Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Aerial trespasser shot at

Aerial trespasser shot at

An Albuquerque gas balloon pilot has been shot at as his balloon drifted over a corn field north of Lubbock, Texas.

If his balloon was over the property of another, then he was trespassing, and his act of calling enforcers to the scene was probably not justified. Of course, it wasn't particularly nice of the shooter to fire on the trespassing balloon, either. This is why I often include trespassing as an act that can justify a forceful response, but usually with the qualifier "sometimes" attached. I do think that there should be some ill-intent involved before shooting is the appropriate response to a trespasser.

A lost person who is not damaging your property should probably just be told to leave, or escorted off. I have led lost people from my property in the past and made it into a pleasant experience for us both. (And not all of them were cute girls, either.) There is no need, in most instances, to get twitchy about it.

I wonder if the violent response to the balloon may have been an unintended consequence of the stupid and evil War on (some) Drugs. If the corn field held a cash crop made artificially profitable by prohibition, an exaggerated response might have been inevitable, since discovery would have bad consequences (not that shooting at someone is the smartest way to avoid LEO attention).

A balloonist or two drifting over your land are technically trespassing, since I don't buy the lie that the sky is State property. However, I would tend to give them the benefit of the doubt as long as they weren't government employees. I don't think balloons can be steered all that well, and I don't think there is any harmful intent in most cases. However, I wouldn't support the arrest of a person who thought differently about their property rights.



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