The Advocate, Vol. 21, No. 2 (March 1999)

Book Review: The Law of Self-Defense
Virginia M. Bibb, Paralegal
The Law of Self-Defense: A Guide for the Armed Citizen
  by Andrew F. Branca, Operon Security, Ltd.
             P.O. Box 2905, Acton, MA  01720-6905

Andrew F. Branca, a Massachusetts attorney and active firearms enthusiast and supporter has written a no nonsense, but somewhat opinionated guidebook for the generalized application of the legal principals that provide a foundation to the law of self-defense.

The general legal principals examined here by Mr. Branca are illustrated by examining actual statutes, as well as, contemporary court cases from many jurisdictions that have interpreted and applied those statutes. Although not a definitive authoritative resource for the law of self-defense, this book should be utilized as a guide to form a foundation on which the reader can construct a knowledge and understanding of those laws.

The author's goal through this writing is to provide the reader with some fundamental concepts of the law of self-defense. Such as standards and burdens of proof, descriptions of the reasonable and prudent person, knowledge of the attacker's reputation for violence, an explanation of criminal charges which may arise from the act of self-defense and the legal defense of self-defense. In depth explanations accompany each topic with case law, common law and personal commentary interwoven throughout each chapter.

This book certainly has many compelling points and can be viewed as a great educational tool in understanding the law of self-defense. It is recommended for anyone who wants general information about self-defense and/or for those who may encounter situations where self-defense may be necessary.

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