The Federal Aviation Administration may still be figuring out how to politely negotiate with commercial drones in the airspace, but goateed metalhead Johnny Dronehunter doesn’t wait for rules, man. Nah. He’d prefer to shoot down drones with a giant silencer he’s selling for gun accessory company SilencerCo.
Note: He is also a Defender of Privacy.
According to Vice’s Motherboard, which found Utah-based SilencerCo’s first Johnny Dronehunter video, the company created the Defender of Privacy character in response to concerns over drone-based surveillance. “We created Johnny Dronehunter and intend to continue a series of videos in this vein with him as the main character to represent the Americans who feel they don’t have an appropriate voice in this privacy debate,” CEO Josh Waldron told Motherboard.
That appropriate voice in the privacy debate is apparently the same kind that hates wearing shirts under leather vests and loves shooting up a sky full of quadrocopters as if they were clay pigeons. His Salvo 12, a stainless steel and aluminum shotgun suppressor, goes for a suggested retail price of $1,400.
But is Johnny’s beef with commercial surveillance? Is it with government surveillance? Why isn’t he shooting up CCTV cameras or Facebook’s facial recognition algorithms? For a Defender of Privacy, Johnny’s motivations remain frustratingly unclear. Mostly, it seems Johnny is just mad at the kind of drones most likely to be operated by techie dads in their backyards.
Maybe that reasoning will become more refined as SilencerCo rolls out more Johnny Dronehunter videos. But in real life, shooting down drones with lots of flying parts is not a great idea, according to the FAA. The agency had to make this salient point after some residents of the tiny town of Deer Trail, Colorado, tried (and failed) to pass an ordinance that would have issued open season on unmanned aerial vehicles.