I’m a Second Amendment absolutist. Once they’ve done their time, or before they’re convicted of a crime, I believe criminals have the same right to keep and bear arms as citizens without a criminal record.

I know this issue divides TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia. I also know that criminals use guns — whether legally purchased and owned or not — to defend themselves from other criminals. Is that wrong? Here’s an example via Louisiana’s 710keel.com:

Shreveport Police are investigating an early morning shooting which left one man dead following an attempted home invasion.

It all started at about 4:30 Friday morning at a home in the 6400 block of Fairfield Avenue. Police were called to a reported home invasion.  The first officers on the scene found a man laying on the ground suffering from a single gunshot wound to the upper body.

Officers report the man was wearing what appeared to be a ski-type mask covering his face along with dark clothing and gloves.  Additionally, he has a semi-automatic rifle with dozens of rounds of ammunition.  He was rushed to University Health hospital, but was pronounced dead a short time later.

And . . .

Shreveport Police Violent Crime detectives  along with Crime Scene investigators arrived at the scene of the crime and began the task of gathering information into the incident . . .

. . . police did seize a sizable quantity of suspected marijuana following their execution of a search warrant there. Charges on the occupants inside the residence are pending as the investigation continues.

The debate continues. Should the suspected marijuana dealer have been unarmed?

Meanwhile, I caution anyone who uses marijuana that contact with a dealer puts you at a high risk of criminal predation, either by the dealer, his other customers or his competitors. Carry on.

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96 Responses to Suspected Louisiana Marijuana Dealer Shoots, Kills Rifle-Wielding Robber: Defensive Gun Use of the Day

  1. Consult Louisiana Law
    Can’t claim self defense while engaged in activity that includes illegal drugs.

    LA Rev Stat § 14:20
    §20. Justifiable homicide
    (b) The provisions of this Paragraph shall not apply when the person committing the homicide is engaged, at the time of the homicide, in the acquisition of, the distribution of, or possession of, with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance in violation of the provisions of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law.

    • Yep, my understanding is that this is fairly consistent across most of the country. The use of deadly force for self-defense is reserved for the law-abiding, or “otherwise innocent” parties.

      I don’t know Louisiana law, but I suspect there are some states in which the defendant would be prosecuted for and likely convicted of murder.

      • I really doubt that. I think my bride and I are the only people left in the country who have never done pot. Regardless of what the stupid law says, a competent attorney would have the jury LAUGHING at that stupidity, 5 minutes before pronouncing “not guilty”.

        • This isn’t about ever or never having “done pot.” It’s about being engaged in criminal activity at the time you kill someone.

          This makes perfect sense. If the shooter had not been engaged in criminal activity, and had not been known to engage in criminal activity, the decedent would very likely not have attempted the robbery, and would not have been killed.

        • While that may or may not be true, one could make the same argument about a lot of things. I know a guy got mugged while trying to sell a car. You could replace “Pot” with “car” in your argument. “If he hadn’t been selling the car, he probably wouldn’t have been mugged.”

          Truth is, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that pot dealer has already said about a thousand times now “Even if I’m convicted, I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.” Words that I’ve said a time or two myself.

        • [You could replace “Pot” with “car” in your argument. “If he hadn’t been selling the car, he probably wouldn’t have been mugged.”]

          Seriously?

          Selling a car is NOT against the law. Selling pot IS. It’s not the act of selling, it’s the fact that he was engaged in criminal activity.

        • ” You could replace “Pot” with “car” in your argument. “If he hadn’t been selling the car, he probably wouldn’t have been mugged.””

          If the car was stolen when he tried to sell it, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

          In possession of a stolen car is a felony, same as weed dealer…

        • Let’s change it to this:
          If, during a bank robbery, someone (not the robbers) produces a gun and that someone shoots at the robbers, and the robbers shoot back and kill that someone, we all know that’s considered murder, even if it is in self defense.
          Same type of situation.
          “Clean hands,” and all that.

      • That was some of the criticism of Florida’s stand your ground law, as I recall, that criminals were supposedly using it to escape prosecution for gang violence. I didn’t follow that controversy too closely, so I don’t know whether changes to bring the law more in line with other states, like you mentioned, have been implemented.

