Alt. Headline: Now I have to agree with the ACLU; Do you see what you've done?
I've already blogged about local authorities using UAVs to watch US Citizens. Now it looks like those same authorities want to take it one step further- by arming the drones.
In Montgomery County, TX, the Sheriff's office wants to add weapons capable of firing rubber bullets and tear-gas canisters. No, no way that goes bad. Nuh, uh.
I'm not going to rehash why I think Unmanned Arial Vehicles should not be used domestically in the first place, you can go back to my old post for that. But, even assuming you were going to do that- why would arm them? You have police who can engage rioters and mobs, if necessary, and have much more ability to weed out those who really need the proverbial "hickory shampoo" and those who are just kind of there for the ride. That will not be nearly so clear to a remote operator of a UAV.
Beyond that, there's my skepticism of the State Generally. I don't want them to have something so easily converted into a "real" weapon. Notwithstanding the fact that rubber bullets can actually kill (it's rare, and takes a fairly extraordinary set of circumstances, but it has been documented), if a weapon can fire a rubber bullet, it can fire a real one. If it can fire a real one, what is to prevent the State from arming them with real bullets "in an emergency."
My Government is supposed to be scared of me, not the other way around. This gives the government yet another way to enforce control- and they have quite enough of those already.