Sunday, June 08, 2014
The Pilot Newspaper: Opinion
I confess, I was amused at first when I read in this paper that the Village of Pinehurst had banned the use of drones during the U.S. Opens.
“Really?” I thought. “Is some paranoid conspiracy theorist worried that President Obama is going to begin the final assault on our freedoms, start the imposition of Sharia law, and of course, distract everyone’s attention from Benghazi, by blowing up Phil Mickelson with a Hellfire missile?”
Hey, I’ve heard weirder theories propounded around here with a presumably straight face. You should read my email sometime. In any case, I thought, are drones such a problem that it requires the hand of the mighty Pinehurst Village Council be raised to stop them?
Well, maybe. A quick Google search using the terms “drones” and “golf course” reveals a lot of excitement about the idea of using commercially available drones to cruise over golf courses with high definition cameras, enjoying the scenery and watching the golf. Apparently, radio-controlled aircraft technology has advanced far beyond the balsa wood model Spitfire a buddy of mine spent months building, only to crash into a tree on its first flight.
“You can buy a consumer drone outfitted with four battery-powered motors and a gyro-stabilized video camera for about $1,000,” an article in Golf Digest notes, “and control it on your smartphone or tablet with a GPS-based system that was once available only to the military.”
You can imagine the problems that a swarm of the little buggers might cause as they hover and swoop over the course, buzzing like giant bees, controlled by some dude who figures he can catch the action of the Opens without leaving the house.
So, OK, the villagers have a legitimate concern. But it seems to me that while we can legislate against the newest scourge from the skies, we’re woefully unprepared to enforce such a ban, unless the Pinehurst PD has developed a previously unheard-of anti-aircraft capability.
And that’s when it hit me. We need to turn to the Open Carry movement.
In case you’re not familiar, the Open Carry movement is a group of particularly adamant firearms aficionados who believe that the defense of our Second Amendment freedoms requires them to aggressively assert their right to carry any gun, anywhere, at any time. To that end, one such group in San Antonio tends to show up in public places such as restaurants, in groups, carrying as many shootin’ irons as a platoon of Taliban insurgents.
For some inexplicable reason, the average citizen reacts with something less than joy at seeing a troop of bearded guys in camo walking into the local Chipotle armed to the teeth. Therefore, that restaurant recently joined other such chains, such as Chili’s and Sonic, in asking patrons to leave the guns at home.
“We are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel,” they said in a public statement.
Amazingly, the NRA joined in, in a public statement asking the Open Carry folks to cool it. The statement on the NRA’s Facebook page described the behavior of the Open Carry folks in San Antonio as not only “counterproductive” but “downright weird.”
Let me tell you, folks. The NRA telling you you’re getting a little too weird with your guns is sort of like Keith Richards coming to you and going, “’Ey, mate, y’might want to take it easier on the whiskey an’ drugs.” In response, some Open Carry advocates threatened to burn their NRA membership cards, since the organization had become soft on the Second Amendment.
It’s clear that the OC folks need some love. They need to get some of their mojo back. And we here in the Sandhills need something to counter the Drone Menace. We’ve got a need, they have more than enough guns to fill it. So I propose that the U.S. Open Committee invite the members of the San Antonio Open Carry group and other like-minded firearms advocates to the Opens.
Let them walk up and down, among the crowds, openly showing off their heaviest assault weapons, and letting the world know that the only way to stop a bad guy with a drone is a good guy with a gun.
You just know visitors who come here from all over the world will all feel that much safer knowing that the Second Amendment is being safeguarded, and any pesky drone that buzzes our way will be quickly and efficiently blasted out of the sky by a volley of high-powered ammo.
U.S. Open Carry. We need to make this happen, people. Freedom demands it.
[UPDATE: The NRA has recently backed down from its criticism of "Open Carry" and disowned its previous statement, saying "Wow, we almost made sense for a moment there. What the hell were we thinking?" Actually, what they said was that "an alert went out that referred to this type of behavior as 'weird' or somehow not normal, and that was a mistake. It shouldn't have happened." So everything's back to normal at the NRA, and by "normal" we mean "batshit crazy as usual." ]