The ADIZ is a special zone of airspace around Washington DC. The Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is huge. It was meant to be temporary and was defined in February of 2003 when, well, I guess we were scared. Now they are talking about making it permanent. The FAA has a comments area set up on their website, so I submitted the following rant:

I vote. I believe in the freedom of the United States of America. I pay my taxes. Every time I see the government create more regulations, eliminating freedom of movement and impinging upon the liberty so many have died to create and defend, I cringe. I’m forty years old but I guess I am still an idealist.

The permanent ADIZ proposal is a poor idea.

It is misguided. It offers nothing but the illusion of safety. (Even if it did, we should remember that Jefferson said, “Those who would trade their liberty for safety deserve neither.”)

I have been flying general aviation aircraft for less than a year. Perhaps before I had my student pilot certificate and before I learned what I needed to know about these craft I could have been convinced that the ADIZ could make a difference to National Security. I am no longer that ignorant.

Any politician, executive or clerk who supports this measure is simple ignorant. Restraining others in ignorance is really the sort of act we would expect to see in the countries we are occupying, rather than something we would promote against our own citizens.

I would, some day, like to fly my two sons over the Mall in Washington so that they can see the capital. I am no threat. I would like them to see the national seat of a government for the people and by the people, not a walled, forbidden city of a fascist regime which is going to treat me like a criminal just because I want to fly freely in the sky. The sky! How much more emblematic can you get? A particular large bald eagle flying over DC is going to need a filed flight plan, a transponder code, and constant contact with ATC.

Timothy McVeigh could have gotten a pilots certificate. He could have filed a flight plan. He could have set a transponder code and wandered astray from the vectors prescribed by ATC. I bet he could have put a Cessna on the lawn of the White House. The ADIZ doesn’t protect us from terrorists. More importantly, Mr. McVeigh and others like him can do more damage with a Ryder truck, some diesel fuel and fertilizer.

There has never been a criminal violation of the ADIZ. There have been incursions only by ignorant pilots. Tourists without detailed enough maps. Those are the people we have punished for two years for making us quiver in fear.

Don’t make the ADIZ permanent. Repeal it. Show the world that we are not cowed by terrorism, that we still celebrate liberty, the freedom of the individual, the boundless sky. If you support the ADIZ out of fear, what nation are you creating for the next two hundred years?

About Colin Summers

I am an architect, programmer, private pilot, husband and father. A couple of those I am good at.
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