News/Q&A Show: Sept. 10, 2020

Welcome to this episode of our ONLY open-access content, our weekly News/Q&A Show. You’ll find video and a transcript of today’s show below (transcript below my signature).

Be sure to mark your calendar to never miss a News/Q&A Show–they air LIVE every Thursday, at 4pM ET of the Law of Self Defense Members Dashboard, our Facebook page, and our Youtube channel, and playback recordings are available on each of those platforms.

CCW Safe:  Our Sponsor

Now before we jump into the substance of today’s show, I do, of course, need to mention today’s sponsor, CCW Safe, a provider of legal service memberships, what many people mistakenly call self-defense insurance. They in effect promise to pay their member’s legal expenses if their member is involved in a use of force event.

And those expenses start big and get bigger, fast, folks. For example, aggravated assault, where you were threatened, you displayed your gun, you didn’t fire a shot didn’t hurt anybody. You’re looking at a retainer to your lead counsel in the order of $30,000 to $50,000. And that’s for pre-trial work, folks, that’s not for going to trial. If it’s a murder, case, manslaughter or murder, you’re easily looking at $100,000 or $200,000 pre-trial expense, and just multiply that for the trial.

So, if you don’t have that kind of money stuffed in your mattress, it can be useful to have a financial partner standing behind you to make sure you have the resources you need to fight the legal battle, the way you want it fought—as if your life depended on it. Because, really, it does.  And that’s what CCW Safe offers to do.

There are several companies out there that offer similar services. I’ve looked at all of them, as you might imagine, and I found that CCW Safe is the best fit for me personally.  I’m personally a member of CCW Safe, my wife Emily is personally a member of CCW Safe.

Whether they’re the best fit for you is something only you can decide. But I do encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer by clicking the image or link below:

And if you do decide to become a member of CCW Safe, you can save 10% off your membership at that URL, using the discount code LOSD10.

In today’s News/Q&A Show for September 10, 2020 we touched on the following use-of-force topics in this news this past week:

  • Rittenhouse Case: Difference between Provocation/Initial Aggressor v. Provocation with Intent, and effect on self-defense claim
  • Is Rittenhouse getting the dream-team legal defense his funding and circumstances warrant?
  • Importance of defense team jumping on these cases early and hard
  • Qualify of defense team can make or break a verdict regardless of the underlying facts and law
  • Milwaukee criminal defense attorney demonstrates he doesn’t understand self-defense law
  • USCCA “update” on two-year anniversary of USCCA Platinum member Kayla Giles shooting her estranged husband
  • Difference between “mere threat” with gun and “actual use” of gun, public policy considerations
  • Media provides propaganda cover for Jacob Blake: “He’s just a rapist rapist, not a child rapist.”
  • Grifters exploiting fund-raising for Ahmaud Arbery; could same happen with Rittenhouse?

And we touched on the following questions:

  • Does it make sense to buy CCW-type insurance if you don’t carry a firearm, but carry only a knife?
  • Why don’t prosecutors charge Gaige Grosskreutz (shot-in-arm guy) as a felon in possession?
  • Expanded on threat v. use of force, re: Texas Penal Code 9.04
  • My Lethal Force Institute 1 Certificate on wall behind me!
  • And more!

THIS WEEK ONLY! Our “Rittenhouse Bundle” of Courses

Inspired by the Kyle Rittenhouse case, and prompted by the many questions we’ve received about that case, here’s a bundle of our most essential Law of Self Defense Courses at a 60% discount, saving about $300, and all offered in online, streamed format for INSTANT access!

    1. Law of Self Defense ADVANCED Course (8+ hours, normally $199)
    2. Law of Self Defense State-specific Supplement Course (normally $99)
    3. Defense of Property Course (normally $99)
    4. Lawful Defense Against Rioters, Looters & Arsonists Course (normally $99)

Normally these four courses bought individually would cost a total of $496.

Order them THIS WEEK ONLY as our “Rittenhouse Bundle” and get them ALL for only $199, a savings of 60% or about $300!

This offer ENDS on Sunday, September 13, however, so don’t delay grab your “Rittenhouse Bundle” by clicking the image or link below NOW!

Enjoy the video of the show by clicking the image below.  (A transcript of the show follows my signature, and the podcast version of the show can be accessed at the Law of Self Defense Members-only Podcast.)

Enjoy the show!

Two-Week Law of Self Defense Trial Membership: Just 99 cents!

If you enjoy this kind of content and would like to get more, I’ve got great news—you can try out Law of Self Defense Membership for two weeks for a mere 99 cents—even better, in the unlikely event you decide it’s not for you during those two weeks, let us know and we’ll refund not just 100% of your money, but 200% of your money.  That’s a negative risk offer, folks.

Really, it’s hard to imagine why you anyone wouldn’t try  out Law of Self Defense Membership for 99 cents for two weeks.

Now, after the two-week trial, membership does go to the normal cost, which is still a very low, ~33 cents a day, less than $10 a month. Obviously, if you don’t feel the content we provide is worth 33 cents a day you shouldn’t become a member but I would hope that most of you would agree that it is, especially the content you won’t be able to get moving forward unless you’re a Member.

Plus, as a Law of Self Defense Member not only do you get access to our great Law of Self Defense content, you also get commenting member’s only chat and commenting privileges at the Law of Self Defense web site, so you can continue to participate and learn past the end of any LIVE show.

You can learn more about our 99-cent, 200% money back guarantee, two-week membership trial by clicking the image or link below:



The Law of Self Defense content you’re about to enjoy is presented for general educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, consult competent legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.

Okay, everybody, welcome. Welcome. Welcome to this week’s episode of the Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show.  For anybody who might not know I am attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense. Thank you very much. We always get a lot of new people. New to the Law of Self Defense community on our weekly News/Q&A Show. This is the only content we produce each week that’s open-access folks, most of our content at Law of Self Defense is restricted to our Law of Self Defense Members. I’ll talk about that more later. But our weekly Thursday live News/Q&A Show is open access.

So welcome to all of you who are new to Law of Self Defense, we do our News/Q&A Show every Thursday at 4pm. Eastern time. We broadcast it live on Facebook, on YouTube and for the Law of Self Defense Members on their member dashboard over at the Law of Self Defense website. So I encourage you to bookmark your calendar so you don’t have to miss an episode of this every Thursday 4pm Eastern Time, the Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show.

If you’d like to submit questions to us ahead of time, if you’re a Law of Self Defense Member, we urge you to use your dashboard for that because you’ll be prioritized. Everybody else can send questions in for our consideration to show@lawofselfdefense.

And what we do in the show is we cover some interesting use of force law news that’s been in the media, has been brought to my attention seems to be of particular interest to the self-defense community, and as well as answer questions that have been sent in to us beforehand, or that are asked live during the show. You can also ask questions during the show, just using the comments field on whatever platform you’re joining us on the Law of Self Defense Member dashboard or Facebook or YouTube

For those who are really new to Law of Self Defense, of course, as the name implies, we are a law practice that focuses on nothing but use of force law meaning defense of yourself, defense of others, defensive property, that’s all we do. We don’t have a generalized legal practice we do only use a force law. So that’s what you can expect to receive from us in all of our content.

Alright, so I think we’ve had time for people to start joining. Again, folks, if you could hit that share arrow if you’re on Facebook, hit that like button and thumbs up button, that would be appreciated, comment with your city and state if you’re watching live, all of that helps us grow the Law of Self Defense community. Obviously Facebook or YouTub, any social media, is not inclined to do that themselves on our behalf. So we need to be a little tricky to encourage them to help promote us.

Before I jump into the substance of the show. I would like of course to mention our sponsor, which is CCW.

CCW Safe:  Our Sponsor

Now before we jump into the substance of today’s show, I do, of course, need to mention today’s sponsor, CCW Safe, a provider of legal service memberships, what many people mistakenly call self-defense insurance. They in effect promise to pay their member’s legal expenses if their member is involved in a use of force event.

