The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is among the most aggressive groups in seeking to limit, if not eliminate, the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear Arms.

CSGV also attacks so-called Stand Your Ground laws through misleading accounts of what happened in the Trayvon Martin shooting by George Zimmerman.  This CSGV video released about a month after the Not Guilty verdict, received a lot of attention:

The video was highly misleading as it related to the actual facts of the case.  One of the harshest critics was Andrew Branca, a contributor at Legal Insurrection and author of The Law of Self Defense.

Branca, whose extensive coverage of the Zimmerman trial received national attention, wrote a blistering critique of the video, Deceptive Trayvon Martin Shooting Reenactment Video Released (emphasis added):

The video is highly deceptive, and nothing more than a continuation of the propaganda campaign about the case.

Had they felt any affinity for the truth, they might have mentioned Martin’s emerging from the darkness to fell Zimmerman with a blow the neighborhood watch volunteer never saw coming, a blow that hit with such force that it broke Zimmerman’s nose, and which he described to police that same night as feeling as if he had been hit by a brick.

Had they felt any affinity for the truth, they might have mentioned Zimmerman’s many and numerous injuries about the head and face, especially those caused by Martin striking Zimmerman’s head on a cement sidewalk, with any single blow capable of being the one that turned Zimmerman into a drooling vegetable or simply taking his life.

Had they felt any affinity for the truth, they might have mentioned Martin’s long record of school violence, his engagement in street fighting, his apparent drug use, his apparent gun dealing, and his self-expressed desire to beat his victims until they had suffered “enough”.

Had they felt any affinity for the truth, they might have mentioned Zimmerman’s long history of affectionate and communal relationship with black neighbors throughout his life, from his childhood to the present day, or indeed Zimmerman’s own mixed-race background.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence tried for decades, under various guises and name changes, to seize the guns of law-abiding citizens. They failed. They tried to limit the right of the citizenry to carry arms for personal protection, they failed.

By demanding a legal duty to retreat from a felonious attacker they weaken the position of the law-abiding armed citizen who sought no fight and strengthen the hand of the felony criminal who possessed all the power to choose when, where, and how to launch his vicious attack, robbery, or rape of his intended victim.

Here is a screenshot from the video, purporting to show that the law should protect victims.

Trayvon Martin Reenactment - Coalition To Stop Gun Violence screenshot

In fact, the law does protect victims. Victims like George Zimmerman, who didn’t have to suffer brain injury or death before he could defend himself with deadly force.

Branca’s coverage of the Zimmerman trial has led to numerous media appearances, including a lengthy interview on German television.

Branca also has received invitations to speak at law schools.  He  and I spoke at Cornell Law School at the invitation of the Cornell Law Second Amendment Club.  Branca also has been invited to speak about the Zimmerman case and the law of self defense at Campbell University Law School and U.C. Berkeley Law School.

CSGV apparently feels that Branca’s views on the Zimmerman case should not be heard on law school campuses.  CSGV has gone through Branca’s Twitter feed to find tweets CSGV characterizes as celebrating Martin’s death.  Accordingly, CSGV has started urging others not to provide Branca “a platform”:

Twitter - Coalition to Stop Handgun Violence - Andrew Branca Campbell!/CoalitiontoStopGunViolence/posts/824787670882133?stream_ref=5

Twitter - Coalition to Stop Gun Violence - Branco Berkeley

I don’t think CSGV’s characterization of Branca celebrating Martin’s death is fair.  Branca certainly is blunt (to put it mildly) on Twitter, but he’s celebrating the fact that we have self-defense laws, including Stand Your Ground, which allow people who are being beaten to a bloody pulp to use deadly force in self-defense.

But let’s say, for argument sake only, that CSGV’s characterization were accurate.  Does that mean Branca should be banned from campuses?  Do we have so little faith in law students, and the professors who invite Branca, that we cannot allow his opinions and analyses to be heard?  Is that where gun control advocacy has led us, that we must shut down opposing speech in order for gun control ideas to prevail?

How about questioning Branca about the tweets, confronting him with alternative views, and seeking a better understanding of the self-defense issues? That what the reporter did in the video below.  Kudos also to the law professor for defending the invitation:

“Our students learn best when they are presented with point, counterpoint, pros and cons on various issues, so we don’t shy away from having controversial speakers here at Campbell.”

On April 9, after I saw CSGV’s tweet regarding Campbell, I emailed CSGV’s communications director, as follows:

I’m writing about the appearance of Andrew Branca, who is a contributor at our website, at Campbell University Law School.

Specifically, CSGV tweeted out an objection to the law school giving Branca “a platform.”

Is it CSGV’s position that Branca should not be permitted to speak at public forums?

Please clarify CSGV’s position as soon as possible as I’m writing about this now.

I have not heard back, and since then, CSGV has added its objection to the Berkeley appearance.

We often hear it argued that diminution of 2nd Amendment rights is just the start, that what they really want is to suppress not just the right to keep and bear Arms, but also your political and other speech.

CSGV has offered us proof that those concerns are real, that they will not stop with your guns but also will come after your speech.

(Featured image source: Charlotte ABC11)


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