"Ham radio is dying? Not if I have anything to say or do about it!"
My wife is friends with the person who organizes "Preperfest" here in Columbus. She know I am a amateur radio operator and asked me to do an introduction to Amateur Radio and how to obtain a license.
Most of the questions were asked by people who already had cheap VHF/UHF gear who asked, "I scan and scan and scan but I never hear anything, why get a license if there is no one to talk to?"
Carl - W9PMZ
In my experience, preppers are probably not the best audience.
The ones I've talked with only want a cheap, ready to use tool that requires a minimum amount of effort on their part.
True radio amateurs do radio for the love of radio.
The word amateur literally means one who engages in an activity purely for the love of the activity.
It's that love of radio that fosters the desire for operator knowledge, the development of good operating practices, and adherence to etiquette/professionalism.
Someone in the past instilled that love of radio is us. Now it's our job to pass that along to the newcomers.
If we don't do that job, then the scenario that JX describes could indeed come to pass.
And that would be a sad day, indeed.
Because all the things he describes have certainly happened.
They HAVE made it ridiculously easy to get a ticket, and the FCC enforcement HAS been pretty much defunded.
I've been involved with three separate cases of tracking down a repeater jammer, and helping to gather the evidence to build the case.
When we do catch an offender and turn them over to the FCC, the FCC only prosecutes the case if we've done all the leg work up front.
But the penalty gets reduced by the DOJ to a mere slap on the wrist.
Something along the line of "oh the poor baby can't afford the $10,000 fine being imposed". So they reduce it down to like $300.