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    Andrew Branca Tag

    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.

    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.

    It's hard to believe, but my first post here at Legal Insurrection was on June 5, 2013. Naturally, it was a post covering the murder trial of George Zimmerman, after Professor Jacobson noticed some of my comments on his own posts and kindly invited me to contribute to the site. I ended up watching every moment of the trial and reviewing every piece of evidence, and wrote about the trial and surrounding events rather extensively.

    Andrew Branca wrote the other day about his bet with CNN Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin, recorded on air at the Berkeley Law School Stand Your Ground debate, CNN analyst welches on bet after Andrew Branca wins “Stand-Your-Ground” Debate. The bet was over whether George Zimmerman was told not to leave his car when he was on the phone with 911 prior to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. When a panelist claimed Zimmerman was told not to leave his car, Branca offered a $100 wager that such an order never took place. CNN Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin took Branca up on the bet. It's on video: Of course, as anyone who followed the trial knows, there was no such instruction not to leave the car. The mention by the 911 operator that "we don't need you to do that" was not an order -- by the 911 operator's own testimony -- and in any event, took place after Zimmerman already had exited the car. See my long ago post, In busting Zimmerman myths, Jonathan Capehart perpetuates the greatest myth of all, in which I presented the transcript and video of trial testimony. According to Branca, Hostin has not paid the wager, even though he sent her the audio of the 911 call and has tweeted demands for payment to her. In his post yesterday, Andrew noted that there was an entry on Hostin's Wikipedia page regarding the Berkeley debate mentioning the wager and failure to pay. 

    The past several days I've been attending the National Rifle Associations's Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, having been invited to speak at the NRA's 17th Annual Firearms Law Symposium as part of the larger gathering. The Annual Meeting is a massive event, with something on the order of 70,000 people attending, hundreds of exhibiting vendors covering more than 9 acres of exhibit space, and talks by pro-2nd Amendment Senators, Governors, and television/radio personalities. Given that context, my own little talk on Stand-Your-Ground ranks perhaps among the most modest of the Annual Meeting's constituent components. Even taken just within the context of the other Firearms Law Symposium--which included such well-known civil rights scholars as Stephen Halbrook and David Kopel, as well as Indiana Supreme Court Justice Stephen David (whose talk was particularly outstanding)--I was a small fish, indeed. Nevertheless, I've received repeated requests for video of my small talk, and I aim to please. Much of the substantive content of the talk--and, really, I talk substantively only for about 25 minutes--will be familiar to those who have previously seen my Stand-Your-Ground commentary from the pro-SYG victory at the UC Berkeley debate, from my posts here and elsewhere, or from my book and seminars. In the interests of avoiding a straight-forward droning delivery of the law, I've interlaced what humor I could into the talk, and in particular the last four minutes or so consists of the "Downfall" parody that was prepared following CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin's refusal to honor her "Zimmerman wager" with me following the Berkeley debate, as covered at length here: CNN analyst welches on bet after Andrew Branca wins “Stand-Your-Ground” Debate.
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