Confirmed pacifist and probable hippie Mark Richardson, 59, was the victim of a violent home invasion at his New Mexico home/pot farm. According to KOAT Albuquerque and other sources, James Garcia, 31, made entry into Mr. Richardson’s grow operation and domicile early Friday morning, pepper-sprayed the dog, and took a shot at Mr. Richardson.
According to his lawyer, Mr. Richardson is an avowed pacifist and is completely traumatized. He is also authorized under New Mexico law to grow a limited amount of marijuana for medicinal use.
Growing any marijuana is still a crime under federal law.
According to police, the pacifist used his cane to disarm his assailant and used the intruder’s gun to kill him.
This brings us to some interesting questions:
Which came first, the marijuana operation or the idea to rob one?
What level of threat does it take to make an idealist face reality?
The first thing that we have to admit to ourselves is that the victim in this was himself possibly engaged in state and federal felonies at the time he was attacked due to the large number of plants being grown. We also have to admit that the fact that he may have been the largest supplier to his town of 3000 probably played a HUGE factor in Mr. Garcia’s decision to rob him. He had over 200 plants and a large amount of cash on hand when he was attacked in his home.
One could safely assume that a slight amount of victim-blaming, in this case, could be expected and frankly, deserved.
However, as reprehensible as Mr. Richardson’s life choices were, until his operation was dismantled by authorities, aging pacifist hippies living in what could be considered “Commune Central” are not known for their violent criminal activities and, as a state licensee to grow pot for personal medicinal use, has presumably gone through some kind of background check to ensure that he was not a violent criminal before he began growing marijuana.
So, how does this make him a Good Guy with a Gun? We will admit that this is, indeed, stretching the definition of “good” to include non-violent violators of federal and state law (even though he will most likely not be prosecuted).
He falls into this category because, when faced with a reality which directly contradicted his hippie ideals, he adapted and overcame to employ speed, surprise, and violence of action against an attacker (who was DEFINITELY not expecting it) to overcome him and prevail in the encounter.
Note well, though, that Mr. Richardson is now undergoing a severe mental and emotional disturbance as he struggles to come to grips with what he has done. It cannot be easy to find that, after presumably a lifetime of devout non-violence that you are capable of extreme violence when your life depends on it. We empathize with him in this and wish him a speedy recovery.
What this means to our friends and clients, is that while you may be more prepared to repel violent assault, you need to be aware of the emotional aftermath. Taking a life is something that WILL cause severe emotional trauma and disturbances which can last a lifetime. But it may very well be a longer lifetime than if you simply sit there and wait to be assaulted.
Stay safe, stay situationally aware, and remember: You Are Your Own First Responder