        It makes sense, though. A lot of states do have that “where you have a legal right to be” clause in their SYG laws. That sounds like something inserted to counter something like armed burglars’ claims of self-defense.

      • But Louisiana has every right to make their own narcotics laws. The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have had a problem with Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Montana all having different laws.

        • Most of the founding fathers smoked the stuff. George Washington grew it (along with doing some serious distilling as well) and smoked it. So he would be considered even more of a criminal than the self-defender mentioned above. Also, Thomas Edison loved his Cocaine Elixirs, Ben Franklin smoked the chiba AND did the dreaded opium…Wanna get a bit more modern? Ok, Steve Jobs says experimenting with LSD was one of the top two or three most influential things he ever did.EVEN Samuel COLT got down on nitrous on the regular.
          So, by todays standards, the man who made all men equal would be a prohibited posessor. (It’s ok, he could always get Obama care then find a doc to give him a script of Oxys.)
          Its only illegal because some shitbag was gonna be out of a job and lied his ass off to congress in the 30’s. That, and at the time it was considered a “negro” drug. Then they saw the revenue flow and someone came up with the idea of civil forfeiture.
          Motherfuckinrediculous.

        • Ed
          You need to get your facts straight. The founders didn’t smoke hemp. They grew the crop because hemp has many commercial uses. Like paper. Like rope. Unfortunately the American pot heads have missed out on the multi- hundred million dollar industry hemp business. The Canadians didn’t miss it. They are doing very well selling industry hemp products here.

          Pot heads only care about getting intoxicated. They don’t lobby for changing the industry hemp policy. And making THC pot legal is not going to reduce the robberies of pot dealers.

        • Chris T, are you kidding me? You need to do some fact checking yourself pal…they mos certianly smoked it, George especially. Ben Franklin was was more into Opium and hookers.
          You talk of “potheads” not lobbying to get anything done. The NRA has hundreds of times the resources that NORML does, yet where is our national reciprocity and the HPA? You are a simple minded fella.

    • Yeah, but the right to legal self defense trumps out of date drug enforcement law. Kind of like the same would hold true if someone had a stack of pills but wasn’t following the exact letter of the law yet had to also defend themselves.

      Not that this would protect the guy legally speaking. But there’s a solid footing for a case there.

    • Yep. Should have kept quiet and buried the robber in the back yard. Maybe composted him.

      • “Should have kept quiet and buried the robber in the back yard.”

        Why it’s nice to have friends with a backhoe who don’t ask a lot of nosy questions.

        I mean, really. Ever tried to shovel out a hole big and deep enough to bury them in by hand? That’s back-breaking work!

        *cough* 🙂

        • I’ve dug a couple egress wells by hand. One of them the soil was such thick clay I had to scrape every shovelful off with a stick. Took about 10 hours. Still, if you can get someone young and dumb to dig for $10 or $12/hr it’s a lot cheaper than getting a machine. Of course, if you’re burying a body, I’d expect to pay at least double.

        • If you involve your friend dig the hole big enough for 2 bodies. 2 men can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

        • jwm, this is why composting might be the best option. Those buds need the nutrients anyway.

      • “Of course you should have the hole already dug. Otherwise you’re looking at 30-45 minutes worth of digging and you never know who could come along in that time. Next thing you know, you’re digging three or four more holes. You could be there all night.”

  2. Dope is for dopes, when your high your judgement is impaired. Sorry no right to be armed. Convicted felons are no normal citizens they lack something law abiding people have, either common sense, moral compass, greedy, selfish, hate for the law, or sociopath. Sorry you gave up you right because you can’t be trusted. The end

    • There is no indication that the dealer was himself on drugs at the time. Most people keep business and pleasure separate.

      As far as one a person has been proven to be not trustworthy begin deprived of his right of self-defense, I would agree – if that would include most politicians, many police, and almost all “journalists”. Otherwise, sauce for the goose…

    • And when your government states that wearing red shirts is a felony and convicts you for wearing a red shirt, does that mean:
      — you are not a normal citizen
      — you lack something that law abiding people have
      — you are either stupid, have no moral compass, are greedy, are selfish, hate the law, or are a sociopath?
      — do you give up your right to keep and bear arms because you cannot be trusted?

