WASHINGTON — The young pilot from Miami was trying to impress a woman with a lunch trip to Key West.
The 45-minute flight was just long enough to take in the scenery, but not so long that Aron Banks had to worry about lulls in the small talk. In the air, the 23-year-old explained how his plane’s avionic system works. He pointed to the blue and turquoise waters. His date admired the shapes of the rip currents.
Everything was great until they landed in Marathon, Fla. That’s when, Banks said, federal agents with body armor and assault rifles surrounded him and his plane.
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Except under very narrow circumstances, you need a license to operate an automobile or airplane in the US. The mere fact that we Americans have allowed the government to require a license to drive a car or fly a plane makes operating either a privilege. You may have a right to travel but you do not have a right to an effective means of doing so. This combined with the war on drugs/immigration/whatever has pretty much made any rights we Amercians think we have moot when traveling. When it comes to automobiles and probably airplanes as well, the Fourth Amendment may not be dead but it is in a judicially induced coma.