Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Pacifist Uses Gun to Repel, Kill Home Invader


Oh, the cognitive dissonance! What’s a pacifist to do when threatened with death or grievous bodily harm? From the Land of Enchantment comes this news: “A gun toting suspect who broke into a New Mexico home early Wednesday proved no match for the homeowner, a pacifist armed only with a cane who police say disarmed the suspect and shot him dead.” . . .

The un-named homeowner’s attorney had this to say:

“My client is completely traumatized,” Cravens said. “He’s a pacifist and was forced to deal with an extremely violent situation.”

Repelling an armed invader with extreme prejudice would be an upsetting event for anyone. But if you’re an avowed pacifist, successfully defending yourself by ballistic means and sending your attacker to the morgue might also make you re-think your world view.

Will the anonymous victim turn over a new leaf? Will his experience impress upon him the virtues of walking softly and carrying a big pistol? That remains to be seen. But if he does, TTAG will be happy to buy him his first firearm.

[h/t Dirk Diggler]


  1. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    Uh, it was me – I want a .50 BMG, please…

    1. avatar Dustin says:

      Make it an SHF upper. I don’t want papers on my 80% lowered .50BMG…

  2. I thought pacifist’s would rather die than use violence of any kind? Guess he doesn’t hold true to his confections.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      He didn’t use violence against food that we know of.

    2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      I suspect he had never actually given a great deal of thought to what being a pacifist meant. Lots of people adopt labels, a popular philosophy name, but never do the research or deep thinking required to integrate it with their true personality. The cognitive dissonance that comes with something like this can be terribly disturbing, but he will hopefully take some time now to really think about it. I’m glad he let his natural response loose and prevailed, rather than freeze up and dying.

      1. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunniess says:

        First off I think he should be able to keep the gun he used. By all rights it’s his now.
        Second I think he needs his pacifist card revoked. Good too pacifism is a morally corrupt belief, and I dare any pacifists who think otherwise to say it to my face.

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        I think that’s true. Congratulations to the new Lancelot… WAIT! That’s MY dog, you bastard!!!

      3. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I think most here are missing the real message, although you’ve heard it many times before. “Rules for thee, but not for me!”

    3. avatar Dustin says:

      That powdered sugar is tough to hold…

  3. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    I’m sorry that the man had to experience of a violent home invasion. I’m glad that he was able to be the survivor.

    I’m reminded of that bit from the 70s: a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged.

    Seriously, I believe that most people who profess non-violence/pacifism will find that [what’s left of] their base survival instinct will kick in in the face of a potentially deadly attack on them or people for whom they are responsible (e.g., children).

    I hope the he will find, in the end. that saving his life was the correct thing to do.

  4. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    He lied, he wasn’t a pacifist. A pacifist believes all violence is unjustified. Obviously he believes that violence in the form of self-defense is justified.

    1. avatar Amarante says:

      Resorting to dictionaries in place of philosophy books in these maters is always problematic.

      Pacifism and non-violence are not equals.

      Nonviolence is just a branch of pacifism, it isn’t the wholeness of pacifism.

      An example of pacifist philosophy and practice that is different and is opposite to non-violence is the libertarian non-aggression principle.

      1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        The Pacifism/Non-Aggression thing can get muddy sometimes as well… I’ve had many a talk with self-described libertarians that wave the non-aggression principle around like some sort of magic wand. Many look at me like I have a d*ck hanging off my face when I explain that being non-aggressive simply doesn’t equate to being exclusively non-violent.

        Challenging the world-view of certain people can seriously f*ck their mojo up.

  5. avatar Corodon says:

    Isn’t this the plot of the Death Wish series? Watch out, by the third movie or so the former pacifist will be mowing down bad guys with an M-60.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    His lawyer says that he’s a pacifist. I expect a defense lawyer — named Craven! — to try to make his client look as good as possible for the investigation, but that doesn’t mean that I believe Craven or that the victim is actually a pacifist. More likely, he’s just a non-aggressive guy who just wants to live out his life in peace.

