NY Enacts Anti-Internet Hunting Law

I’ve lost track of most state initiatives to outlaw Internet hunting, but this article from Michael Gormley at the Associated Press caught my attention because of all of the rhetorical posturing/intellectual dishonesty. Consider the following quotes:

NY Gov. George Pataki: “Hunters play an important role in environmental conservation, but these remote hunting games serve no useful purpose.”

[Eric’s comment: it would be great to unpack how hunters play an important role in environmental conservation. Note, of course, that offline hunters are allowed to hunt on game farms just like online hunters. Also, I wonder why providing physically-challenged individuals the opportunity to engage in hunting isn’t a “useful purpose.”]

Sen. Carl Marcellino: “The practice of making road kill out of living animals via the information superhighway should be stopped now.”

[Eric’s comment: there are many ways to riff on this quote, but I think it speaks for itself.]

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm: “Using computer technology to shoot at caged animals from a distance is a corruption of our proud hunting traditions.”

[Eric’s comment: who said anything about caged animals? Maybe she thinks of game farms with potentially thousands of acres as a “cage”…but offline hunting is legal there too. Also, what makes our hunting tradition “proud”?]

One final point: the “safety” concerns about Internet hunting are a joke. Which one gives you more concern?

* a controlled access game farm where a mounted gun is monitored by a real person who can override any commands from the hunter (as is the case with Live-shot.com), or

* arming thousands of people–who might have limited gun safety training and who may be drinking while hunting–and setting them loose to blast at anything that moves (even if it’s wearing an orange blaze vest).

Consider some empirical data.

FWIW, I simply will not go hiking in Wisconsin during deer hunting season. I don’t consider it safe regardless of any precautions I might take. As a result, if we’re really concerned about hunting safety, I think Internet hunting would not be our top priority.