Sen. Walker makes national news on internet hunting

Here is a Wall Street Journal article talking about internet hunting that featured local lawmaker Sen. Vicki Walker and Oregon NRA lobbyist Rod Harder. Article by Zachary M. Seward, highlights below:

The Humane Society of the United States last year mailed more than 50,000 people an urgent message, underlined and in bold type: “Such horrific cruelty must stop and stop now!”

The cruelty in question was Internet hunting, which the animal-rights group described as the “sick and depraved” sport of shooting live game with a gun controlled remotely over the Web. Responding to the Humane Society’s call, 33 states have outlawed Internet hunting since 2005, and a bill to ban it nationally has been introduced in Congress.

But nobody actually hunts animals over the Internet. Although the concept — first broached publicly by a Texas entrepreneur in 2004 — is technically feasible, it hasn’t caught on. How so many states have nonetheless come to ban the practice is a testament to public alarm over Internet threats and the gilded life of legislation that nobody opposes.

With no Internet hunters to defend the sport, the Humane Society’s lobbying campaign has been hugely successful — a welcome change for an organization that has struggled to curtail actual boots-on-the-ground hunting. Michael Markarian, who has led the group’s effort, calls it “one of the fastest paces of reform for any animal issue that we can remember seeing.”

Vicki L. Walker, a state senator in Oregon, says she wasn’t aware of Internet hunting until a representative from the society told her about it and asked her to sponsor a ban. “It offended my sensibilities,” she says. The bill passed unanimously this year…Even the National Rifle Association endorses the ban. “It’s pretty easy to outlaw something that doesn’t exist,” says Rod Harder, a lobbyist for the NRA in Oregon who supported an Internet-hunting ban that took effect in June. “We were happy to do it.”…

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