    We should all thank the victim for administering the taxpayer relief shot. He’s done more to balance New Mexico’s book than the governor.

    1. avatar Alexander says:

      You’re not suggesting that the lawyer lied, are you?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I’m saying that he’s painting his client in the best light. One definition of a pacifist is someone opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes. Well, I’m opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes, but I’m not opposed to using violence, even lethal violence, to save the life of me or mine. Am I a pacifist?

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        Say it isn’t so!

  7. avatar Chris says:

    Dude wasn’t a true pacifist, if he were he’d be merely robbed or dead if the intruder had lethal intent.

  8. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    The Truth About Canes ???

    1. avatar foodog says:

      I receive no kickbacks for mentioning this product…*Version*=1&*entries*=0

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        An old friend of mine from DC, who worked for ABC News all his life, now retired in LA, is a devotee of Cane-Fu.

        I’d rather remove the bastards from the gene pool, myself. Still so much work to do….

        1. avatar foodog says:

          Since getting a CCW is near impossible in most urban counties in CA right now,
          and an answer on Peruta vs San Diego is likely to be years off-
          and even then, most likely will need to be appealed for cert at SCOTUS-
          another two years IF its taken up…ie there is no legal right to carry in most of CA…

          I am looking seriously at the cane option.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Then get to it, before canes are outlawed.

  9. avatar Excedrine says:

    You can be an avowed pacifist and be armed to defend yourself. The two are not and have never been mutually exclusive.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      noun: pacifist; plural noun: pacifists

      a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable.
      “she was a committed pacifist all her life”
      synonyms: peace-lover, conscientious objector, passive resister, peacemaker, peacemonger, dove

      adjective: unjustifiable

      not able to be shown to be right or reasonable.
      “an unjustifiable restriction on their freedom”
      synonyms: indefensible, inexcusable, unforgivable, unpardonable, uncalled for, gratuitous, without justification, unwarrantable

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Well, in a way he’s right:


        : to declare or state (something) in an open and public way

        So, an “avowed pacifist” is just someone who has declared openly that they’re a pacifist. Doesn’t necessarily mean they actually adhere to the principles of pacifism, just that they claim to. Which pretty accurately describes 99% of people who claim the “pacifist” label. Like the good homeowner here, when the rubber meets the road (or, more accurately, when the gun muzzle meets their face), the lizard-brain survival instinct overrides whatever bullshit they started talking in college to score with hippie chicks.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Sorry about the runaway italics.

      2. avatar Amarante says:

        Resorting to dictionaries in place of philosophy books in these maters is always problematic.

        Pacifism and non-violence are not equals.

        Nonviolence is just a branch of pacifism, it isn’t the wholeness of pacifism.

        An example of pacifist philosophy and practice that is different and is opposite to non-violence is the libertarian non-aggression principle.

    2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      You can be an avowed pacifist and be armed to defend yourself.

      Wrong, but thanks for playing. You may pick up your consolation prize on your way out.

    3. avatar bolero says:


      “Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone” isn’t pacifism.

      “OK, I’ll just get on the cattle car,” That is pacifism.

      Language matters. Once the term “pacifist” includes those who use any form of physical self-defense, call the cops, etc. are considered pacifists, then we are truly fucked. As are you.

  10. avatar JR Pollock says:

    I am reminded of that old saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

    Glad to hear that his survival instincts kicked in at the right time.

    1. avatar YaDaddy says:

      Historically speaking there has been no shortage of atheists in foxholes.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Lots of atheists have been produced in foxholes, once they discovered that prayer does nothing, it is a short hop to god does not exist. Should you live so long.

    2. avatar JR Pollock says:

      Ruh Roh!!

      Looks like the homeowner/victim is gonna need that lawyer for other matters. Given what the cops found, he’s fortunate that he didn’t have a gun of his own.

