Anti-Hunter Fires Shotgun at Wisconsin Duck Hunters

Did the charges brought against this anti-hunter fit the crime, and what kind of message does it send to other potentially violent 'animal rights activists?'

I just don't understand why "animal rights" activists are so violent.

Wisconsin duck hunters Levi Johnston and David Reichenberger had just shot a pair of mallards when a stranger began heckling them from the nearby woods.

"He went off on a rant about how we shouldn't be here, we should be in Afghanistan if we were going to shoot something," Johnston told KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, Minn.

But the anti-hunter, now known to be 64-year-old Van Hawkinson, didn't just stop with insults: He got his shotgun, which he admits to with more than a hint of pride.

"For a moment there, I got angry and was hurt," Hawkinson said. "I jumped in the vehicle took a .410 with me, what's that gonna do? I shot out at the corn field up in the air. ... I'm an animal lover and bird lover. I don't like to see things die, especially for the sport of killing."

Hawkinson was charged with dangerous use of a weapon and disorderly conduct—minor misdemeanors, essentially slaps on the wrist. Johnston and Reichenberger do not feel the charges fit the crimes, and I tend to agree with them. Were Hawkinson's actions not a clear threat against their lives?

"He got nothing for basically trying to kill us," Reichenberger said. "How is it you can shoot somebody and the next day get out of jail?"

Is Hawkinson sorry for his actions?

"Yes," he said with a big laugh, "Because I went to jail for it."

I'm nearly as disgusted by the weak charges brought against Hawkinson as I am by his actions. It's clear he has no regrets about his actions. And what message does Hawkinson's fine and night in jail send to other potentially violent anti-hunters?

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3 Responses to Anti-Hunter Fires Shotgun at Wisconsin Duck Hunters

Left Coast Chuck wrote:
November 06, 2013

As I read my comment, I also remembered that here in Kalifornya he would also be precluded from owning a firearm because he was involved in a felony involving violence. I don't know whether it is the ten year prohibition or the lifetime prohibition.

Left Coast Chuck wrote:
November 06, 2013

I always assume when someone deliberately fires a weapon in my direction that he intends to kill me or inflict serious bodily injury. I am allowed to use appropriate force to prevent that from happening. You can see where that should have led, rather than the nut job getting busted for a misdemeanor. While I realize the Peepuls Republik of Kalifornya is different from the rest of the country, just exhibiting a firearm in a rude or threatening manner is a felony. Actual discharge of a firearm is a separate felony, so Mr. Hawkinson, having escaped a lethal ending, has admitted to, at least in Kalifornya, two felony charges, both of which carry state prison sentences and because they involve violence, he wouldn't be eligible for early non-violent release.

olebarnbuster wrote:
November 05, 2013

I had a tree explode right above my head one time,but I was up a tree approx 20 ft.I dont think he liked it when I found fact I bet he still has nightmares of what I did to that guy.