Drones are a real and terrifying marker of the modern state panopticon, an enabler par excellence of the surveillance state and extra-judicial killing. Let's shoot 'em with machine guns and see what happens!
Via Kelsey Atherton at Popular Science, the fun-lovers at Arizona's semiannual Big Sandy Shoot thought it might be worth learning how hard it is to take down a drone-like R/C aircraft at low altitude with their full-auto firearms (which are legal for civilians to possess only if they have a special federal license):
A group of hobbyists with a weirdly extensive machine gun collection decided to try a modern update to drone target practice. In this case, the targets were smaller drones ranging in size from remote-control toy airplanes to larger flying wings, about as big as the Army's hand-tossed RQ-11 Raven. Instead of special anti-air weapons, they tried a few different machine guns, which are more representative of the weapons insurgents might aim at drones. While many of the bullets fired hit the drones, it took direct hits to the tiny drone engines to make them stop flying.
Verdict: It's possible to bring down small drones with a machine gun, but it takes good aim and many shots—and it helps if the drone is just flying back and forth in front of you.
What's the takeaway here? Clearly, the founding fathers intended us to bear flak guns and light surface-to-air missiles to safeguard our freedoms, as sure as they anticipated unmanned aerial vehicles as an extension of state power. But they definitely wouldn't want anti-aircraft guns for the Yemenis. You can't trust those guys!