      1. avatar foodog says:

        3 S rule applies, again. Dont be growing stupid $hit, selling to stupid people, in your own stupid house?

      2. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Having a pot-growing operation that large and no gun of your own is the very definition of “optimist”.

  11. avatar Bill Kohnke says:

    Couldn’t he have just been satisfied with giving the perp a good caning?

  12. avatar Dustin says:

    Assault Cane! High-capacity rubber nubby thingy that doesn’t go up! That handle, OMG! Who needs to hold onto a cane that well? Only baby-killers, that’s who! Real men don’t need canes, they fistfight their well-armed attackers! If you’re that old you deserve to die anyways. He’s just soaking up money better spent on buying votes from crotch farmers. He’s racist and is committing microaggression against women every time he inhales!

  13. avatar BK says:

    Like the great philosopher Mike Tyson said: “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”

  14. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    Pacifist my eye! You can claim anything you like until the instinct for survival kicks in and then all bets are off.

  15. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    It could easily be the case that this defender has never even fired a gun before in his life, especially not whatever random make and model in whatever random condition and setting this invader showed up with.

    Yet, a successful disarming of an assailant and subsequent defensive gun use ensued. Curious, that.

    So much for the “Only highly trained, professional agents of the state can effectively utilize firearms to quell illegal violence” myth.

  16. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? If Shannon Watts uses a gun to dispatch a thug in her home, does she tell the crowd? Just thinking.

  17. avatar Tommycat says:

    What I find insulting is that some believe that a pacifist automatically means wuss who would rather die than defend themselves. I’m a pacifist in that I will try any means necessary to avoid conflict, but when it comes to a choice between the life of me or the bad guy, I make the more rational choice to remain in existence. HE is the violent one, and eliminating him is more likely to produce a more peaceful world than eliminating the one who would rather not be violent.

    Really aren’t we all pacifists to a degree? We don’t like violence in it’s many forms, and thus we arm ourselves to prevent the violence that would be visited upon not only us but everyone else.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Really aren’t we all pacifists to a degree?

      No. Words mean things. You can’t just go around independently making up your own definition of words.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Why not? Doesn’t it all depend on (whining, nasal tone now) “what the meaning of “is” is?”

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      “HE is the violent one, and eliminating him is more likely to produce a more peaceful world than eliminating the one who would rather not be violent.”

      That there is the justification for every war ever fought.

      You aren’t a pacifist. You’re just like most people who prefer peace and harmony but understand the need for lethal force in certain situations.

      Thanks for playing. You can pick up your consolation prize on the way out.

  18. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    Pacifist-a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable. I say cut the guy some slack. While some may believe the idea of the pacifist shooter is a a well crafted defense ploy by a crafty legal advisor, I would entertain another idea. Evolution of ideology. We have heard numerous times from public figures how their view on a particular issue has evolved, over time. I would say the cane toting gentleman’s ideology of pacifism evolved instantly when faced with the life and death decision of-“him or me?”. Funny thing that survival instinct…….

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      “Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accept the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay-and claims a halo for his dishonesty.”

      Robert A. Heinlein

  19. avatar jwm says:

    He’s a progressive pacifist. He didn’t bring the gun to the fight so its okay for him to kill the guy that did.

    Now he’s more convinced than ever that guns should be banned. Just don’t muck about with his walking stick.

    1. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

      Progressive pacifist……….fitting. So much for his flash evolution.

    2. avatar anomad101 says:

      I do not believe in killing. I do not believe in anybody killing me.

  20. avatar BigBoy says:

    It is 2015. Obviously his ancestors were not paificists. They triumphed and he is the result of a 1000 generations of humans determined to survive and reproduce at all costs to others. You do believe in Evolution, don’t you.

    You can breed survival out of humans but it takes concerted effort over generations.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      With the final result being a generation which does not survive.

  21. avatar Peldrigal says:

    I am a pacifist. That means that I am against the use of war among countries to solve international conflicts. This fellow should get a gun and a dictionary.

