Some people intend to be national security threats. Others are just drunk. In the case of Monday’s drone crash on the southeast corner of the White House grounds, the immediate problem seems to have been an inebriated pilot. But the underlying issue is that the federal government poorly regulates the booming drone industry. The right response is not overreaction but rather tightening rules and procedures in some ways – and loosening them in others.

The White House has seen a handful of eye-raising security breaches in recent years, including one in September in which a man armed with a knife hopped the perimeter fence and ran into the building. In response, security continues to tighten. Among the most visible changes are unsightly waist-high fences around the building. Following the latest breach, the Secret Service says it won’t install golf netting around the White House grounds. That’s good: Washington has already become a city of concrete bollards and security cordons; official buildings shouldn’t be wholly removed from the public.

Federal authorities can and should enhance security against drones and other threats in smarter, less obtrusive ways. Technologies in the pipeline could detect small incoming aircraft. The trick will be intercepting or jamming drones on their way toward the West Wing without harming bystanders.

The Federal Aviation Administration should look into requiring that safety protocols be written into drone firmware, which would automatically prevent operation in unauthorized airspace, no matter how inebriated operators are.

Until the agency does that, high-profile enforcement in cases of serious rule-breaking might help.Whoever flew his 2-foot-by-2-foot unmanned aerial vehicle into restricted White House airspace should be punished publicly, showing other amateur drone pilots that rules aren’t optional.