    • Respectfully submitted:

      Starting with the original sins of the government forcing regulation of a plant (that had little to do with its “narcotic” effect), regulating what a free person can put in their bodies, and regulating free trade between consenting adults… we eventually get to:

      “Dope is for dopes”

      And cancer patients like my father-in-law, people with neurological issues, glaucoma patients, my grandfather when his pain and nausea were so bad that he couldn’t function or eat.

      “when your high your judgement is impaired. Sorry no right to be armed.”

      Yes, when you’re high. Was there anything in the article stating either party was high?

      According to natural law, I still believe you are incorrect. If you’re basing the “right to be armed” on being high, would being on mainstream, prescribed (and very effective) hydrocodone or oxycodone preclude you from the right of self-protection? I tore my rotator cuff some years ago while working in a very bad part of NW Indiana. I was “high” on hydrocodone for a couple of weeks. The sling I wore made me a target. I equalized that by carrying my Kimber on my hip.

      “Convicted felons are no normal citizens they lack something law abiding people have, either common sense, moral compass, greedy, selfish, hate for the law, or sociopath.”

      I think we are getting sidetracked. I don’t recall anyone in the story being a CONVICTED felon. That being said, many people in our every day lives exhibit the traits you list. Fortunately, people do change. And just for clarity, the majority of Sociopaths and even Psychopaths are law-abiding because it is ultimately self-serving and self-preserving to be so.

      “Sorry you gave up you right because you can’t be trusted.”

      No, the right still exists. That’s the thing about rights; they just are. There can be no PROTECTION under the law of those rights (see the Louisiana statute listed elsewhere in the comments), but the rights in and of themselves are unchanging. On top of that, I would argue that if they can’t be trusted, they shouldn’t be out on the street.

      • The difference between meth and Desoxyn is a prescription. The thought that marijuana shouldn’t be allowed for medicine because we don’t want people to become pot heads… let’s use METH INSTEAD is… retarded. It’s not the substance that’s the poison, it’s the dose and use. Don’t believe me? Check out the arsenic in your drinking water.

      • Medicinal pot is the same category as man cause global warming. No matter how many believe in it, or how strongly, it is all just a religion.

        AND the potheads getting their ass under the tent flap. Without rationalization the potheads wouldn’t have anything

      • “””And cancer patients like my father-in-law, people with neurological issues, glaucoma patients, my grandfather when his pain and nausea were so bad that he couldn’t function or eat.””””

        I’ve seen up close and personal what cancer and Chemo can do to one of the toughest guys I knew.

        Pot helps, I don’t care what the drug police say.

      • “Yes, when you’re high. Was there anything in the article stating either party was high?”

        While you make some good arguments, this wasn’t one of them.
        Was there anything in the article saying one or the other wasn’t high?

        • Thanks for the feedback, Big Bill.

          I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to constitutionality. Presumption of innocence applies until PROVEN guilty, not the other way around.

    • So much fail and generational brainwashing I don’t know where to start. Pat yourself on the back while taking a slug of whatever brand of booze you enjoy you hypocrite.

    • So, according to you everyone from Marcus Aurelius to George Washington and Thomas Edison were not responsible enough to own a firearm? You sir, need help.

  3. An interesting issue. Let us consider that all of the founding fathers were considered criminals to be hung if caught and we owe our freedom to a bunch of gun toting traitors (from the English perspective). There is nothing in the 2A referring to criminals not being allowed to own and use firearms. Only the unconstitutional laws passed after the fact created that consideration and how has that worked out? Then there is the fact that drug laws (like all laws) never fix anything. Should we even have those? My position is that every able bodied person that can use a firearm should have one, train to use it to some degree of basic ability and be armed 24 – 7.

    • The “Founding Fathers” were not charged or convicted of any crime in the United States or subdivision thereof.
      I have mixed feelings regarding convicted criminals ability to own firearms. As many return to a criminal life almost immediately after release. Perhaps a waiting period of X number of years without any further legal problems.

      • There was no United States, and they were certainly guilty of treason under Brit law. Should they have given up their guns?

        • America may sunset, but the RTKABA will not until JESUS calls us all home.

