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Will someone in the U.S. be killed by a drone before 2018 is up?

There's something about drones – tiny little automated flying machines – that is simply fun, as attested to by their popularity around Christmas. And, there are lots of very useful things they can now do.

But of course, drones can also be a bit creepy, and there is a dark side. For instance, this miltary-educated blogger discusses havoc he could wreak with technology he could buy at Walmart or the Apple Store:

I’m holding a drone that can fly thousands of feet in air in less than 30 seconds, getting it to an altitude where no one could see it. My drone could be up in the air, ready to strike a target before you even had time to blink... It is not meant to take nice photos of my vacation. It is meant to strike. A small mechanism allows it to carry and drop a 2.5-pound payload — potentially grenades, bombs, even poison.

Meanwhile, police can now use weaponized drones. And the sheer number of ways unsavory people could use these things for evil is disturbing.

Over a year ago, the number of registered drones in the U.S. was already pushing 1M. And that doesn't count the unregistered ones.

All of this action appears to be leading to a dark place. Even if large-scale military use does not occur (which is by no means clear), it seems inevitable that someone in the United States will eventually be killed by a drone.

Will that happen by end of 2018?

Question resolves positive if there's a substantiated news report of at least one death-by-drone on U.S. soil before January 1, 2019.

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