you being an idiot and driving your car over a pedestrian infringes on their right to the pursuit of happiness
Sure. And any such idiots ought to be punished — and have their right to drive a car suspended. But this has nothing to do with the preventive prohibition — which is what the license requirement amounts to.
You see, when it comes to behaviors that put others at significant risk
Risky driving — or drone-flying — can be prohibited. People engaging in it may lose their right to drive (or fly drones) at all — or be punished otherwise — that's fine and normal. What I do not approve of, however, is the preemptive requirement to have a government's permission to do anything.
why only punish the ones who were unlucky enough to have the negative outcome actually happen
Because determining, what's really risky and what is not, is only a little bit easier, than detecting a murderer before he kills...
Similarly, Amazon flying drones over residential neighborhoods sounds pretty risky to me
It does, huh? You don't mind the thousands-pounds piloted aircraft flying above your all day, you don't mind the trucks driving around all day (delivering the same stuff), it is the light drones, that keep you awake at night?
not sure this ban is such a bad thing until we can prove suitable precautions are being taken
That, right there, is the key to our disagreement. You want everybody, who wish to fly a drone, to prove, they've "taken precautions". I don't believe, you ought to have the power to impose such a requirement. The burden of proof ought to be on you.
Now, that was philosophical. Now comes the more practical. Amazon being the 800-pound gorilla, can afford to argue with the government — they can not be ignored. They even managed to get the USPS to offer Sunday delivery — though now it seems available to all.
But the FAA simply killed other attempts to use drones — such as for the delivery of flowers. The barrier to entry — to start competing with the incumbent behemoths — was upped, and we the consumers are losing. No wonder, Amazon aren't suing to overturn the FAA's decision — any favorable overcome would apply to all. They are merely asking for exception — for themselves. Crony capitalism much?