And those expenses start big and get bigger, fast, folks. For example, aggravated assault, where you were threatened, you displayed your gun, you didn’t fire a shot didn’t hurt anybody. You’re looking at a retainer to your lead counsel in the order of $30,000 to $50,000. And that’s for pre-trial work, folks, that’s not for going to trial. If it’s a murder, case, manslaughter or murder, you’re easily looking at $100,000 or $200,000 pre-trial expense, and just multiply that for the trial.

So, if you don’t have that kind of money stuffed in your mattress, it can be useful to have a financial partner standing behind you to make sure you have the resources you need to fight the legal battle, the way you want it fought—as if your life depended on it. Because, really, it does.  And that’s what CCW Safe offers to do.

There are several companies out there that offer similar services. I’ve looked at all of them, as you might imagine, and I found that CCW Safe is the best fit for me personally.  I’m personally a member of CCW Safe, my wife Emily is personally a member of CCW Safe.

Whether they’re the best fit for you is something only you can decide. But I do encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer by clicking the image or link below:

And if you do decide to become a member of CCW Safe, you can save 10% off your membership at that URL, using the discount code LOSD10.

Now, obviously the big story in the news these days is the Kyle Rittenhouse case. Those of you who are Law of Self Defense Members have been getting a relatively constant stream of content, legal analysis, of that case from us within 24 hours of that event occurring. In fact, we had our first legal analysis up the in-depth legal analysis of this case, folks, this one piece of member content, a blog post a video a podcast, was by itself an hour and a half long. Really, it’s almost a mini course, in use of force law all by itself, exclusive, of course, to Law of Self Defense Members (click any image to go to that blog post).

And as you might expect, it includes to a reasonable degree of legal certainty that Kyle Rittenhouse his use of force, both in the parking lot in the street afterwards easily qualifies as lawful self defense.

But that’s not the only piece we did on Kyle Rittenhouse. Very soon thereafter, we had our next blog post for our members detailing what exactly prosecutors will have to disprove in order to convict Kyle of the criminal charges brought against them.

We also explored why so many of the criminal charges brought against Kyle are based on recklessness rather than an intentional use of force. Some of that may be surprising to you.

And once we discovered, of course, that the three primary people against whom Kyle used force had to say the least sketchy backgrounds, including reported gun law violations reported domestic abuse violations, in one case reports of multiple counts of child molestation we explored in another blog post to what degree it was likely or unlikely that the defense would be able to get this character evidence about these attackers have Kyle in front of the jury in the courtroom.

Then we also did a point there’s been a lot of discussion about people alleging that it was unlawful for Kyle to possess his rifle in Wisconsin because he was under 18 years of age. In fact, that’s one of the criminal charges that’s been brought against them. And misdemeanor charge, by the way. So we do a detailed analysis, one of whether it’s likely that in fact, he is guilty of unlawful gun possession. And in fact, a close reading of the Wisconsin statute suggests he’s not.

I know a lot of people are shocked to hear that. Others are claiming that while he gets off, it’s just a technicality. But folks, it’s just how the law is written. The law under which has been charged in effect only applies in the context of the facts of this case, to something that would qualify as a short barreled rifle. And as you can see in the picture there, it’s not a short barreled rifle. So he simply doesn’t fall within the scope of that statute. It doesn’t matter what people might wish the statute said or what the legislature might have thought they wanted it to say It only matters what the statute actually says folks. And what it says is it applies only in the context of this case to short barreled rifles. That’s not a short barreled rifle does not apply.

But we covered not just that in this blog post, but also, even if it were unlawful for Kyle to be in possession of that rifle doesn’t matter, because even unlawful possession of the rifle would be irrelevant under Wisconsin law in terms of his claim of self defense. Being in unlawful possession of a rifle does not cost you self defense under the laws of Wisconsin, and we go into a detailed explanation, law and evidence based explanation of that.

Then more recently, just a couple days ago, we did our most current post on the Rittenhouse case. A lot of people have been arguing that well maybe the guy shot in the arm Gaige Grosskreutz What if he was just trying to make a citizen’s arrest What if he thought the earlier shooting of reported child molester Rosenbaum, in the parking lot was an unlawful killing by Kyle Rittenhouse and therefore he was going to make a citizen’s arrest of Kyle. That would make Gaige’s conduct if that any of that were true that would make it lawful conduct not unlawful conduct. So would that undermine Kyle’s privilege to use deadly defensive force? When Grosskreutz approached with the pistol? So we cover that as well.

I may do a separate blog post on Wisconsin citizens arrest law, Wisconsin, in fact, has no statutory citizens arrest law at all. But it does have of course, common law based case law based privileges for citizens arrest, which frankly, I don’t think would apply in this circumstance anyway. But that would be a topic for a future post.

All these posts, of course, actually arise or are available only to law of self defense members. So if you’re not a law, self defense member, you haven’t seen any of those. Too bad because law, self defense membership is dirt cheap, folks.

Two-Week Law of Self Defense Trial Membership: Just 99 cents!

If you enjoy this kind of content and would like to get more, I’ve got great news—you can try out Law of Self Defense Membership for two weeks for a mere 99 cents—even better, in the unlikely event you decide it’s not for you during those two weeks, let us know and we’ll refund not just 100% of your money, but 200% of your money.  That’s a negative risk offer, folks.

Really, it’s hard to imagine why you anyone wouldn’t try  out Law of Self Defense Membership for 99 cents for two weeks.

Now, after the two-week trial, membership does go to the normal cost, which is still a very low, ~33 cents a day, less than $10 a month. Obviously, if you don’t feel the content we provide is worth 33 cents a day you shouldn’t become a member but I would hope that most of you would agree that it is, especially the content you won’t be able to get moving forward unless you’re a Member.

Plus, as a Law of Self Defense Member not only do you get access to our great Law of Self Defense content, you also get commenting member’s only chat and commenting privileges at the Law of Self Defense web site, so you can continue to participate and learn past the end of any LIVE show.

You can learn more about our 99-cent, 200% money back guarantee, two-week membership trial by clicking the image or link below:

“RITTENHOUSE BUNDLE” Save $300 on essential LOSD Courses!

In fact, we’ve been getting so many questions from the general public about the Rittenhouse case. And it’s clear, it’s obvious, it’s to be expected really, that these people, they’re new to the law, self defense community, they’ve not yet been exposed to actual Self Defense Law. It’s simply rarely taught anywhere at a very high level except I humbly suggest here at Law of Self Defense. They haven’t seen our content before. They haven’t taken our courses before. So to help out that general public, the those who are naive to actual Self Defense Law, we’ve put together a written house inspired sales bundle for this week.

We call it the “Rittenhouse Bundle.” To be clear, Kyle doesn’t have anything to do with this offering, it was inspired by him. As always, his legal team is free to reach out to us for any advice or expert opinion we could offer. I mean, frankly, they could become a trial member for 99 cents and read pretty much all our legal analysis for that sum of money so we don’t need them to pay us anything really. But for those of you who’d like a world class, law school level, but plain English education in the law that governs all these issues in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, you might consider our “Rittenhouse Bundle.”

It includes our Law of Self Defense ADVANCED Course which is about eight hours full day in depth instruction on use of force law. It includes our ADVANCED State specific Supplement Course for the state of your choice that state specific use of force law two separate course. It includes our Defense of Property Course, and then includes our newest course on Lawful Defense Against Looters, Rioters & Arsonists.

These four separate courses, if you bought them separately would be about 500 bucks, folks, this week 199. So you save about $300.

IMPORTANT:  This offer ENDS Sunday, September 13, so act NOW!

If that’s of interest, you can point click the image or link below:

Let’s dive into the substance of today’s show. Now the news events I wanted to talk about one of these involves USCCA. Now I told all of you up front that one of USCCA’s competitors is CCW Safe, they’re a sponsor of much of our content. At least our live content, these Thursday shows. I’m personally a member of CCW Safe. So that’s all in full disclosure.