    1. avatar Adub says:

      What about when one country invades another? Or if it nationalizes the business investments of another? Or establishes an economic embargo?

      1. avatar Peldrigal says:

        The first one is covered, exactly like for people, by the right of armed-self defense. I am against again the use of force in the other two. Like everyone else: resorting to war because economic interests abroad are menaced is so XIX century…

  22. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    “I thought pacifist’s would rather die than use violence of any kind? Guess he doesn’t hold true to his confections.”

    He’d rather you die than use violence of any kind. And if you say you had not choice, he doesn’t believe you. He, however is allowed to defend himself if needed, and will be right and righteous in determining that need.

  23. avatar Getfreight says:

    This just goes to show that pacifism is not a natural condition. When push comes to shove, the survival instinct will over ride silly notions. While it is good to avoid violence whenever possible, regrettably, the universe may have different plans seeing how a majority of it is hostile to human life.

  24. avatar DaveM says:

    A few years ago during a conversation with a younger sister I suggested that she and her husband might want to consider purchasing a firearm for home protection.
    Knowing she had no exposure to firearms I did suggest training before and after purchase.
    Sister told me she was a pacifist, I tried the bad guy, daughter, husband scenario
    I ended up telling her that I like most responsible gun owners that I was a pacifist and just wanted to be ready if someone else’s decision to threaten my family changed my mind

  25. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    That ain’t no pacifist-those old order Amish would die from gun guy. Sorry you had to pop your cherry. We live in an evil violent world. Be prepared.

  26. avatar anomad101 says:

    Cane against firearm? You tell him he’s a pacifist. Maybe, but apparently a fighting pacifist.

  27. avatar RetiredJarhead says:

    I am a pacifist. Peace through superior firepower. Now you’re dead, and peaceful. Just lay there and bleed. Where you goin’? NOWEAH!

  28. avatar RetiredJarhead says:


  29. avatar Kendahl says:

    I’m glad he prevailed but he isn’t a true pacifist. I remember reading that Betty Friedan argued that women should not fight back against abusers and rapists. Doing so perpetuates the cycle of violence. Better that they sacfifice their lives for Friedan’s ideals. The good news is that she is no longer around to spout such claptrap.

  30. avatar Amarante says:

    Resorting to dictionaries in place of philosophy books in these maters is always problematic.

    Pacifism and non-violence are not equals.

    Nonviolence is just a branch of pacifism, it isn’t the wholeness of pacifism.

    An example of pacifist philosophy and practice that is different and is opposite to from non-violence is the libertarian non-aggression principle.

  31. avatar Jeremiah says:

    You have pacifism(don’t believe in going to war) and then you have non-resistants(won’t defend themselves).

  32. avatar Don says:

    Pacifism is a luxury of those who out-source their violence to others, out of sight, out of mind.

  33. avatar CoolBreeze says:

    This is amazing! A person who not only has no firearm training ( I assume) but has a life-philosophy of non violence, was able to disarm, then use said gun to kill said bad guy. I guess all them antigunists are right. We don’t need to own guns. Just take a vow of pacifism and we’ll be fine…..right. Another note: once pacifist disarmed badguy, did he have the right to shoot him…according antigunists thinking? At any rate, he’s lost him membership in the “I’m a lover, not a fighter” club.

  34. avatar kevin says:

    There are no atheists in foxholes, and there are no pacifists in home invasions.

  35. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I have a hard time figuring this out. Pacifist or not, was he unaware that he was cultivating 200 pot plants, or that could get him years in prison (and probably will)? Sounds like it was a good time for the rural farmer’s answer for “protected” predators eating their profits; “Shoot, shovel. and shut up!”

  36. avatar Alan Rose says:

    Reality check! Avowed pacifist finds his inner warrior when confronted with death, shoots home invader with his own gun. Now he’s all conflicted. Hopefully he finds a path to peace with his actions.

  37. avatar JamesinHouston says:

    I was actually impressed that he was so adept with a cane he could disarm the perp. Takes some skill.

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