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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book review: The Law of Self Defense

A book written by Andrew F Branca.

Andrew Branca is an attorney in MA, as well as a CCW permit-holder, life NRA member, NRA instructor and has studied with Massad Ayoob. As such, he is pretty qualified to speak on self-defense issues.

What brought me to Branca was his coverage on Legal Insurrection of the George Zimmerman trial, along with his insightful commentary and daily wrap-ups. It was also very interesting to read the ongoing comments during the trial. Branca was actively engaged in the discussion and I gathered he knew what it was that he was talking about. So I took advantage of one of his manyt discount offers during th3e Zimmerman trial and bought the book.

Never having read a book about self-defense I wasn't sure what to expect, but I quickly got into Branca's writing, It was clear and easy to understand, devoid of legal jargon and humorous at times.

Branca's method is to describe the legal process, as far as the things that will cause a prosecutor to look favorably on your situation, meaning a case in which he might have to work. He then takes you through the relevant issues that will be involved and tells you what the law (and prudence) expects.

What is very helpful is that, as he discusses the issues Branca provides information from all 50 states on what the law is regarding those issues (SYG, defense-of-property, etc).

All in all I would recommend this book. Andrew also maintains a blog at where he answers specific questions posted to him. He also gives seminars which are a live version of his book. Check his web site for specific information.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Even if you're law-abiding ...

... you should probably pay attention:

Speaking on the incident Fort Worth police Cpl. Tracey Knight said, “Officers felt threatened by the man with the handgun and he was shot.”
Yep, they were at the wrong house and killed a 72 yr old grandfather who was checking on his neighbor after he heard the burglar alarm.

But don't worry, the officers were sobbing uncontrollably so you know they felt bad.


Monday, July 29, 2013

New shooter ...

... after-action report.

So, my nephew was visiting my dad and his wife the last two weeks, and I went up a day early to collect my daughter and took the extra day to take Garrett shooting. Garrett lives outsiede of Chicago and as such has limited opportunity to shoot real firearms. He told me that he'd shot every other kind of gun ... BB gun, pellet gun, airsoft gun even a nail gun ... but no real guns.

So I packed up some firearms and we went to a public range to do some familiarization fire (fam fire to those in the military!).

The subjects were a Savage MkII bolt action and Ruger GP100 w/ 6" barrel I borrowed from my son (the GP100 was his 21st birthday present) and I brought a Ruger 22/45, my carry gun - a Ruger SR1911 and my FN-FAL (Entriprise built on an Imbel receiver).

Now Garrett has obviously played quite a few shooter video games and was able to identify the FAL and SR1911 by sight. After I showed him all of the firearms and explained the differences, we loaded up the 22/45 and started shooting!

Despite none of the weapons being sighted-in adequately he did surprisingly well, accuracy-wise. We had a  pack of shoot n' see targets, as well as a few I printed out, as well as a couple of over-ripe cantelopes which provided much enjoyment.

All together he put about 150 rds downrange and apparently enjoyed himself. I hope his experience encourages him to keep up with it and prod his dad into taking him out sometime, maybe to an Appleseed. We'll see!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm reading Andrew Branca's ...

... Law of Self-Defense.

I ordered it during the Zimmerman trial (Mr Branca's coverage was stellar) and it came Monday.

The Zimmerman trial was very interesting to me as it was the first trial that I'd followed religiously, and as such was very enlightening. So far, Branca's book seems well worth the price. I'll try to review it when I'm done.


Friday, July 19, 2013

I will have the honor ...

... of taking a young man shooting for the first time next week.

My step-mom's grandson is visiting from Illinois and has never been shooting before. So I'm packing up weapons and taking a trip to introduce the lad.

Expect some pictures and an after-action report soon after.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Why Fox News ...

... is just as bad as the others:

It's always the same things, according to the media: We got sloppy. We're not perfect. Sometimes a story is "just too good to resist," whether it's true or not.

But let's look at this "too good a story to resist." The writer successfully diagnoses the Zimmerman coverage as the media attempting to simplify a complicated story, in which the facts are simultaneously messy and unknowable, into a childishly unsophisticated White Hat/Black Hat Narrative. 

Fine. But why does the media always choose the same predictable Designated Heroes for its simplistic Narrative, and the same Designated Villains?
 Has Fox News ever, ever substantially taken any other tack about any other story than the one taken by every other network?!