But USCCA has been in the news recently, around one issue has been that they have a member who was involved in the use of force event, she shot her esstranged husband in a parking lot while they were supposed to be doing a child swap.

Let me see if I can pull that up. Her name is Kayla Giles. She was a USCCA Platinum member, shot her husband in a parking lot, her estranged husband, and was charged with the his unlawful killing, charged with murder.

She’s going to trial, her lawyer submitted for reimbursement of her legal expenses to USCCA, USCCA paid the first $50,000 of legal expenses and then cut her off.

Now we can really only speculate as to the reasons they may have cut her off. In full disclosure. The case looks kind of sketchy. She’d signed up for USCCA only 12 days before she ended up shooting her husband. You know, that can mean she was planning it and wanted the policy in in place before she committed a murder of her husband, or it could mean she was afraid of her husband, was concerned, she might have to defend herself, and therefore, one of the policy in place, that would be a perfectly legitimate reason.

We don’t really know why USCCA has cut off coverage of Kayla geils, because they won’t tell us. I mean, I’ve had a relationship with USCCA. They licensed the copy of my book, “The Law of Self Defense” to print for their members. I used to be on their legal advisory board. And I called them and asked them, Well, what’s the reason you’re not covering this person?

And they said, Well, no comment. We’re in litigation.

And they are in litigation. Kayla Giles, their member, has sued them in Federal court for the rest of the coverage for her legal expenses.

By the way, her legal expenses pre-trial are already up over $150,000, folks. So that’s how expensive these cases get.

I mention this case only because it’s in the news again, because I believe yesterday was the two-year anniversary of Kayla Giles shooting her husband. So USCCA is popping up in the news in association with those news stories. And people are asking me about it.

I don’t really have much to say, there’s no new news. I don’t know if it’s whether because the Federal suit against USCCA is being slowed down for strategic legal reasons, or it’s just COVID slowing everything down. Not much is happening in the case.

I can tell you USCCA has filed a lot of motions for sealing the records in this case. And there was a gag order in effect, so it’s hard to get any news out anyway.

Certainly it doesn’t appear like USCCA is at all interested in any kind of transparency in this case, which as I’ve said before, it leads me to the only position I can have, and that is perhaps USCCA has a very good explanation for why they’re not covering her legal expenses. But until they provide it, as near as I can tell, they’re not covering because they don’t feel like it. They’ve personally decided that they don’t think it’s the case they want to cover, which I don’t think is in their membership agreement.

And I don’t think it’s what their members expect, that if they’re involved in the use of force event USCCA is first going to make its own assessment of whether they think they should cover it and then decide whether or not to cover that particular member.

I think the members expect, hey, if they’re criminally charged in the use of force event, they’re going to be covered and the courts will decide whether or not their use of force was lawful or not, not USCCA.

But in any case, here, let me pull that up here. For those who’d like to learn more detail on this, I did do a blog post on it some time ago, you can find that at the image or link below:

But I really don’t have much new to say about it, other than what I’ve already told you here and already written in that blog post.

I did want to come back to something about the Rittenhouse case, however. Let me pull that back, pull this back up. And that is, of course, there’s a lot of news reporting about the case. Most of it’s bad news reporting things like, well, he had the rifle that was unlawful and therefore he can’t claim self defense. That’s all completely wrong, both wrong that it’s likely the possession was unlawful and wrong that even if it was unlawful, that it would affect his claim to self defense. That’s not true.

But there are some issues that are being raised by the media that could affect his claim of self defense.

And one of those issues is potentially that could really impact, Kyle written house’s claim of self defense is this issue of provocation.

Now, unfortunately, Wisconsin uses the term “provocation” to mean two different things simultaneously, which only creates confusion.

What the Wisconsin law is referring to is actually two different things. First, whether or not Kyle was the initial aggressor in the fight, in which case you would lose self defense because you’ve lost the element of innocence, or second whether he was a provoker with intent in the fight, in which case, of course, you would also lose innocence. Those are two different things.

Someone who’s the initial aggressor is the first person to use or threatened force. And I guess it’s theoretically possible that Kyle was that person. We don’t see that in the videos, but maybe evidence to that point would arise.

But here’s the thing, an initial aggressor under Wisconsin law in most states, even if they were the initial aggressor have lost the element of innocence, they can regain the element of innocence by withdrawing from the fight and communicating their desire, either explicitly or constructively, to not fight anymore. And a classic way to do both of these simultaneously is to be in full flight from the computation if you’re running away from the fight, clearly you’re withdrawing and you’re constructively communicating your desire not to fight anymore.

Now for the fight to continue to happen, that other person has to pursue you they become the aggressor in a second fight and in that second fight, you’ve regained your innocence for purposes of claiming self defense.

Now, anyone who would argue that Kyle was the initial aggressor would then have to overcome the argument of the defense that well, even if he was the initial aggressor, in both the parking lot fight and the street fight confrontation, Kyle was in full flight in both of those events. So being in full flight, even if we had previously been the initial aggressor, he’s regained his innocence. And now the people pursuing him are the initial aggressors in a new fight. So whether or not Kyle might have been the initial aggressor, I think is irrelevant to his claim of self defense because even if it were true, he’s regained innocence by fleeing from those confrontations.

The other form of provocation under Wisconsin law is something quite different. It’s the being the provoker with intent.

Now, the initial aggressor is the first person to threaten or use force the provoker with intent is not that person. The provoker with intent is someone who provokes the other guy, to be the initial aggressor to provokes the other guy to be the first to threaten to use force, so that they’ll have an excuse to use force against that other person. It’s like, go ahead, punch me punch me, I dare you throw the first punch. Well, the person saying that’s not saying it because they want to get punched in the face. They’re saying it because they hope witnesses will see you throw the first punch and then they’ll have an excuse to use force against you.

Well, under Wisconsin law, if you’re the initial aggressor, you can regain innocence by withdrawing communication, as I just talked about, but if you’re a provoker with intent, you cannot regain innocence. you own that fight.

So, what if there’s evidence that Kyle was previously a provoker with intent, well that could completely blow up his claim of self defense.

Now, there’s no evidence of that that I’ve seen. There’s no evidence of that in any of the video that I’ve seen for sure. So how would evidence of that arise?

And this really comes to an issue that was I saw brought up in a podcast involving another lawyer, a lawyer called Scott Barnes. He’s pretty reasonable high profile on Twitter, and he’s at Barnes underscore score law, @Barnes_law, if you want to look him up.

Strikes me as a smart guy. I don’t know him personally, I only know him from his Twitter commentary and this one interview I saw of him on a podcast, and he raises a lot of really good interesting points.

Now the podcast is called the Viva Law Podcast. I’m not really familiar with it. But I will have a link to the podcast in the text version of today’s show at the Law of Self Defense, if you’d like to check it out. And I do encourage you to check it out. Here’s that link to the podcast interview:

@Barnes_Law on Viva Law Podcast

Because Attorney Barnes raises a number of interesting issues. And one is that one of the things we have to be concerned about with this Rittenhouse case is not just the legal merits, per se, but that there might be efforts to fabricate a narrative fabricate and evidence against Rittenhouse.

How might that happen?  Well, remember most of the people at this event were not Rittenhouse friends. They were Antifa people. And what if a bunch of Antifa people learn, hey, if they claim that Rittenhouse was a provoker with intent, Rittenhouse loses self defense period.

You think a bunch of them, you think people who are willing to set things on fire, attack police officers, attempt to murder someone like Rittenhouse, you think people like that would be unwilling to make up false claims like that? I wouldn’t be so confident.

I can tell you in the Zimmerman case, this would be the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, at the trial there were a couple of witnesses the State presented early on. They were clearly supposed to be key witnesses. And they testified about conduct that Zimmerman purportedly engaged in that didn’t look very consistent when self defense. For example, one of them said, oh well Zimmerman chased Trayvon Martin.

Well, that would be bad. That would be really inconsistent with self defense.

