and the Wisconsin Legislative Response

A few weeks ago I blogged about, a Texas-based website that is planning to allow a person to operate a real 30.06 gun on a platform to “hunt” animals. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the operator of claims that “hunting on the Web is for people with disabilities who can’t get out in the woods or for those who aren’t able to participate in hunts, such as soldiers serving overseas.”

A Wisconsin legislator, Rep. Scott Gunderson, also heard about The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel quotes him as saying: “When you talk to regular hunters, they say this is just wrong…It’s about being out in the woods, being one-on-one in nature with the animals.”

Rep. Gunderson has introduced a bill (AB 179) that says “No person may shoot or shoot at a farm?raised deer [or captive wild animal] while hunting unless the person is in physical possession of the weapon.” The Wisconsin Assembly Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on this bill next Wednesday. Note that this flurry of activity has been initiated by a single website, not in Wisconsin, that has yet to conduct its first web “hunt.”

Unquestionably, hunting is a Big Deal here in Wisconsin. During deer-hunting season, little towns in deer-hunting areas swell from wide spots in the road to 10,000 person boomtowns. On the Interstate freeways running through town, it’s almost impossible during deer season to drive without seeing a deer carcass strapped to a vehicle. So it’s not surprising that local politicians are desperate to grandstand for the hunting voters.

However, the Wisconsin legislature spent a lot of time over the last 2 years debating the definition of “marriage,” and now it will spend time debating the definition of “hunting.” From my perspective, the Wisconsin legislature seems to have too much discretionary time. Perhaps they might choose to allocate that time trying to define things like “balanced budget” or “no new tax increases.” I’m going to go out on a limb and venture that even Wisconsin hunters would be more impressed by that.

UPDATE: Channel 3000’s report with photos, video and poll