          If America ends, the authority to regulate it will have sunsetted decades before then, and all bets are off, and those that worked to end her will bear the brunt of it from both the law-abiding citizens, and those who never gave a sh_t.

        • As the crown was in violation of God and English law the opinion of the crown was irrelevant. And as July 4, 1776 it was meaningless

        • Exactly my point. They took up arms to overthrow an oppressive government and changed the course of life on this continent. The right to KABA insures that it can happen again if necessary.

        • “The right to KABA insures that it can happen again if necessary.”

          Already happened; Waco, Ruby Ridge, Bundy 1 & 2.

          When is enough?

          I don’t know, but we are well beyond where the founders broke with England.

      • Never really thought of it before. Were the founding fathers ever charged with a crime by the crown? Were warrants ever issued for the arrest of any of them?

  4. I enjoy a philosophical debate, which is all that this post will be, because, as RF stated in the post, criminals will obtain firearms regardless.

  5. Do the free states that have both unrestricted carry and legalized recreational marijuana (Maine, Alaska) share Louisiana’s blind spot for self-defense?

    • It is a federal issue, no matter what the state says or thinks feds still classify “narcotics users” as prohibited persons.

  6. “anyone who uses marijuana that contact with a dealer puts you at a high risk of criminal predation, either by the dealer, his other customers or his competitors.”

    Not in states where it is legal. One more reason to wash away ALL drug laws.

        • In the name of full disclosure. I’m not a church going man. I was raised southern baptist. My wife is a church going mormon. The only problem, if you can call it that, is that she’ll occasionally bring up getting me a second wife.

          I say all that to say that I know a few mormons and I’ve been to Salt Lake a couple of times. That is the cleanest, whitest, blondest damn town not in northern europe.

          I think we’ve done a disservice to the Irish, the Vulcans and the Mormons. But this is the interwebz. That’s sort of what it was made for.

        • Perhaps you have not been paying attention but Northern Eurp is not longer “cleanest, whitest, blondest”. So SLC may hold such a notable position.

  7. The only 3 true types of crime are: Physically harming someone, physically harming or stealing someone’s property, harming someone through libel. The prohibition on marijuana has worked about as well as the prohibition against alcohol. Both unnecessarily create(d) criminals.

    Don’t like pimps? Legalize prostitution. Don’t like drug lords? Legalize drugs. Fearful of anyone who’s inhibited? Grow a pair and quit setting double standards. We don’t (and shouldn’t) prohibit alcoholics, or someone who’s prescribed Desoxyn (literally meth) from a doctor… but we should prohibit someone for weed?!?!?! GTFO

    I hear all day about how many potheads in Colorado get lazy and don’t show up for work, or struggle in school. That’s an argument against pot? Jesus, should we prohibit all lazy people and anyone who failed a class in school while we’re at it?! Or have you just done a bunch of mental gymnastics to convince yourself that you have discovered the only possibly correct and moral compass. AND! since you don’t smoke weed that MUST mean anyone who does smoke doesn’t deserves the same rights as you.

    • Indeed. I happen to live in Southwest Colorado, and I work in construction (concrete, specifically). My boss is one of the smartest, hardest working people I’ve ever met, and I have a tremendous amount of personal and professional respect for him. He also LOVES pot. He’s a foreman, so he doesn’t partake at work, but he is quite fond of marijuana. The argument that anyone who likes pot is lazy and useless is, well, intellectually lazy and useless. As with literally anything else, it can be done responsibly or irresponsibly, depending on the individual choices made by the user.

    • You potheads assume that no one has every met or know a freaking pothead. Their START point is lack of self-control and self-discipline. If you’re pitching that the Colorado potheads are injuring others with their lifestyle choice, now endorsed by gov;t then you are a fool and a barbarian.

  8. There isn’t any particular reason, based on what’s submitted here, to believe that the pot had anything to do with the attempted home invasion. A box for a nice new TV left out by the trash cans is plausible as well.

    Either way, sales outside established businesses are always somewhat sketchy. I pack a gat AND a BUG and a couple extra blades when doing Craigslist deals because you never know when some asshole is going to try to rob you over a $200 TV or a $2500 boat or bike. 99% of the time the deal goes down as smooth as a baby’s ass but that’s not what the hardware is for. It’s for the other 1%.