But here’s the problem for that witness or was the problem in that case, the defense had previously deposed her, the state had previously deposed her, she’d been questioned about what she knew about the case before, months before. You have to remember there was months, like a year or more, between the event and the trial. So lots of time for investigation depositions, collecting of evidence.

And the first time this woman ever said that she had a perception that Zimmerman had chased Trayvon was in that witness stand in the courtroom? Well, if you’ve been questioned again and again and again by both sides in a criminal prosecution, and you never mentioned a fact as key as that, well, it’s simply not credible that you’re mentioning it for the first time at trial.

Which of course is what the defense said on cross examination. And they just crushed this witness. She looked completely not credible. Everything about her demeanor was a person who’s lying on the witness stand. And obviously the jury gave her no credence at all given that they unanimously acquitted Zimmerman of all charges.

But the reason the defense was able to do that was because they had those earlier depositions. They had that earlier questioning where that woman had never said anything of that, and that was really of key importance in the narrative of guilt.

What happens if you don’t have those depositions, that prior questioning, what happens if you really never, for all practical purposes, talk to the witness before they’re on the witness stand? then you have no way to challenge the credibility of their claims.

Well, in the Rittenhouse case, we can end up with a situation where we end up with a bunch of state witnesses lying on the stand about Rittenhouse being a provoker with intent, providing the jury with evidence that they should deny Rittenhouse self defense period, and no way to challenge the credibility or veracity of those witnesses unless they were deposed and questioned beforehand.

And for that to happen the defense needs a lot of resources. And from what I hear they’re collecting lots of resources already, hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is good.

But also the defense team needs to be closely engaged on the ground every step of the way.

Now, one of the things this Attorney Barnes mentioned in this podcast was that, at Rittenhouse’s arraignment in Wisconsin, oh, bail has now been set for $2 million, which is not really a surprising amount given the circumstances. But at his arraignment, apparently, he had no legal representation, Rittenhouse didn’t, except for a public defender.

Well, if he’s supposed to have this dream team legal defense funded with hundreds of thousands of dollars, why wasn’t one of them there at his arraignment? I mean, what’s going on?

Now, I’m assuming, of course, that Attorney Barnes is describing this accurately. I don’t know from personal knowledge. But if it’s true that the only person Rittenhouse had with him was a public defender, well, I don’t know what this legal team supposed to be doing.

And by the way, folks, just because you have a legal team doesn’t mean they’re going to do a good job. Most of you will be familiar with the Michael Drejka a case. This was the guy who was knocked down in the parking lot pulled out his gun while he was on the ground fire to shot when it looked like the person who shoved them may have taken a step backwards. This is the handicapped parking spot violation case.

And Drejka was convicted, sentenced to prison effectively for the rest of his life. And the key issue in that case, was the Tueller drill because Drejka was being threatened, if at all, with impact weapons, his aggressor’s fists and feet.

And the question was, of course, whether or not Drejka reasonably perceived that he was in imminent danger of being attacked by those fists and feet. And the Tueller Drill is key to understanding the reasonableness of that perception, that use of force legal analysis.

And in that case, the prosecution brought up a use of force expert witness who testified in the witness stand that the Tueller Drill only applies to confrontations involving edged weapons. And this case didn’t have an edged weapon and therefore the Tueller Drill was irrelevant to Drejka’s claim of self defense.

Well, that’s just not true. And anyone who’s read Dennis Tueller’s writings, he explicitly covers not just edged weapons but any kind of impact weapon. Because the point he’s trying to make is not necessarily what degree of harm the aggressor could cause, but whether or not the aggressor is in a position to be an imminent threat, how quickly can he bring that harm, whatever degree it might be, to bear against his victim.

Well, the defense also brought up a use of force expert and I thought for sure, haha, this is it, they’re going to really get that state use of force expert who completely mischaracterized the Tueller Drill.

And the defense use of force expert was some guy that one of the defense lawyers had used to install a security system at her home like two weeks before, and this guy knew nothing. I mean, he was a very nice guy, but he was completely incompetent about being a use of force expert, and the defense had no idea what the right questions were to ask. So his appearance was completely pointless.

The jury went into the deliberations believing, the only thing they heard, was that believing that the Tueller Drill only applied to edge weapons, so that just destroyed Drejka’s his defense.

Now, I’m not saying Drejka shouldn’t have been convicted, it was a very marginal self defense case at best. So it doesn’t bother me, per se, that he was convicted.

What bothers me is he got convicted without having a capable, competent legal defense, in my professional opinion. And we all have a Constitutional right to effective defense counsel. And in my opinion, he didn’t get it. So if you don’t get it, your chances of getting convicted, even in the case where you shouldn’t get convicted, they go up sharply, folks

I certainly hope that Rittenhouse doesn’t find himself in the same position where he may raise a lot of money, he may have some kind of legal defense dream team, but man unless they get engaged, it’s just not going to be of much help.

So another issues that come again, there’s news reporting on this case everywhere. A lot of it is just horrible, especially the stuff where they say that they’re reporting what lawyers told them. Here’s a new story in which they quote an attorney, Milwaukee defense attorney, who claims to have expertise in self defense.

And he told the newspaper that it could be tough for Rittenhouse to argue self defense because neither of the men he killed, meaning Rosenbaum in the parking lot or Huber the skateboard guy in the street, neither one of them is said to have carried a gun or other clearly lethal weapon.

Well, that’s not, that’s not the legally relevant point to this at all. Rittenhouse is privileged to use deadly defensive force, not [only] if his attackers had a gun or a knife or other, quote unquote, clearly lethal weapon. He’s allowed to use deadly defensive force if either of those men reasonably appeared to be an imminent deadly force threat.

Now in the case of Rosenbaum, Rosenbaum was chasing or pursuing Rittenhouse across the across the parking lot. And Rittenhouse was hearing shots fired from Rosen bounds direction. And we know from the video that was in fact someone in that direction firing what appears to be a pistol. So it’s easy to imagine that Rittenhouse had a reasonable perception doesn’t have to be accurate or correct. A reasonable perception that the man chasing him from the direction of which gunshots were coming represented an imminent deadly force threat.

And when with respect to the skateboard guy, folks, the law doesn’t really care about the particular means of inflicting deadly force. At least not until sentencing. All the law cares about is was it deadly force. Now clearly a weapon designed for that purpose. used in the intended manner a gun or a knife used in an offensive way, would qualify as a use of deadly force. But folks, a skateboard to the head is deadly force, it’s force likely to inflict death or serious bodily injury. That’s the definition of deadly force.

It’s no less deadly force in a baseball bat to the head, or a cinderblock to the head, or a piano to the head. It’s all deadly force.

And that’s what’s required, the reasonable appearance of an imminent deadly force attack. And a person who’s been sent to the ground by a mob attack, who’s now being struck in the head with a skateboard, that’s a reasonable perception of a deadly force attack every day and twice on Sunday.

So I just point this out, again, one to kind of explain how that law works, and second, just because you see a newspaper quoting someone who’s purportedly an attorney with expertise in Self Defense Law, doesn’t mean that attorney actually knows what he’s talking about at all, or, alternatively, more kindly, perhaps the attorney does and the media simply re misreporting what he told them. That’s always possible, too.

But in any case, if it’s in the media, you’re reading it in the news, you must assume whatever you see describing from whatever source to be 100% wrong until proven otherwise.

Okay, let’s see what else we have here. Oh yes, I was sent a press release from a law firm happens to be in Texas. Interesting law firm it looks like their motto is well the law firms Walker & Taylor, right away it sounds like a TV show right like a Texas Rangers TV show, Texas Ranger Walker, Texas Ranger.

Walker & Taylor is the firm, and their motto, their logo says ”Locked & Lawyered,” which is encouraging for my perspective.

But in any case, they had a press release release where they were talking about the risk that Texas defendants, their clients, could find themselves facing charges just like the McCloskeys in Missouri are facing

The McCloskey’s, the husband and wife who are out on their front yard facing off a mob of Antifa people who trespass on their property, broke the gate to get into their property, were apparently threatening them with death, threatening to kill them and go sleep in their bedroom, threatening to kill their pets.

