CCW Safe Podcast - Episode 106: Andrew Branca
Recently, I listened a podcast where Rob High of CCW Safe interviews Andrew Branca. This podcast can be found at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZsjvecziJQ. Andrew Branca is an attorney that specializes in self-defense. Andrew Branca starts off the podcast with a quote, "Avoiding the fight is winning the fight." He explains that there are two risks that you incur when being engaged in a fight: 1. you could die in the fight 2. You could spend the rest of your life in jail. This doesn't mean that we never take these risks, it just means that there are very few situations in which these risks are worth it. Examples include, it is better to win the fight if you can't avoid it, it is better to be alive and in jail or prison than dead. The biggest risk that makes it worth it is to protect your family from harm. A couple examples of situations that shouldn't be worth taking these risks for you are getting cut off in traffic or when someone steals your parking spot.
Things to keep in mind that he brings up in the interview are when you honk your horn at people or get into a verbal confrontation, you do not know how the other person is going to respond. The other person might be having a really bad day or be a psychopathic killer. Especially if you carry a gun, you have a legal responsibility to not escalate situations.
Farther into the interview Andrew Branca talks about his background. He grew up in New York State and wasn't able to get a carry permit in his state. When he was 22 years old he moved to Massachusetts, got a carry permit and began to carry a gun. He explains it as he found out he can carry like a police officer. At first he had the mindset that he doesn't have to take anything from anyone, but at some point realized that it is the complete opposite. He further advises that when you carry a gun, you need to be polite. The gun is to protect you from the violent criminal acts. He said it was an empowering feeling for him being able to carry a gun. Rob Hill further explains that one thing that you can't control is when the people around you start recording the situation on their phones. Depending on when they start recording, you may look like the aggressor in the video.
Andrew Branca also talks about how Criminal Defense Attorney's argue self-defense for their clients in many cases but the truth is that most of the people they are representing are bad actors and the case of self-defense does not fit. He says that there are very few cases that go to criminal court where the criminal defense attorney is representing a good guy and arguing the case of justification of self-defense for a good guy. Andrew estimates that 99 percent of their careers, Criminal Defense Attorney's are representing bad guys.
Another great quote of Andrew Branca's from this interview is, "Them moment you make someone else aware that you have a gun for the purpose of changing their behavior, you arguably have just committed aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and that is good for ten to twenty years in most states." He says that most of his cases are for normal law abiding citizens that got scared and had shown their firearm. Branca says, "You don't have to hurt anyone to be charged with aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is simply putting another person in imminent fear of deadly force." That is what you are doing when you are displaying your firearm. For you to be justified in displaying the gun, you need to believe that you were in imminent danger of deadly force. Andrew and Rob go on in the interview talking about a few examples of common occurrences that they have seen cow holders do to get themselves into trouble.
They ended the interview with the advice to condition yourself to stress so that you can see the exits in the situation and apply avoidance and deescalation sooner or more effectively. They recommend watching road rage videos to inoculate yourself to stress and to better train and prepare yourself to handle those situations so that you aren't dumping all of your mental capacity on dealing with the stress.
Hope you enjoyed this review. Have a great and safe weekend!