  9. Ya, pots not a problem for anyone worth committing a violent crime over. If we could just legalize it, those committing crimes to get it (and the $$ it generates) will turn to vigorous enterprise to afford its cheapness.

    You went after RJ Reynolds with a roto-rooter, but hey, pot’s different.

    Ya.

  10. Legalize weed and use the revenue to build the wall. It’ll hurt liberals twice as much to know they’re funding the wall. Build em up then tear em down.

  11. Frank Lopez was right.

    “Lesson number one: Don’t underestimate the other guy’s greed! Lesson number two: Don’t get high on your own supply.”

    — Scarface (1983)

  12. My feeling about criminals (and everyone else) is that, if I can’t trust them with guns, I can’t trust them without them, either. If a convicted criminal is too dangerous to be trusted with a gun, he should still be in prison.

  13. “Should the suspected marijuana dealer have been unarmed?”

    He has a right to have a firearm. He has a right to suffer the consequences of violating firearm laws. He has a right to suffer the consequences of dealing in an illegal (in LA) substance.

    So yes, he has a right to a gun, but not a right to be absolved of crimes.

    • Actually its his constitutional right to own and use a firearm, a law that would make him a criminal for exercising his constitutional right is…. wait for it… unconstitutional. Which would mean its an illegal and invalid law.

      I think its disgusting how quickly most gun owners are willing to turn on each other. Everyone is RARARA YAH 2ND AMENDMENT until the bourbon drinking country club republican finds out the person next him smokes pot then all of sudden he becomes more supportive of gun control than Hillary Clinton.

      I believe the founding fathers were pretty goddamned clear regarding what they thought about ones inalienable right to defend your life, loved ones and property. “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

      • It is pointless, hopeless, and useless to proclaim that any natural,civil, and constitutionally protected “right” is absolutely absolute, under any and all conditions. Are you among those who would provide/allow guns, or any other deadly weapon to every person incarcerated in the US? If not, you cannot believe, or claim that 2A is entirely and completely an absolute “right”. If you accept any restriction, on any natural, civil and constitutionally protected “right”, any at all, for whatever reason, you are merely proclaiming “rights” are absolute, except for those restrictions you support/accept. In the instant case, you would have to argue that using a gun to kill a defending homeowner in self-defense cannot render one guilty of felony murder during the commission of a separate crime.

        There are no absolutely absolute “rights”.

        • Great philosophical food for though there, SIA. Taking things to their logical extreme usually shows a weakness somewhere. Herein lies the intricate weaving of our collective ideologies.

          “It is pointless, hopeless, and useless to proclaim that any natural,civil, and constitutionally protected “right” is absolutely absolute, under any and all conditions.”

          Admitted. This would be anarchy.

          “Are you among those who would provide/allow guns, or any other deadly weapon to every person incarcerated in the US?”

          No. Again, anarchy. Some anarchists would argue that incarceration is a violation of a natural right of liberty, some anarchists see it as a necessary evil. (I would be willing to rethink my position on this based on the argument of the massive dose of chlorine it would add to a gene pool.)

          “If not, you cannot believe, or claim that 2A is entirely and completely an absolute “right”. If you accept any restriction, on any natural, civil and constitutionally protected “right”, any at all, for whatever reason, you are merely proclaiming “rights” are absolute, except for those restrictions you support/accept.”

          I’m following. I would still assert that the individual / natural right to self defense still exists. My statement prior that there may not be protection under the law stands. Perhaps this is where privatization of prisons would cover the removal of rights. “Private property = private rules.” In the case of the state, I suppose we would have to define where, if at all, rights end. Anarchists would say that the state has no power to define and enact justice and that should be left to the offended parties. Many Libertarians would argue against private property ownership. I would say that the “simple” fix is that your right to do what you want ends where it interferes with me doing what I want. Who takes care of the punishment of that depends on the severity and suddenness of action. Again, a lot of ideology to consider.

          “In the instant case, you would have to argue that using a gun to kill a defending homeowner in self-defense cannot render one guilty of felony murder during the commission of a separate crime.”