Obviously a massive disparity of numbers as well, just the two McCloskeys is in front of their home on their front yard, facing dozens and dozens and dozens of a mob, we’re well aware, mobs of this type had been committing arson burning down buildings within blocks of their home. So they had a reasonable basis on which to have a fear of deadly force harm. Of course, arson is deadly force harm.

But they [the McCloskeys] never fired a shot right? They never shot anybody. They never discharged their weapon. And this Texas law firm Walker & Taylor, is saying hey, if they never fired a shot, all they did was threaten the use of force and they didn’t actually use force, those two circumstances should be treated differently, mere threat of force should be treated differently then use of force.

So, there are states that do make explicit, a kind of public policy decisions about this. Sometimes the courts do it and sometimes the legislature does it.

So there are states that explicitly say, Hey, we’re going to treat a threat with a gun, exactly the same as we’re going to treat a use of a gun. Massachusetts, where I used to live, where I’m still a member of the bar, is one of those states. So, if you threaten somebody with a gun, don’t fire a shot, but threaten someone with a gun to Massachusetts, you have to meet the same legal threshold as you would have to meet if you actually shot them with a gun. Same thing. They don’t treat them differently.

And the this was a court made rule. And the reason the courts adopt that rule is said Listen, if we let people just pull the gun under circumstances where they wouldn’t be privileged to actually shoot it, we’re kind of encouraging people to pull a gun and create a situation which it’s easier for things to escalate to shots being fired. So we don’t want that. You can’t pull the gun unless you would have been privileged to use the gun.

Other states take the opposite approach. And they clearly distinguish explicitly distinguish between mere threat and use and Louisiana is one of those states, they allow for the threat of a gun, under circumstances where the actual use of the gun would not be privileged. So you can point the gun at someone that’s lawful, but you can’t shoot him, because that would be unlawful under the same facts scenario. So they, they have an explicit policy about this, and they explicitly say, mere threat of force, we’re going to treat differently, more liberally than we will the actual use of force, the standard for the actual use of force is going to be higher.

And unfortunately, between those two extremes, the large majority of states are irritatingly ambiguous about how they plan if they plan to distinguish between a mere threat of force and a use a force.

And this law firm press release, and I again I’ll link this in the text version of today’s show. There they do in a very confusing and not a very rigorously thought out way, their arguments are a little, not as coherent as I would like it to be.

Here’s that Walker & Taylor press release:

Stop McCloskey-Style Prosecutions in Texas: Vague Texas Gun Law Undermines Our Right of Defense

The bottom line is what they’re arguing for is that a threat of force should be treated than the use of force. And specifically, they’re saying, hey, if the use of force, the firing of the gun, would be the basis for a felony charge against which, of course, you’d have to raise a legal defense than, let’s say, the legal defense of self defense, yes, I fired the gun, but I did it in self defense. If the actual firing of the gun would be the basis for a criminal charge, then the mere threat of the gun should only be treated as a misdemeanor offense. You didn’t actually fire it, you didn’t actually shoot anybody. We should differentiate threat and use by saying, all right, even a use would have been a felony against which you’d have to raise a legal defense, mere threat is only a misdemeanor against which you’d have to raise a legal defense.

And the important thing there is the legal defense you have to raise is much easier for a misdemeanor than for a felony. So it’d be much easier to raise the defense against the misdemeanor charge than against the felony charge.

Also, of course, the criminal liability for a felony charges enormously greater than for a misdemeanor charge. So if the use or threat of the guns treated like a felony, you could be looking at 10 or 20 years in prison. If it’s only a misdemeanor, you’re looking at by definition, less than a year in prison. So huge difference.

So it’s a much reduced threat that the prosecutor is holding over your head as leverage to get you to take a plea bargain, right? If you know you’re facing at worst 10 months, well, then you may say, No, I’m gonna argue I’m gonna fight this case, and take my chances. And worst, I’ll do 10 months, probably not even 10 months on a first offense anyway. Probably no time at all.

But if the prosecutor says.listen, we’re gonna charge you with a crime that’s good for 20 years if you get convicted, but we’ll give you a plea for no time served. A low-level felony, no time served.  You lose your gun rights, you lose your voting rights, you lose all that because you’re a convicted felon. But you don’t have to worry about spending most of the rest of your life in prison. Well, that’s, that’s a hard offer to say no to when you think about it, you sit down with your wife and your kids. And, you know, most lawyers would tell their clients to seriously consider that plea offer.

But of course, it’s only it only has that power to compel you to accept the felony conviction, because of the enormous time you’d spend in prison if you are convicted.

A misdemeanor doesn’t have that kind of power, no one’s going to plead to even a low level felony if they can take your chances on a mere misdemeanor.

So the benefit of this lawyers approach is, hey, if it’s an actual use of force, you can make it a felony charge. And then we have to be able to show that we were facing an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to be justified in that use of our gun. But if we only threatened with a gun, we only point the gun and we have an arguable claim of self defense. Well, then it’s only a misdemeanor charge, and we don’t have to show because it’s a non deadly force scenario. Now because it’s a misdemeanor. I don’t have to show I was in fear of imminent death, I have to show I was in fear of any degree of harm, however slight, which obviously is a much lower threshold.

So I think really, if you look at this from a public policy decision, there’s good arguments to be made, frankly, I think reasonable people come down on both sides.

I think reasonable people could say, No, we don’t want you waving a gun around when you wouldn’t be allowed to use it. Like the Massachusetts court said, well, it could escalate the situation to gunfire when it didn’t need to go that way. And keep in mind, folks, it’s not just you who gets to wave a gun around, if we relax the rules, right? That crazy neighbor down the street gets the same benefit of the relaxed rule that you get, do you want him to feel freer to be waving a gun around? So we have to think about the downsides as well as the upsides of all this.

The upside of course, from a defender’s perspective is that it really takes a lot of teeth out of the prosecutors jaw and I think a lot of the kind of public policy decisions are often driven. people’s preferences are driven by the political and social reality that they happen to be living in at the time.

And to illustrate that we’re all familiar, or hopefully we’re all familiar, that there are some sentencing laws are within the discretion of the judge. There’s a broad range five to 20 years, and the judge can take into consideration all kinds of mitigating factors and so forth. Sometimes there are strict guidelines that have to be followed, but they can still take into consideration mitigating factors to reduce what would otherwise be a higher sentence.

And then on the other hand, we have mandatory minimum laws which say, No, we don’t care what the mitigating factors might been, if you’re convicted of this criminal offense, it’s five years mandatory minimum, no possibility of early release, or 10 years or 15 years or 20 years. And by the way, if you get hit with multiple accounts, you got to serve the sentence consecutively, not concurrently, not parallel, but one after the other. So obviously, very, very severe sentences can follow from these mandatory minimum sentences.

And today, there’s a lot of criticism of mandatory minimum sentences because it takes discretion away from the judge. But I can tell you, as someone who was practicing law when a lot of these mandatory minimums were first passed, they were passed because of widespread perceptions that judges were too lax in their sentencing of violent criminals, bad guys were committing bad violent acts, and effectively doing little or no jail time.

So the public lost confidence in the judges’ use of discretion, and they took that discretion away from them, not for no reason, not for irrational reasons, for perfectly rational reasons, as they perceived the environment at the time.

Now, fast-forward 5, 10, 15, 20 years, and maybe we have less of a concern now with violent criminals not serving enough time because frankly, a lot of them are getting hit with the mandatory minimum minimums and serving enough time.

Because people aren’t constantly seeing in the news, oh, this guy committed manslaughter, he was out in two years, they’re not seeing those stories because of the mandatory minimums. Well, that risk is less of a concern to them, it’s less real to them. So they feel less strongly about the need for mandatory minimums. And they’re more open to the counter argument that mandatory minimums might in some cases be too severe punishment.

We had this happen in the state of Florida, for example, they had a group of judges releasing gun criminals with very little time or no time served at all. So they passed what they call their 10-20-Life statute, which imposed mandatory minimums for crimes committed with guns.

