Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: John McAfee

John McAfee, the creator of the eponymously -named commercial antivirus software has had his share of troubles in recent years. Incidents such as fleeing the nation of Belize to avoid arrest by local police or losing much of his fortune in the Great Recession. Now the tech magnate has been arrested in Henderson Conuty, Tennessee, for driving under the influence, and possession of a firearm while intoxicated . . .

The Register has the story….

Paranoid wild man of infosec John McAfee was arrested in the US state of Tennessee over the weekend – and charged with driving under the influence, and possession of a handgun while intoxicated.

The charismatic ex-boss of security software biz McAfee can be seen grinning in his police mugshot.

McAfee the man, or at least one of his team, told El Reg via email on Tuesday evening: “Yes, I was arrested while under the influence of Xanax. It was a brand new prescription received the same day of the arrest, and the physician neglected to warn me about driving while taking it.

“As to the weapons, I always carry them and, unless one is impaired, they are legal to possess and carry.”

Xanax is a prescription anti-anxiety medication; its label states:

Because of its CNS depressant effects, patients receiving XANAX should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations or activities requiring complete mental alertness such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. For the same reason, patients should be cautioned about the simultaneous ingestion of alcohol and other CNS depressant drugs during treatment with XANAX.

Assuming all of the facts stated in the article cited above to be true, McAfee’s doctor clearly either didn’t know who he was dealing with or didn’t care. I say this because a recent article in the USA Today mentions that “the 69-year-old McAfee…has been described as ‘mysterious,’ ‘drug-addled,’ ‘insane,’ ‘manipulative’ and ‘brilliant.'” In short, if you’re going to prescribe this guy meds that interact badly with popular recreational drugs, you should probably put up a huge, flashing neon warning sign.

Still, I believe in individual responsibility, and if carrying a firearm isn’t something that requires “complete mental alertness”, I don’t know what is. If you carry every day, it’s your business to know how the drugs (prescription or otherwise) you’re ingesting affect your mental alertness, and there’s no excuse for being unaware of something that’s printed on the package insert or available online. Being sufficiently out of it to warrant an arrest for DUI while carrying a firearm is over the line, so I’d say that John has earned himself an Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day Award.

Let’s hope it doesn’t go to his head.


DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.




  1. avatar Dracon1201 says:

    He should really be jailed for the annoying and crap software he created.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      The present state of the software is out of his control. In the early days, it was good stuff.

    2. You can blame that annoying crapware on Intel, the current owner of the McAfee brand. Now, John’s insane moves have prompted Intel to ditch the McAfee name and go with Intel Security Suite or something like that. If you watch the linked video above, you’ll see that McAfee himself hates the software that has his name on it.

    3. avatar Don says:

      Just a matter of time with this guy. I just hope no one else gets hurt but I have a bad feeling that won’t be the case.

  2. avatar Joe ker says:

    Give me some money, Mac! You crazy sob – Don’t take it all with ya!

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Most of his money is long gone. The past decade or so has been one hell of a downhill slide for him. Actually, not quite so much “downhill” as “free-fall”.

  3. avatar Ted says:

    I have a hard time believing McAfee didn’t know anything at all about Xanax. I’m pretty sure he knows more about pharmaceuticals than he does about anti-virus software.

    1. avatar Steve Clark says:

      ^^^THIS. The man’s a genius when it comes to making drugs. I doubt it was even Xanex he was on.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      He probably knows more about pharmaceuticals than the average pharmacist.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    McAfee used to live in Belize. He fled Belize to avoid questioning about the murder of his neighbor.

    There are a lot of ways to die before one’s time. One of them is being McAfee’s neighbor, and another is being a passenger in his car.

  5. avatar John in Ohio says:

    Bullsnot. Plenty of people work and drive everyday on such medications. Cops drink and are armed. So are some of the rest of us. Make your own choices, Johannes Paulsen, but I won’t disarm. I haven’t in all of the years and I’m not about to do so now.

    I applaud and support John McAfee’s statement, “As to the weapons, I always carry them and, unless one is impaired, they are legal to possess and carry.”

  6. avatar Stan the man says:

    I agree with John in Ohio. Do I lose my freedom of speech if I’m drunk? Or my right to be secure in my home? Why should I lose my right to bear arms?

    People should be held accountable for their actions, regardless of their state of mind / level of impairment.

    1. avatar Paul Thomas says:

      You should lose the right to bear arms WHILE you are drunk, just as you should lose the right to bear car keys WHILE you are drunk. When you are sober, you can have both back.

      1. I looked over my copy of the constitution and the bill or rights. I think i’m missing something. Can you point out the section that spells out your right to a car, car keys, or driving. Maybe I don’t have an updated version.

        1. avatar Felix says:

          9th amendment.

      2. avatar Jordan says:

        Perhaps a more appropriate statement would/should be “you don’t lose the right to keep and bear arms or drive (even though driving is not a right per se) while drunk until you do something stupid to endanger others (which is a crime). That being said, it is a VERY bad idea to be drunk and drive or engage in gun related activities.”

