By itself, this resolution is only a small beginning. But we can hope and pray and lobby in our towns so that more and more cities pass their own similar resolutions against drones.
US News reports:
“Charlottesville, Va., has become the first city in the United States to formally pass an anti-drone resolution. The resolution, passed Monday, ‘calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia to adopt legislation prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court,’ and “pledges to abstain from similar uses with city-owned, leased, or borrowed drones.”
The resolution was the result of efforts by an activist on by the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties group that is based in the city and is well-known to many Evangelical Christians as a great organization.
“Councilmember Dede Smith, who voted in favor of the bill, says that drones are ‘pretty clearly a threat to our constitutional right to privacy.’ ‘If we don’t get out ahead of it to establish some guidelines for how drones are used, they will be used in a very invasive way and we’ll be left to try and pick up the pieces,’ she says.”
I think Smith is exactly right. She, others on the Council, and the Rutherford Institute deserve our praise. But they also deserve our support in other ways. As one blogger wrote,
“This simple piece of legislation proves that you can make a difference at the local level. We need a lot more of this type of thing all over these United States. As I have said many times, it’s not that I am against drones in all capacities; however, we must be vigilant about how these things are used and must have serious safeguards in place to protect civil liberties. Kudos to the Rutherford Institute for leading the charge here” (emphasis added).
Hopefully, we will see more smaller and larger towns join in this call to not have drones fly over their neighborhoods. The original proposed resolution was, in fact, much stronger:
“The passed resolution is much less restrictive than the draft Swanson originally introduced, which would have sought to declare the city a ‘No Drone Zone’ and would have tried to banned all drones over Charlottesville airspace ‘to the extent compatible with federal law.’ The draft would have also banned all Charlottesville municipal agencies from buying, leasing, borrowing, or testing any drones.”
While I would have loved the stronger version to have passed, what the City Council voted for was still a great resolution that allows the Federal Government to see that it is not just people on Facebook who hate the idea of being spied upon by Federal drones.
If you have any input at all in your local politics, you should consider using the Charlottesville, VA as a mode,l and see if you can get a similar resolution passed in your town or city.