And you could you fire shot, like a warning shot, for example, not pointing the gun at anybody, not hurting anybody, and be charged with aggravated assault for putting them in fear of imminent deadly force harm, and get a 20 year mandatory minimum sentence.

And this 10-20-Life began to be used by prosecutors in cases that looked a lot like self defense, like a well-intentioned, normally law-abiding citizen, got scared of a criminal aggressor, fired a warning shot, and then found himself convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

So in that case, the mandatory minimum began to be seen as a bit of an overreach and in fact that the Florida legislature removed the criminal offense of aggravated assault from that mandatory minimum scheme, so it’s not in there anymore. So prosecutors can’t use it in that way.

In this particular case, I think what a lot of people are getting tired of is prosecutors bringing politically motivated, over aggressive, and charging cases that look to a lot of us like pretty legitimate cases of self defense. Like the McCloskey case, like the Rittenhouse case, like a lot of the cases that we’re seeing in the news these days, where it appears like politically motivated prosecutors are bringing extremely severe, the most serious charges, murder charges, against defenders in circumstances that look a lot like credible cases of self defense, lnowing, of course, that the prosecutors doesn’t just have to show that maybe it wasn’t a credible case of self defense, they’re going to have disprove self defense beyond a reasonable doubt, which they seem very unlikely to be able to do, but they’re using the courts as a punishment itself the process as a punishment.

Well, if you make a mere threat of force not qualify as the basis for a felony charge, that would mean the McCloskey, for example, could not have been charged with felonies. That would mean they’re not looking at [four] years in prison. That means their legal defense is only to show that they had a expectation a reasonable anticipation of some degree of harm, however slight, which they can almost certainly do.

So that that takes away teeth from the prosecutor right now the prosecutor was simply able to charge them with felonies. Now they’re facing years in prison. Now they have to be able to prove they were facing an imminent deadly force threat. It’s part of the legal defense.

You can take those teeth away from the prosecutor if you treat threat of force differently than actual use of force. So that’s what that press release was about. I just thought I would share that with all of you.

Let’s see how much time we have. Can I dive into something else? That topic is very long, so I’ll skip it.

Oh, by the way, so I’m sure all of you know but this, the Jacob Blake shooting. Jacob Blake was the guy who was reaching into his car when he was shot seven times in the back by police. He’s now apparently paralyzed from the waist down. The first news reports about Jacob Blake was that he was just there to settle an argument between two women in the neighborhood and the police lost their minds and just decided to shoot this unarmed man seven times.

Of course, as almost invariably happens, we learned that Jacob was not a nice guy, he was fighting lawful arrest. The police were exercising an open warrant on him for rape, for trespass, for disorderly conduct, the rape, of course being the most severe of those charges. And he was being subject to forcible arrest because he was not complying.

He broke free of the cops ran around to the driver’s side of his car, all the while being at gunpoint by police who were screaming at him not to do any of this, opened up his car door reached into the car, where a knife would later be found, and that’s when the police shot him. So near as I can tell about as clean a police shooting as possible.

But of course, Jacob Blake, now they have football players wearing his name on tape on their helmets as in some kind of show of support. Apparently, they forgot all about this guy’s rape victim.

Now of course, the people who want to push this narrative of Jacob Blake as a helpless victim of racist police murder, it’s harmful to their narrative that Jacob Blake had an open warrant for rape that the police were executing on him.

So you can see the counter-propaganda begin to come into play. Here’s an example of that.

I saw a AP news headline just the other day. Let me pull Up. Here’s the headline (click on any of the next three images to see the actual AP news report):

“Associated Press post claiming that Jacob Blake faces child rape charges are unfounded.” Well, anyone who just reads the headline, of course most people only read the headline would say, oh wait, these rape charges against him were unfounded. Well, maybe he wasn’t such a bad guy after all. So people are lying about this poor Jacob Blake. I can’t believe they would do that to him.

Well, of course, most people don’t read past the headline. But here at Law of Self Defense, we’re not most people, so we do read past the headline.

And here’s what we discover First, the Associated Press piece notes “Some social media users have sought to call Blake’s character into question with false claims about his criminal record.”

Again, suggesting that this rape charges, rape warrant, this is a false claim, right? And intending to impugn Blake’s character, to call his character into question.

But if you keep reading, here’s what you learn about the actual facts here. And that is that Blake was charged, the AP has to concede, with Third Degree sexual assault and had a warrant open on third degree sexual assault.

But it did not involve a minor, according to the criminal complaint, so the AP’s argument in effect then is well, you know, come on, Jacob Blake, sure, I mean, he was he was not a nice guy, but he wasn’t guilty of CHILD rape, he was only charged with RAPE rape.

So I guess the argument is that well if all he did was rape a grown woman, why, he gets a pass for that. That his victim, when he’s at her home again, should not have called the police, or when the police show up they shouldn’t execute an open warrant for sexual assault on Blake, they should, what, just let him go, let him stay there. The police should drive away, let him continue to terrorize his rape victim. It’s amazing how comfortable these propaganda outlets are to say almost anything if they think it advances their political team.

What else do we have? Oh, something else I wanted to mention.

So I’ve gotten a some of these high profile cases a lot of money becomes involved folks, GoFundMe things and other means to gather together lots of money. And it becomes possible for some of these things to become really a profit generating machine.

I want to show you a couple headlines this is about the Ahmaud Arbery case and apparently his mother has become quite upset at what she perceives as organized efforts of other people and associated with her or her son to raise money off his name. Here’s one headline Ahmaud Arbery’s mother says some foundation is using her son’s name without her consent. She’s criticizing people using Arbery’s name for nonprofits and trademarks.

Another headline here little more histrionic, Ahmaud Arbery his mom: Stop cashing in on his death, rips friends, fundraisers.

Well, I can tell you folks that that certainly can happen. I mean, I don’t know if it’s happening or not based just on headlines, but it wouldn’t surprise me. It’s not uncommon for an event that’s kind of energized the public for, what can I call them but grifters, to go out there and say, Hey, give us money. We’re supporting this effort. And then they just keep the money.

The point I want to raise here, folks is that can happen both ways. It doesn’t just have to happen with the the other team if you think that way can happen with your team too.

So, I can tell you I’ve got a number of calls from people purporting to be involved in the Kyle Rittenhouse defense, asking me if I would be on their team and so forth. And frankly, it’s not at all clear to me that they’re actually part of the Rittenhouse legal team. And it makes me wonder if it’s not really a grift. Hundreds of thousands dollars apparently have already been raised for Rittenhouse. I expect that to exceed a million in no time at all.  That’s a big pot of money that’s going to attract well, grifters.

So I’m certainly not suggesting that anyone who wants to should not donate to the Rittenhouse legal defense, he’s going to need all the resources he can get. So, if anything, I would encourage that. I’m all in favor of a robust legal defense for anybody, particularly someone whose case looks as much as lawful self defense as Kyle Rittenhouse, in particular is facing the kind of politically driven attack narratives that his is facing.

I’m only urging you to be cautious about it, folks, just because someone says they’re collecting money for Rittenhouse doesn’t mean they are so keep your bs meter carefully attuned.

Alright, so I’ll take the last 10 minutes or so answering some questions. We had a couple I think short ones I can hit pretty quick.

We had a question from one of our Platinum members asking does it make sense to buy self Defense insurance, legal service memberships if you don’t carry a firearm, they do sometimes carry a knife they say?

Well, I’d say two things about that. One is, in terms of the law, the law doesn’t care whether you defended yourself with a gun or a knife, it’s both deadly force defense, you’re going to face the same kind of criminal charges. The only thing maybe you’d be missing is a lot of states have sentencing enhancements or kind of enhancements of the underlying crime. If it involves a firearm, particularly the gun control type state, so that can be a difference there. But using a knife is not going to save you from a felony charge of aggravated assault or aggravated battery or murder is the person you use the knife against dies. So, the the legal risk you’re facing is really much the same for all practical purposes. So if you thought you would need the coverage, if you carrying a gun, just because you’re carrying a knife doesn’t mean you don’t need it, the legal perils much the same, the legal costs are going to be much the same.