        Not supporting being drunk and doing either as many people have paid a heavy price because others are incapable of handling their liquor and engaged in attention heavy activities but people shouldn’t have to check their rights at the bar room doors.

        1. avatar Paul Thomas says:

          No, I’m pretty happy with my first statement.

          – If you’re legally intoxicated, you don’t have the right to drive or carry a gun.
          – Your rights end where my rights begin, and I have the right not to get run over or shot by a legally intoxicated person.
          – Once you sober up, you can have those rights back with my blessing.

        2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “Your rights end where my rights begin”

          Excuse me. I don’t think you understand the term “unalienable” at all.

          You are COMPLETELY missing the notion of individual liberty as fought for by the Founders.

          My rights don’t END, bub. Get your mind around that and stop trying to be a Statist control freak.

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          If you’re legally intoxicated, you don’t have the right to drive or carry a gun.

          The right to bear arms doesn’t end when someone is intoxicated. If they lack the self control to not do something dangerous, criminal, or stupid with that firearm then it is morally wrong for them to carry. I didn’t disarm when I used to consume alcohol. None of my friends disarmed when they drank either. Nowadays, I rarely drink but when I do have a beer or two I don’t disarm.

        4. avatar Stuki Moi says:

          Just to pile in: Driving is a right, just as much as walking is. As is flying. And boating. And setting off in space shuttles. And doing anything else you pretty darned well please, as long as you don’t specifically step on others’ rights in the process. The entire, sorry pap about “driving is a privilege”, is simply more statist crap. Has no place in anything even pretending to be a free society.

        5. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @Stuki Moi: Aye. Sadly, it seems like fewer and fewer people know about the right to travel. Privileges are sneaky things. They’re even sneakier when a people accept them wholesale in place of the exercise of rights. A few generations later and nobody seems to remember that the right even existed.

      3. avatar Tim says:

        Thanks for inviting us to the world of pre-crime. You think I am more likely to do something wrong or stupid for one reason or another, so you choose to punish for that possibility preemptively.

        Stop and think about how scary that really is. Crimes happen when other people are harmed. If that harm is the result of negligence or recklessness, that should generally be in the civil tort realm.

        Please don’t advocate to expand our current pre-crime system to be any larger than it already is.

  7. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    John McAfee says the doctor didn’t warm him about Xanax? Xanax is a benzodiazepine and every druggy on the planet knows what Xanax, Valium and such is. So as far as that line of malarkey, Bu– SH–!!!
    Try again.

  8. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    “and possession of a handgun while intoxicated.”

    Another ridiculous law created by the nanny state panties in a knot crowd. The govt should be concerned with folks that act out and harm others. RF right now may be in possession of a lit cigar. Should he arrested for that? Who did he harm? If Mac had used his gun while impaired and it was a reckless use of the firearm then fine, arrest him. But I am personally sick of this “Dept of Pre-Crime” crap. “He COULD HAVE misused his firearm”. I really don’t care what “could have happened”. The dangerous part of this is that POTG buy into this nonsense.

    1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

      That should read…. RF right now may be in possession of a lit cigar and is armed. Should he arrested for that? Smoking is one of whole list of actions which affect brain function and reaction times.

  9. avatar Gunr says:

    If I start taking some sort of bad meds, can I have a swarm of young babes rubbing their butts on me? And, how can I get rid of my old lady while that’s going on?

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      McAfee is pretty funny. He lived with seven or eight women in Belize. He said that living with one woman is a nightmare, and two is also bad, but when you get more than five they start entertaining themselves.

      1. avatar anaxis says:

        That particular McAfee quote is pure money.

        But all things not being equal, I ditched his anti-virus bloatware a long time ago and went with ESET. It’s by far the most effective & unobtrusive anti-virus system I’ve found.

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “I ditched his anti-virus bloatware a long time ago “

          So did I. I installed Linux.

  10. avatar brentondadams says:

    Based on the uninstall video, I like him.

    Pass the bath salts

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      Yes. This. I would support many more large companies if their CEO’s made things like this.

  11. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    If anyone hasn’t watched that video, it’s hilarious.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      EDIT: Damned WordPress.

  12. avatar John Gancho says:

    Man, I bet it is fun to party with that guy! Can you imagine the stories? Glad he isn’t my neighbor, but I would love to go to his parties.

    1. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

      Get Charlie Sheen there and it was last a month or more.

  13. avatar GuyFromV says:

    I like McAfee, he has good reasons to have a gun on him, plus he’s a bit nuts. Also, he has nothing to do with the current state of his eponymous AV software crap.

  14. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    Yeah right, as if any experienced druggy needs a doctor to warm them of the effects of Xanax.

  15. avatar God says:

    An accomplished ammosexual. Which is unusual since most ammosexuals live in their mamma’s basement and post on Stormfront regularly.

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