I'm just about to the point where I openly mock my relatives when they say Fox News is the best, but I might need their help building my workshop. Maybe in a few weeks ...


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This is why the NRA ...

... needs to stop pedaling this particular tricycle:

Since Florida has tied firearms to minimum sentencing laws, the real reason Marissa Alexander will sit in a jail cell for the next 20 years is because of gun control legislation, whether the media wants to admit it or not.
In the effort to show how 'tough' they are about those who misuse firearms in crime they've made it easy for folks to be subject to unreasonable sentences just because they used a gun.

Trust me, the victim of an aggravated assault cares not whether a gun of a big stick was used.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Massad Ayoob ...

... talks about the Zimmerman persecution:

The verdict is now in, and I’m gonna smooth those teethmarks off my tongue, and in the next few entries here will discuss some elements of the Zimmerman case which have been widely and profoundly misunderstood.
Since Mas is living in FL now, you can bet your last dollar that he knows the law inside and out ... not to mention his lifetime of practical self-defense knowledge. I'll be looking forward to hearing what he has to say!


Monday, July 15, 2013

The aftermath ...

... of the Zimmerman trial.

After having watched most of the trial and the pressers (including the post-verdict) I am of the impression that Mark O'Mara and Don West have earned every penny of their fee. In addition, Mr O'Mara showed exceptional grace in his victory, expressing no ill will even though he had every right to brag and toot his own horn. Don West was less constrained but still didn't unload like he could have (and was trying hard not to!).

O'Mara did have a choice comment for the reporter who wanted to ask just one more question - how the media aided and abetted Zimmermans prosecution and how they needed to examine how they were fed a narrative (by the racial grievance industry) and ran with it, uncritically.

As for the prosecution, O'Mara still has sanction motions that need to be ruled on, and he needs to appeal any that he does not win. After all, it's immaterial that Zimmerman was acquitted - the prosecution still played fast and loose with the evidence.

Second, O'Mara needs to put together his ground for an appeal even though he won. He needs to do this and submit it to the bar association with a request that Judge Nelson be investigated to determine if she is suitable to be on the bench ... any bench.

Angela Corey and Bernie de la Rionda at the very least should be investigated for possible disbarment, and John Guy and Rich Mantei should be sanctioned (and resign).

Political pressure needs to be brought to bear to have Pam Bondi resign - period. Political pressure also needs to be brought to bear on national politicians to discourage civil rights charges, but because this is politics I have no illusions that any of it will happen.

Regardless, I'm thankful that George Zimmerman is free and at least has a chance at a normal life.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How it could have ...

... gotten so out of whack:

Zimmerman is the latest Bernie Goetz; another wholly unlikely cult figure who currently campaigns for vegetarian lunches in public schools and squirrel rescue. It's not that the two men had anything particularly in common. Unlike Goetz, it is very unlikely that Zimmerman jumped the gun, so to speak, but they both fill a similar niche. They represent the embattled lower half of the middle class.
The defense of George Zimmerman will likely rest today, so with closing arguments that will take most of tomorrow the jury should have it by Friday.

My sincere hope is that the jury has listened to the evidence and will quickly reach a verdict of Not Guilty before close of business on Friday.


Monday, July 8, 2013

this is why we don't go to the media ...

... to get firearms advice:

Savage pointed out that Zimmerman’s gun had the safety off and a bullet chambered, leading him to believe that the “neighborhood watchman” had gone out looking for a violent confrontation.
I've always been ambivalent about Michael Savage, mnever having really listened to him ... now I'm glad I haven't.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Aaron's monthly opportunity ...

... to win stuff!

Why should it take 20 weeks to figure out ...

... if you've been raped or incested?
So no, I don’t stand with Wendy. Nor do most women, as it turns out. According to a June National Journal poll, 50 percent of women support, and 43 percent oppose, a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, except in cases of rape and incest.
I've got no legal problem with abortion in the case of rape or incest, but at the same time I would require that someone be charged as a pre-requisite.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

She just might ...

... do it:

Palin hinted that she is open to the thought of going independent and said that if the GOP continues to stray from its conservative roots, others in the party would do the same.
I'm no political scientist, but I do know that there are a lot of people who have been voting for Republicans while holding their noses. This new party would only serve as a spoiler, though ... taking votes away from only the GOP.

I wonder why they don't consider joining the Libertarians?


Monday, July 1, 2013

If you were a military plane ...

... what military plane would you be?

The quiz says I'm a B-52 but I want to be an A-10!