Internet hunting: What's not to dislike?

Florida is set to become the next state to ban Internet hunting, a form of thrill-killing for couch potatoes already prohibited in 34 states. Legislation also is pending in the House and Senate that would outlaw the sport.

Earlier this month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a regulation that would prohibit remote-control hunting 'by persons not physically present at the location of the gun.'

According to the Humane Society of the United States, which not surprisingly opposes the practice, the first click-to-shoot site was in San Antonio, where animals at a ranch would be lured into range of a gun controlled remotely through Live-Shot.com.

For a fee, the hunter could log on through his browser, pick his prey, fire away and have the trophy sent to him without getting his hands dirty or even leaving his home.

In response to a massive popular backlash, Texas and 33 other states have also banned Internet hunting.

Regulation or legislation is also pending in Utah and Oklahoma. The Humane Society said there are now no active Internet hunting sites.

Identical bills were introduced last year in the House and Senate that would make it a crime punishable by a fine and as long as five years in prison to use 'any instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce' to make available 'a computer-assisted remote hunt.'

The bills, which would not pre-empt state laws, are languishing in the judiciary committees of their respective houses. Perhaps they're debating whether to exempt from the bill vice presidents hunting lawyers.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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