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Stand-Your-Ground: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why It’s Important

Stand-Your-Ground: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why It’s Important

Law of Self Defense Launches Weekly Video/Podcasts, Episode 1.

Well, I’ve finally gotten around to launching the Law of Self Defense weekly video/podcasts, and Professor Jacobson was kind enough to let me make a post about it here.

This first episode I knew I’d be struggling with IT issues–and, indeed, I am–so I kept the subject matter relatively simple.

This first ~23 minute post is on a pet peeve of mine, which is Stand-Your-Ground, and the many ways in which people misunderstand, misapply, and miscommunicate this relatively straightforward legal concept.

Hence: “Stand-Your-Ground: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why It’s Important.”

I prepared both a videocast–which functions like a slide presentation, with my dulcet tones stepping the viewer through the slides–as well as a audio-only podcast–which is essentially just the audio track of the videocast. There’s nothing in the slides that I don’t cover verbally, but I know some folks respond better to visual information content, so there it is.

The videocast is hosted on Youtube, as that seemed the most straightforward approach:

The podcast will eventually be available on iTunes (and, in fact, it’s kind of halfway on there, but I’m still struggling with getting that quite right). Hopefully, by next week everyone will be able to simply subscribe to the Law of Self Defense podcasts on iTunes in the normal fashion.

In the meantime, for those interested in an audio-only version without having to wait for me to sort out iTunes, at present you can listen to that via this method:

If you right-click (or, if you’re on a Mac like me, control-click) you ought to be able to save the audio file to your hard drive. It’s an MP3 file, and can easily be imported into iTunes or played on any manner of MP3 players.

UPDATE: I’m told I was remiss in not providing an “RSS feed”, as if I was supposed to know what that was. 🙂 Anyway, here it is:

I’m always interested in topic suggestions for future video/podcast episodes, so if any come to mind please feel free to send them to me at podcast at lawofselfdefense dot com.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.


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GO, Andrew!!

A few nights ago a much frequented(including by me) 7-11 here in Winter Park, Florida, was the scene of a stand your ground Baa-Daa-Bing incident: A customer exited the store after a purchase, got in his car and was approached by an armed hold-up twerp attempting to take what wasn’t his. The customer reached for his pistol(We can carry loaded pistols in our vehicles here in Florida)and promptly shot the scumbag to death. LOVE IT.

A case you might want to look into. Preston Oates shoot and killed Carlos Olivera in SC. Oates has been denied the use of SYG by a judge, and selfdefense doesn’t fly when a neighbors security cam shows you firing 4 shots in the guys back and then walking over and firing 2 more as he’s on the ground.

    Based on your comment:

    (1) It doesn’t sound like there’s that much to look into from a self-defense perspective; and

    (2) I encourage you listen to my SYG video/podcast. You can’t be “denied the use of SYG,” it’s a meaningless phrase. I suspect you means “self-defense immunity.” And if the facts are as you describe I can only say, of course he was.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      genes in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 6, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      The SC SYG seems to require that you declare at time of contact with police, or have a hearing if you decide later that you want to use it. At least that seems to be the case from the news coverage. I may be mistaken because I have relied on their coverage, not having contacts in the Sheriffs Dept..
      The peculiarities of the law are one of the things you might want to look at.
      I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that the prosecution is only going for voluntary manslaughter. I think they could make a case for First Degree from the last 2 shoots.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to genes. | June 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm

        The last place you want to acquire an understanding of SYG or any self-defense question is from the news media. Watch the video.

Henry Hawkins | June 6, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Went to your website, clicked on Ask Andrew to enter a Q, was instructed to “enter it below”, but there was nothing below, just a blank white space and then the bottom gray box for Disclaimer and Recent Tweets.

Andrew – the audio keeps cutting out in the video. Are you using a voice or button triggered mic for recording? It drops 1-3 syllables at the end of every sentence.

    Eh, I hope it’s not EVERY sentence. I think it’s mostly at the start and gets better.

    Yeah, they were using a “noise gate” (?) to cut down on background noise (like the “clack” of the keyboard key when I progressed from one slide to the next), and I guess it was set to high for when my vocal volume dropped at the end of sentences.

    My recollection is that nothing important was really missed, but that it WAS annoying. Our bad. We’ll fix it for the next one.


    Goes without saying, although I forgot to say it, thanks for the heads up. Only way for us to get better is when good folks let us know where things have gone wrong. We’re often so brain-focused on the production side of things that we don’t have a good sense for the reception side of things–so feedback from all of you is really essential.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    I’ll see, too, if that’s something we can fix retroactively–it might be a “layer” they apply to the original recording that can be stripped off.

    If it sounds like I don’t really know what I’m talking about in this regard–you’ve go it. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      I do some light video editing – if you recorded it with a voice trigger, you’re out of luck.

      Next time, either use a button trigger (Held not toggle) to turn the mic on/off, or do the audio separate from the video to eliminate keyboard noise.

Henry Hawkins | June 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm

OK, folks. I’ll be in the lobby taking book on who and when the first joke gets made.

If it had been proven that Zimmerman had flashed his weapon upon confronting Travon Martin would he have lost his claim to self defense?

    Well, he probably can’t “lose” his claim to self-defense–you make your claim and the jury decides whether or not they buy it.

    That said, had there been ANY evidence that Zimmerman had been the aggressor, rather than Trayvon Martin, it would have changed the narrative considerably against Zimmerman. The initial aggressor can generally not claim self-defense (unless, of course, they “regain innocence” by one of the generally accepted paths).

    Fortunate for Zimmerman, then, that there was never even a scintilla of evidence of anything of the sort.


    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Gremlin1974 | June 6, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Great Pod/video-cast. I just love having stuff I can P.O. silly liberals with.

Many groups, and not a few people, have a vested interest in misrepresenting SYG laws. Basically, all a SYG law is, in most places, is a statutory declaration that a person has no legal necessity to withdraw from any place where he has a legal right to be nor does he have any legal necessity to submit to the will of another person, except for one duly authorized to exercise such will and who is doing so under law. This is all pretty basis stuff and it infringes upon the rights of no one.

The only people who do not benefit from SYG laws, are criminals. In places where the right of the individual to be in a place where he is legally entitled to be and to use equal force to resist the infringement upon his rights, by another is not allowed, the criminal reigns supreme.

This means that people who protest SYG laws are actually supporting the “rights” of criminals to prey upon other members of society without fear of those victims resisting violently.

Phillep Harding | June 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I’m behind a pretty hefty filter, with bandwidth limitations (amazing that this site has not been put on the filter list). Local ISPs are really useless for a variety of reasons. Mind putting up text?