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Author: Andrew Branca

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Andrew Branca

Andrew F. Branca is in his third decade of practicing law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He wrote the first edition of the "Law of Self Defense" in 1997, and is currently in the process of completing the fully revised and updated second edition, which you can preorder now at lawofselfdefense.com. He began his competitive shooting activities as a youth in smallbore rifle, and today is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a Life Member and Master-class competitor in multiple classifications in the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA). Andrew has for many years been an NRA-certified firearms instructor in pistol, rifle, and personal protection, and has previously served as an Adjunct Instructor on the Law of Self Defense at the SigSauer Academy in Epping, NH. He holds or has held concealed carry permits for Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida, Utah, Virginia, and other states.

This past September 17, a white Saint Paul, MN, police officer shot and killed Ronald Davis, a black male. Within five days, organized protests took place against police brutality, complete with professionally printed signs and “Stop Killing People of Color” banners. This is how a “news” (actually propaganda) source, that self-identifies as focusing on “the People’s Struggle," described the shooting:
31-year-old Ronald Davis was a father, recently married, and had just graduated school. After allegedly bumping his vehicle into the back of a cop car, he stepped out of his vehicle and Mattson gunned him down.

On Friday, August 23 , 2019, a Florida jury convicted Michael Drejka, the handicap parking spot shooter who killed Markeis McGlockton, of manslaughter. As a result, at his September 10 sentencing hearing the 48-year-old Drejka will likely be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 25 years to life in prison, without possibility of early release.

Today’s post is prompted by a strange and horrifying knife attack—strange because it happened on a public street, and horrifying because it involved slashing attacks to the faces of two small children. As you might imagine I’ve been inundated with a single question: would deadly defensive force be lawful against such an attack. Naturally, the answer is both “yes” and ‘no.”

I’m seeing a lot of excitement in the gun community about the decision this week out of the Michigan court of appeals, People v. Siwatu-Salama. The drama around the decision represents some significant expansion of self-defense rights. The decision does nothing of the sort. It is no reason to get excited o. If anything, it does far more to create ambiguity around self-defense than it does to create certainty. To the extent it encourages the defensive display of firearms, it also substantially raises the legal risks for well-intentioned defenders.

The Florida “handicap parking spot shooting” trial of Michael Drejka starts this week, and accordingly news coverage of the case—by which, of course, I mean “media lying” about the case—can be expected to spike. An excellent example of such media lying is found in CNN. In today's post we step through that "news" report and fisk out the many lies within.

I’ve received a lot of requests to comment on the recent arrest of a man who walked into a Springfield, MO Walmart carrying a rifle, wearing body armor, and packing over 100 rounds of ammunition (all that according to news reports, of course). The man was held by gunpoint by another patron of the store, an off-duty firefighter, and turned over to responding Springfield police a few minutes later.

Five years ago, on this exact date, Eric Garner died while violently resisting lawful arrest for a petty crime. Yesterday the Department of Justice announced that there would be no civil rights charges against the police officer most associated with that arrest (although numerous officers were involved). This perfectly reasonable decision by the DOJ —- consistent with similar conclusions drawn by every other official review of this case, including that of a grand jury—has predictably led to confusion and outrage among the ill-informed, so it seems worth taking a moment to recollect the facts and law that apply to the Garner case.
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