The other thing I would say, however, is I know there are plans out there that might only cover a gun, they might not cover, you have to use a knife and personal protection. Now, I don’t have time here to step through every one of these plans and every detail of them. I would just encourage you, when you’re considering one of these plans, make sure you know whether or not they’re going to cover the particular weapon you’re using. Frankly, my preference would be that they’re their weapon independent, that it’s just not a factor. The only thing that should matter, to my mind, is whether or not your use of force was in fact lawful. And I don’t care if it was a gun or a knife or a car or a piano or an anvil from a great height. It shouldn’t make any difference.

But I know some plans are organized around like concealed carry permits, and from their perspective, it’s understandable, right they know someone has a concealed carry permit, they’ve at least passed a background check, they’re probably not someone who gets into trouble much. So it’s kind of a filtering mechanism for them.

But just be aware, you know, with any insurance, folks, read the fine print so you make sure you know what’s covered. That’s why although CCW safe is a sponsor of our show. I’m personally a member of CCW safe. I don’t tell people that that’s the plan they should get because I can’t possibly know if it’s the best fit for you, as it is for me, you need to make that determination for yourself.

Okay, another question that came in. I think at this point, given the paucity of time let me look through this.

So I brought up the threat of force and Texas and every time I do that, one of our members, I’m looking at the member dashboard, their questions get priority, Oscar James always brings to my attention that Texas has a statute that directly touches upon this issue, that essentially the threat of force as justifiable use of defensive force on threat of defensive force making it different than use and essentially the language is if the threat was made for purposes for defensive purposes to dissuade an attacker, I don’t have the statute right in front of me, but that’s the general essence of it.

The catch with that statute, of course, is that condition, it’s lawful that threat is lawful only if it was done for lawful purposes. Well, it becomes kind of a circular argument. Who’s to say it was done for lawful purposes? Of course, that’s what you’re saying. But the guy you threatened isn’t going to say that.

You’re gonna say, well, I displayed the gun because he showed me a knife and told me to give him give him my wallet. Is he gonna say that? He’s not gonna say that, he’s gonna say this lunatic in a gas station didn’t like the color of my car and threatened me with a gun.

Well, do the cops know what actually happened, does the prosecutor? No. Does the judge know, does the jury? No, of course not. So it’s nice to have a statute like that, but it’s not nearly as decisive as it might appear to be, because it leaves open the key question:  whether or not that display was in fact for lawful defensive purposes solely to dissuade an unlawful attack. And if it’s an open question, then you go to trial just like anybody else would go to trial even without that statue.

Somebody else asked about that Attorney Barnes. So in that same video, podcast video, where Attorney Barnes is being interviewed, he makes very clear that he thinks very little of two of the lead attorneys on the Rittenhouse legal team, one of them is Lin Wood.  Lyn Wood represented Nick Sandmann in the civil litigation, Sandmann was the young man, the high school student, who was portrayed by CNN and other outlets as being a racist because he was confronted by some Native American Indian banging a drum, and Lin Wood represented Sandmann, and apparently got some enormous judgment for libel/slander out of CNN.

And Lin Wood is of course, again, a civil attorney, he’s not a criminal defense attorney, so he’s also brought onto the team apparently a guy called Frank Pierce, another attorney.

Pierce is a, I want to say controversial, he’s presented as controversial by the media. There’s allegations that his law firm owes people a lot of money that they’re not paying. I don’t know if any of that’s true. Most of what you read in the media is a lie for propaganda purposes. Pierce denies all of it. I don’t know if what he’s saying is true.

Clearly, Attorney Barnes has very strongly held opinions about both these guys, Lin Wood, Frank Pierce, and would never have them on a legal team that he was in charge of.

But I don’t have any personal knowledge to assess whether or not that perception by Attorney Barnes is accurate, or whether there’s anything wrong with Lin Wood or Frank Pierce that would suggest they shouldn’t be on anybody’s legal team. I just don’t know.

I mostly get concerned if I see things not happening that ought to be happening, or I see things happening that ought to not be happening. So my concern isn’t really how Attorney Barnes is characterizing these two guys. Personally, that’s up to him and he may know things I don’t know, I couldn’t say.

My concern is when I hear things like, well, Rittenhouse was at his arraignment with only a public defender. That’s not good. That shouldn’t be happening, not when hundreds of thousands of dollars has been raised for him.

Not that there’s anything wrong with public defenders, folks, a lot of the best attorneys I’ve ever worked with have been public defenders, I started in the law in the public defender’s office.

But public defenders are almost invariably overworked. If you’ve got hundreds of thousands of dollars for legal defense. you don’t want a public defender, not because there’s anything wrong with a public defender, but because that public defender can only ever give you 1/20th of their time.

You don’t want one 20th of your attorney’s time, you want 120% of your attorney’s time, so someone should have been there. So when I hear that, and by the way, I don’t know if that’s true either. But if I hear that, that gets me extremely concerned, much so much more so than anybody’s personal characterization of another lawyer. It’s not uncommon for one lawyer to say bad things about another lawyer.

Okay, let’s look through the Facebook comments now. Paul says he got his DVDs in his PO Box. I’m glad to hear it, Paul. Be sure to let us know what you think we always like testimonials. If you really enjoy them, tell your friends and if you if you don’t really enjoy them, you know, silence is golden. But I’m sure you’ll like them.

Oscar James says he’s sipping coffee from his Law of Self Defense mug, that would be one of these mugs folks. They’re really quite nice mugs, Law of Self Defense [on one side], hard to kill hard to convict [on the other side] and you can get your own if you’d like to at:

[Someone else asks] when I share my anecdote about the Zimmerman witness who got impeached on the stand, was it a relation to the purported fake girlfriend witness.

No, it was no relation to the current scandal about whether or not, what’s the crazy girl’s name, who was on the witness stand at the trial. Sometimes they call her Diamond, sometimes they call her, she went by different names.

But the accusation now in a civil suit brought by Zimmerman is that she was not in fact, the actual witness who should have been testifying, the actual girlfriend of Trayvon Martin, she was a substitute witness, a fake in effect. I don’t know if any of that’s true or not, folks, I’m not covering that detail the trial, but the witness who was impeached at trial had no relationship to any of those people, to my knowledge.

Oh, Jack says Walker & Taylor is a law firm behind Texas law shield US law shield. If you say so, I wouldn’t know about that. I’ve never really heard of them before. But I don’t really pay attention to such things. Whoever they are they, they could have made a more coherent argument for the cause they were espousing than they did in that press release. I will say that.

Let’s see.

So Helen says, What about a threat of a mob? Isn’t that enough grounds to fire upon someone to protect your home and family? I guess talking about the McCloskeys.

The legal standard doesn’t change, the legal standard is, are you facing an imminent threat of deadly force harm.

Now certainly, a mob even of unarmed can represent a imminent threat of deadly force harm, the sheer disparity of numbers could do that. But merely because a mob is present doesn’t [automatically] mean that they do represent an imminent threat of deadly force harm, there would have to be conduct that would suggest they intend to use their disparity of numbers to cause death or serious bodily injury. So a mere group of people is not enough.

Now, the McCloskeys of course are saying that well, they had other evidence of this. They were being threatened, their lives are being threatened, their home is being threatened with arson, for example. But whether or not you know, I don’t hear those threads clearly on the videotapes, it would have been nice if the McCloskeys had their own videotapes, where those kinds of threats were clearly audible.

By the way, folks, another question that’s come in with the Rittenhouse case is the guy who was shot in the arm, this Gaige Grosskreutz, because he was shot in the arm when he was approaching Rittenhouse with a pistol in hand, as we can clearly see in the video and still images. It turns out that gross Kreutz is a convicted felon. So obviously a prohibited person, not privileged to have a gun as a convicted felon. It’s another felony for a convicted felon to be in possession of a gun. I think every state has on the books now. When I first started practicing law, believe it or not, Vermont did not have a state law prohibiting felons for being in possession of firearms. I believe they do now, I think they’ve since adopted it.

