Thursday, May 05, 2005

E-Hunting

     California wildlife regulators are working to ban internet hunting in their state. Last November, a rancher in Texas set up a camera and a gun attached to the internet where paying visitors could aim and fire at game from anywhere in the world.
     I find this story disturbing on so many levels. Here are only 2 examples:
The idea came last year while viewing another Web site on which cameras posted in the wild are used to snap photos of animals.
"We were looking at a beautiful whitetail buck and my friend said, 'If you just had a gun for that.' A little light bulb went off in my head," he said.
     I'm not a fan of hunting, but I understand how some people enjoy it. Yet these people were looking at a nature website as if it were hunting porn, salivating over killing everything in view of a camera hundreds or thousands of miles away.
     In the California story:
"We don't think Californians should be able to hunt sitting at their computers at home."
     As odious as internet hunting may be, if it's legal in Texas, how can California legislators ban Californians from participating? It's one thing to have control over criminal acts in your own state. You can't prevent people from engaging in legal acts in another.

15 comments:

Mike said...

They should definitely ban this practice. It's not safe. I'm all in favor of hunting and gun ownership, but I can't condone this strickly for safety reasons. You can't have some crazed nut sitting in front of his computer shooting anything that moves. That's not responsible use of a gun.

Ben said...

I agree with Mike. Guns are cool and all, and no one should restrict my right to own or carry one, but this whole internet thing turns it in to a video game, and that's not the sort of paradigm we ought to be pushing when it comes to guns.

Sylvana said...

It takes the respect out of hunting. Killing animals should not be brought down to the level of a video game. Animals and guns deserve far more respect than that.
Besides, how safe is that?

Shannon said...

This is the most disturbing use of the internet I've ever heard.

Ben said...

Wow, something we all agree on! We should start a group, "Conservatives and Liberals Against Remote Hunting through the Internet." CLARHI for short.

Scott said...

But what do you think of California trying to ban its residents from participating? Should they be able to do that, even if the hunting is in another state?

Mike said...

Ben, you should have known Scott would force a debate out of this somehow.

I would say California has no jurisdiction to dictate what their citizens do in another state. If the gun is set up in Texas, then it would fall under the laws of Texas to prosecute. I would assume even if a person was sitting in California looking at a deer in Texas, they would still have to own a Texas hunting license. To shoot game without a license would be poaching. So it would be up to Texas to enforce what goes on in their borders.

Ben said...

I really hesitate to allow any sort of regulation of the Internet. I don't think it should be illegal for someone to get up, go to their computer, and find a site that lets you remotely shoot a gun. It should be illegal, however, to set up a gun that can be controlled remotely like this. So no, California should not regulate the use side, in-state or not, but they should regulate the 'set-up side.'

Scott said...

I'm not trying to force a debate. I just wanted to point out that California is doing it - it's not a hypothetical notion of mine. And my worry is if they can make it illegal for a California resident to participate in an activity that is legal elsewhere, what else might they try to do to force their ideas on other people? How soon do you think your own state may try something similar (for example, Georgia passing a law saying GA residents can't purchase and use fireworks even when in another state where they are legal).

Mike said...

Just pullin' your leg, Scott.

It's a tough issue because morally where do you draw the line? Your fireworks example is a good one. Another one is child pornography. Should you be allowed to look at child porn in the U.S. even if the site is originated in the Phillipines? Should your state be allowed to arrest you for viewing this type of material? Or do we have a "right to privacy"?

ORF said...

Scott, you are starting to sound like a Republican!! That fireworks law is real. Until about two years (when most of them were legalized) you could not purchase fireworks in North Carolina. Further, you could not use the fireworks you'd legally purchased at South of the Border in South Carolina after you went back to NC. (In writing this, I'm reminded of that scene in Pulp Fiction where they talk about hash bars in Amsterdam and Jon Travolta says "proprietor" in a funny way.) There are probably lots of things that some states allow and others do not (gay marriage, anyone?)

Did you guys see the piece they did on the Daily Show about this whole internet hunting thing? It was hysterical! Samantha Bee interviewed the guy and he was claiming that it was a good way for blind people to safely wield a gun. He seriously believed, at least according to the way the story was edited, that he was performing a service to humanity. Unreal.

sideshow bob said...

Really, Oh Really! Republicans are people too. And no thanks on the offer of gay marriage...

Here in WI, fireworks are legal, and every year around the 4th of July, we are innundated with Minnesotans coming across the border to buy them and bring them back across the border to their homes (where they are illegal). In response, MN cops have been setting up checkpoints on the border where they will randomly select cars to search upon reentry to the state, and I find this perhaps more troubling than a state saying what it's citizens can do in another state (but that is troubling to me, too). I really don't see probable cause for a search here.

canis lupus said...

I've never been hunting before, but I have done mock CQB drills with my father in certain training site in Cali. I've been exposed to a variety of weaponry (silenced, non-silenced, sniper, etc). I am for RESPONSIBLE gun ownership. And sadly, I don't share the same enthusiasms as most hardcore NRA folk. I did come across this bit and it is as pathetic as cybersexing. It is a new low. I'm sure this guy is going to get backed up by NRA folks, but it only stands to give responsible gun culture a black eye. It is bad enough that we've got this stuff tossed about in video games (and there are even hunting video games). What's next? I shudder to even guess. Feel free to light me up with your "wisdom".

Mike said...

I don't see the NRA jumping on this bandwagon. They favor gun ownership, not senselessly blowing stuff up. Why hurt your cause by jumping on this losing topic?

ORF said...

The NRA continues to allow Charlton "Cold Dead Hands" Heston to be their lead dog, so something tells me that PR is not exactly their foremost concern. With that in mind, I would not be too surprised to see them get behind this movement.