          No, again I would argue that one’s rights “end” when they directly and purposefully interfere with another’s. The initial crime / violation of the homeowner’s rights, robbery in this case, is “malum in se” and therefore would negate the right / legitimacy of said action. The homeowner would have every right, in my opinion, to defend himself. The marijuana quandary here, as outlined in the aforementioned statute from Louisiana, is “malum prohibitum.” The presence of the marijuana doesn’t interfere with anyone’s rights. The only reason it’s an issue here is because the state says it is.

          “There are no absolutely absolute “rights”.”

          Absolutely right.

          Our system isn’t perfect, but it’s what we have. We need to continue to have discussions like this to make it better.

          Slainte!

        • If one agrees “absolute” means only what we want it to mean, when we want it to mean, then one renders “absolute” a pointless adjective. Even a single caveat renders “absolute” a misleading term, subject to all sorts of contortions. I guess this “absolute” idea is just my hobby horse because English is already a sloppy language (in common use). Using “absolute” sloppily just renders a conversation mundane. If it is necessary for one to declare their own version of “absolute” as prelude to a comment/posting, then “absolute” signifies the writer has no grasp of the purpose of serious communication. My windmill is to shame everyone here into abandoning the term “absolute” (or, “shall not be infringed”) when discussing self-defense.

          Mazel Tov

      • I’d think that marriage* would be opposed by libertarians. What business is it of the government how I classify my relationship with another person or persons? Why should the government spend my tax money to encourage the marriage of people when I disagree almost entirely with the governments definition of marriage?

        In this day and age, marriage is nothing more than a temporary and voluntary legal relationship between two people, many of the terms of which are outside of the parties control to define. Marriage is a very un-libertarian thing to believe in.

        *For the purposes of this comment, I am referring to the state institution of marriage, not anything religious.

  14. Seeing as he was attacked with with a gun, it probably worked out about as good as it could have for him. So no, he shouldn’t have been unarmed. I’d rather face charges than be dead.

  15. For those of you who might not know why Farago is so touchy about well established State and Federal law that generally makes the mixing of marijuana and guns a felonious act in most scenarios (and a lead pipe sure cinch felony when a weed dealer is caught red handed in possession of a firearm), this now deleted October 2015 TTAG article by Robert Farago will shed some light on his affinity for stoners;

    Housekeeping: The TTAG Team Creates Marijuana Website

    The people who bring you The Truth About Guns have launched a new website dedicated to marijuana news: mjnewsfeed.com It’s not a blog. It’s a news aggregator – with a difference. The software contains a proprietary algorithm (thank you, Nick) that automatically personalizes the content you see based on your reading preferences. (Provided you sign in with a Facebook account. If not, the site remains anonymous.) Click on the leaf to see a blurb, then decide whether or not you want to eat some more chocolate chip cookies. I mean, read the full story. Better yet, mjnewsfeed.com’s curated. In other words . . .
    Our marijuana guy scans the web and selects the freshest crop of weed news for pot-oriented surfers (are there any other kind?). He also provides an editor’s note: a summary so you can decide whether or not to click through to the story. Note: unlike other aggregators, mjnewsfeed.com doesn’t strip-off advertising from the linked story. We think that’s unfair.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, mjnewsfeed.com is like the Drudge Report. Except personalized just for you. And about pot. We’d appreciate it if you could check it out and email a link.

    Source: Truth About Guns

    • I am fairly certain the constitution and bill of rights are more established than recent greed driven federal narcotics laws.

      You really didn’t stop for a second to think about that before your incredibly long, useless, post?

      • It was incredibly long because it was the entire article written by Robert Farago in October 2015 proudly announcing the TTAG staff was launching a sister marijuana website. The article was hastily deleted when someone with a brain reminded Farago & crew that the tacit admission of being a marijuana connoisseur was an incredibly dumb thing for a gun blog proprietor to cop to since a documented marijuana user would have to lie on the ATF form 4473 when transferring a firearm.

  16. So, what was the ‘probable cause’ for the search warrant?

    “A criminal tried to break in so there must be something worth taking” doesn’t cut it for me.

  17. I have gone into the stores here in Washington a few time and no I don’t smoke it, but every time I have gone in, the folks behind the counter are always stoned to the gills, blazed!
    It’s not as if you can’t tell! Scary to think those pot heads are packing. One thing here, customers can’t carry, but the store employees can.

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