But in any case, there’s a federal law on it. So the question is, well, why hasn’t gross Kreutz who’s now walking around with his arm, what’s left of it, in some kind of cast? Why hasn’t he been charged as a felon in possession of a firearm? It’s a felony, if not at the state level, then why not at the federal level?

I mean, we can kind of understand at the state level, the state level appears to be so politically polarized in favor of the Antifa/BLM mobs, that they’re simply not prosecuting anybody on that team, including Grosskreutz.

But what would keep the Federal prosecutor from bringing Federal charges against Grosskreutz? And the answer is nothing would stop him, if he wants to. So the real question is why apparently does he not want to? Because if he wanted to, there’d be nothing to stop him from doing that. So, I don’t know what the answer to that question is. You’d have to ask that prosecutor. Certainly he has all the evidence he could possibly want to bring the charge and make it stick.

Let’s see.

Yeah. So, Joseph says something here in the comments on Facebook that I should perhaps spend a moment on before I go. And that is, we talked about the mere threat of force and the use of force should merely pointing a gun at someone be permitted, be lawful or low lawful at a lower threshold, then wood firing the gun or alternatively, should you be allowed to point a gun at someone to under circumstances in which you would not be privileged to actually shoot them.

And most of us have been trained that you don’t point a gun at someone unless you are PREPARED to shoot them. That’s different than saying you don’t point a gun at someone unless you’re GOING to shoot them.

In the process of presenting the gun circumstances might change. You might be being the victim of an armed robbery of somebody armed with a knife. You decide to defend yourself. As you’re presenting your gun, they see the gun, they drop the knife. Well, arguably, they’re no longer a deadly force threat and therefore shooting them would not be lawful. Even though presentation the gun was lawful because at the time they still had the knife in their hand.

So, I wouldn’t want people to think that if you’ve drawn the gun, that means you have to shoot. I think a reasonable argument can be made that it’s probably not prudent to draw the gun unless you’re prepared to shoot. But if circumstances change, well, then you should within reasonable limits, within your human capability, then your defensive response should change appropriately.

Let’s see.

Someone here mentions if you need a lawyer, you need a lawyer from your own state, he can hire professional consultants, you need a lawyer who’s admitted to practice in that state.

Now sometimes the admission process can be rather flexible. So, a lawyer who’s got a lot of experience, a good reputation, in another state might be admitted by a court [in a different state] to practice in that [different] state for the purpose of that one case that’s before the court. That’s not unusual, happens quite often, especially in high profile cases, where a lawyer will come in who’s not a member of the bar in that particular state, but the judge will permit them to act as a lawyer in that one case, as if they were a member of the bar. [Invariably this also requires that there also be a second lawyer on the defense team who IS a member of the bar of that state.]

I can tell you my own personal law practice here at Law of Self Defense, I’m a member of the bar in Massachusetts, that is the only state I’m a member of a bar. But I work on cases all over the country because I am a legal consultant in those cases. So that client is not my client. That client has a lead counsel, their lead attorney who is licensed to practice in whatever the relevant state is, and then my client is that attorney and all my legal advice gets filtered through that lead counsel before it gets to the end client.

Which is why I’m able to consult on cases in any state without having to be a member of that bar. I’m not providing final legal advice to that client or lead counsel is doing that.

Ray asks, Is that an LFI certificate on the wall behind you? I’m surprised he can tell that, but yes, it is. I have a number of my most valued certificates behind me one is my LFI-1 class from 1996. Another is my certificate from the class I took with Jeff Cooper. Same year I think or maybe ’95, ‘97.

A couple of humble IDPA certificates when I was actively competing, which unfortunately, I don’t have much time for any more.  A certificate from one of my talks at the FBI Academy. Basically, it’s my I love me  wall.

So but yes, LFI certificate, for sure. Yes, Mas Ayoob is the guy who turned me on to this whole career focusing my practice on use of force law one and of course, he was kind enough to write the foreword for the most current edition of the “The Law of Self Defense, 3rd Edition.”

Many of us in the self defense community stand on the shoulder of giants like Mas, we couldn’t possibly where we be where we are today without him having kind of plowed the road before us. So many thanks, as always,

John asks, What about the low ready position? Well, this just gets into, in other words, would that be a use of force the threat of force.

The law’s completely ambiguous about it, they doesn’t make any clear distinction, so it becomes a matter of discretion for the prosecutor. Now, I know in most of the country, most of the prosecutors I talked to, they do distinguish between a hand on a holster gun and a gun at low ready, and a muzzle on a person. They do distinguish between those things and they’re more likely to charge an aggravated assault if there was the muzzle on the person than if you’ve kept the gun at a low reading. Or if you just put your hand on the gun in a holster even in such a way that it’s obvious to the other person that you’ve done that you’ve put your hand on the gun.

But they’re not required to do that. Once you put your hand on the gun, once you’ve made that other person afraid of an imminent deadly force attack, which is what you’re doing, when you put your hand on your gun in a way that they know that that’s what you’re doing. you’ve checked the boxes for an aggravated assault with a weapons charge.

And if prosecutors want to treat it like that, well, then you’ll have to raise the appropriate legal defense to that criminal charge and incur all the expense involved in defending against any kind of criminal charge. So now, we all hope that we live in a jurisdiction or an era in which prosecutors will use their discretion prudently. And in the old days, that was common. These days, with politically motivated prosecutors, if they perceive you as being on the opposite team, they just throw the book and you know, they’ll make you burn through a couple hundred thousand dollars in the legal process to, to get out from underneath those criminal charges, which you may not do, right, you might end up getting convicted. There’s always at least a five or 10% chance of getting convicted if you go to trial folks, that’s just the noise in the system. I hate to say it but that’s the way it is.

So, we’d be living in a much better world if we had more adult, less politically motivated prosecutors, but increasingly that’s not the world we live in.

Alright folks, it’s been a bit over an hour I ran long again My apologies for that. I try to be respectful to your time. As always, I will now before just before I go I do want to mention one last time because this is only by the time we talk again next Thursday, this opportunity will be over. And that is our Rittenhouse Bundle of our most popular, most comprehensive Self Defense Law instruction:

All right, folks. I will I think wrap up before I go just to remind all of you that if you carry a gun so you’re hard to kill, which is certainly why I carry a gun so I’m hard to kill so my family is hard to kill. Well, then you also yourself and your family to make sure you know the law so that you’re hard to convict.

Alright, folks, until next time, I’m Attorney Andrew Branca, Law of Self Defense. Stay safe

4 thoughts on “News/Q&A Show: Sept. 10, 2020”

  1. Charges of recklessness in the first shooting makes me think Ritterhouse may be toast. Seventeen year old scared kid without a lawyer, what did he say??????? Any felony conviction on the first shooting bars a justification defense on the second shootings, and these were his two clearest self defense shootings. Lot of people are convicted of offenses in a clearcut self defense case because they opened their mouth and hung themselves. Warning shot maybe? Accidental discharge? Didn’t intend to hurt him?

  2. Woops. The guy shot in the arm is claiming he is not a convicted felon, that his hand gun was licensed, that he had a CCW Permit. Really doesn’t make any difference, but it does show how reliable the “evidence” we get from the news is. I’m taking this with a grain of salt because the same story is claiming Rittenhouse was in unlawful possession of his AR-15 because he was under 18. I have seen the law on short barrel rifle and shotgun possession, but I haven’t seen this guys rap sheet.

    1. Attorney Andrew Branca

      Thanks for the heads up, I’ll check it out, and correct content as appropriate.

      As you say, however, it really changes nothing about Rittenhouse’s self-defense claim.

      It might, however, explain why even the Feds have not sought to charge Grosskreutz with felon-in-possession.


      Attorney Andrew F. Branca
      Law of Self Defense LLC

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