Before I get into it, I wanted to say Thank You to Rick Davis of Deliberate Defense for hosting Andrew Branca, as well as Andrew Branca for making the trip to Albuquerque to share, not only his knowledge, but also his expertise, on the Law of Self Defense. If you haven’t read Branca’s book, The Law of Self Defense, you should. You can read the review of that book here.
The seminar began on time, as promised, and over delivered on content and value. There were 12 or so attendees, comprised of a handful of concealed carry instructors, two attorneys, and several CCWers. Before beginning we were warned that we would cover more legal information related to the legal use of force than most attorneys would in their education, certainly more information than patrol officers receive in the academy, and a considerable amount more than what was covered in a concealed carry course. While I pride myself on providing more than most in our CCW course, I was surprised at how much more information was given and how much information I took in.
I ordered the bound book of slides that is offered for each course and the $20 investment was more than worth it, the few students who hadn’t purchased this ahead of time did so during the first break or prior to the seminar beginning. All in all, there were roughly 350 slides, none of which was fluffer material. The seminar ran from 1:00 to 6:30 or so, with only a handful of 5 minute breaks, and Mr. Branca speaks fast, not too fast, but he doesn’t waste time getting his words out. Questions seemed to be answered with “we’ll get there in a few slides” which was the truth, I don’t recall a single question being asked that wasn’t covered in a few slides. For a speaker who travels every weekend he had his New Mexico specifics down and was able to easily communicate NM law to the everyday CCWer. That in and of itself was worth the cost of this seminar (an already steal of a deal at $150 regular admission, $100 of you registered early).
As a NM CCL instructor I had a better than average, and in my opinion, a pretty thorough understanding of the NM laws of self defense prior to attending this seminar. Having said that, I still came away with more than $150 worth of knowledge. If for nothing else, Andrew translated everything down to middle school level reading and comprehension. This is in now way meant to be an insult, on the contrary, for someone to be able to take legalliese and jargon and make it easily understood is an art form (he does the same thing in his book).
Through his instruction and lecture I have already made changes to my thought process regarding self defense, and especially my outlook on coming to the defense of others (more on that in a follow up post). The five and a half hours felt like half of that at most. For the cost of this seminar there really isn’t any reason for you not to attend. If you’re reading this you most likely have some inclination that the responsibility to protect and defend yourself and those that you love is your responsibility. You need to prepare yourself for the legal battle that follows the physical fight and for less than the cost of a shitty handgun you can potentially save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars (by not making a poor decision) or at the very least $450 for an initial consultation with Andrew Branca, should you ever need to resort to deadly force to save yourself or a loved one. Seriously, put $10 in your gun safe every other week until Andrew Branca is back in town and then take that money to sign yourself up and every responsibly armed citizen that you know and can afford to with that money saved. They’ll thank you for it, you’ll thank me for it, I’ll thank you for it, and you’ll also receive a nice discount on my NM CCL Course for a loved one.