DOWNFALL: The UC Berkeley Law School Stand-Your-Ground Debate

Well, this past Tuesday (April 22, 2014) I represented the pro-SYG side of a Stand-Your-Ground debate hosted at UC Berkeley. A fully detailed post will follow when I have a free moment, but I thought I’d post this brief recounting here before it’s too dated.

Opposing me arguing against Stand-Your-Ground was Sunny Hostin, a CNN legal analyst.

Both Sunny and I also each had a debate partner. At one point her partner stated that Zimmerman had gotten out of his car after being ordered by police not to.

I immediately offered her a $100 wager that Zimmerman did NOT get out of his car after being ordered by police not to.

She remained silent, but Sunny Hostin fairly lunged at the wager, accepting it publicly in front of a packed audience of law school students and members of the public.

The next day I sent Sunny the 911 audio recording of the exchange between Zimmerman and the police dispatcher, which took place while Zimmerman was in and out of his car. Nowhere in that recording is there any evidence that Zimmerman exited his car after being ordered by the police not to do so.

I offered Sunny my mailing address so that she could make good on her wager.

Shockingly, she refuses to do so. Make of that what you will.

In the meantime, however, a DOWNFALL parody has been made about both the UC Berkeley Stand-Your-Ground debate and Sunny’s refusal to honor her wager.

Needless to say, this is satire, in that UC Berkeley is not actually territory controlled by Nazi’s, and neither CNN nor Sunny Hostin work for Hitler. 🙂 The facts of the debate and the wager are, however, entirely accurate.


Don’t forget to come hear me speak Friday, April 25, 2014 at the NRA Annual Meeting, and if you see me around the event be sure to say hello!

More later.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

About the Author

Andrew Branca
Andrew F. Branca, Esq. is currently in his third decade of practicing law, and is an internationally-recognized expert on the law of self-defense of the United States. Andrew is a Guest Lecturer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, a former Guest Instructor at the Sig Sauer Academy, an NRA Life-Benefactor Member, and an NRA Certified Instructor. He also teaches lawyers how to argue self-defense cases as a certified instructor with the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) system in numerous states around the country. Andrew is also a host on the Outdoor Channel’s TV show “The Best Defense” and contributor to the National Review Online. Andrew has been quoted as a SME (subject-matter expert) on use-of-force law by the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and many other mainstream media, including nationally syndicated broadcast media. Recently, Andrew won the UC Berkeley Law School debate on “Stand-Your-Ground,” and spoke at the NRA Annual Meeting Law Symposium on self-defense law. He is also a founding member of USCCA’s Legal Advisory Board. In addition to being a lawyer, Andrew is also a competitive handgun shooter, an IDPA Charter/Life member (IDPA #13), and a Master-class competitor in multiple IDPA divisions.

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