It was mid-afternoon when I received the phone call.  Would I be interested in participating on a panel discussing the Zimmerman case and self-defense law in general, to be hosted on KPCC, the Los Angeles area National Public Radio station?  Meh, why not, I told them.  And there I was, on hold with my iPhone waiting to “go live,” and thinking: boy, didn’t they see any of my trial tweets?  Why would NPR want me on the air?

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The show was AirTalk with Larry Mantle. Unsurprisingly, I’d never heard of either the show now Larry, but then my home hunting grounds in Boston were a considerable distance away.  The others on the panel (although we weren’t all on at the same time) included Brian T. Dunn, a sensible sounding lawyer from the California office of the Cochran Firm, Lawrence Rosenthal, a Professor of Law at Chapman University and Jon Greenbaum, Chief Council for Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, and Stanley Goldman, Professor of Criminal Law at Stanford Law School and an old-school gun control fascist–he’s the third voice on my segment of the show.

And, me, your humble correspondent.

I didn’t hear the entirety of the hour-long program–hey, I’ll suffer for my craft, but only so much–but did start listening a few minutes before they promised to put me live.  Professor Goldman was going on about how the reason Florida v. Zimmerman was such a debacle was because of it’s crazy “Stand Your Ground” law, and how the outcome would have been infinitely more sane had the case been tried, for example, in California.  Florida’s SYG law, he explained, gave individuals egregious powers to kill others, above and beyond that found anywhere else in America.

And then I was live.

Larry Mantle: “I know that there are supporters of George Zimmerman who feel he never should have been on trial, to have him even face these charges was malfeasance.  What is your opinion about his, particularly looking at it fro a self-defense standpoint?”

Andrew Branca: “Well, I certainly agree with that, and I’d like to talk to that. But before we do , I’ve been listening to the show on hold while it’s been going on, and I hear a lot of discussion about how Florida has this crazy stand-your-ground law that creates these unique legal scenarios. The fact is Florida’s stand-your-ground law is quite common, 33 states are effectively SYG states and have very similar provisions.  In fact there is one state that not only lets you to stand your ground, it explicitly allows you to pursue your assailant if necessary for your safety.  And that state is California [where the station is located].


There was more fun antics of that nature, including my closing line: “the permissible number of times my kids can have their heads bashed on the sidewalk by Trayvon Martin is zero”.  To listen to the whole thing, see below.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, #LOSD2

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,” now available at and also at as either a hardcopy or in Kindle version.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter on @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Many thanks to Professor Jacobson for the invitation to guest-blog on the Zimmerman trial here on Legal Insurrection!


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