively spying on him, blowing it out of the sky was over the line. Another similar case is working its way through New Jersey’s judicial system.
But there’s at least some hope that William Meredith’s attempt to defend the honor of his teenage daughter might turn the judicial tide in favor of those willing to assertively defend their privacy (and their property) rights. The Meredith’s daughter was laying out by their backyard pool when a video-equipped drone appeared over his property and hovered. That prompted the Kentucky man to grab his shotgun (he had one at hand, as every father of a teenage girl should), took aim and peppered the whirligig with a couple of loads of lead.
According to Ars Technica when the perturbed drone owners arrived the man handled the situation.
Minutes later, a car full of four men that he didn’t recognize rolled up, “looking for a fight.”
“Are you the son of a bitch that shot my drone?” one said, according to Merideth.
His terse reply to the men, while wearing a 10mm Glock holstered on his hip: “If you cross that sidewalk onto my property, there’s going to be another shooting.”
According to reports, the man has been charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment. However, since this is Kentucky and not California or New Jersey, his odds would seem to be better that the court hearing the case won’t immediately jump to an anti-gun conclusion.
In the emanations and penumbras that gave us the Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court discovered a right to privacy in the 14th Amendment’s due process clause. That being the case, what good is that right if you’re not able to defend it on your own property?