Book Review: “The Law of Self Defense”, by Andrew F. Branca

bookindexIf you’ve been in the gun community long, you’ve probably heard the Internet lawyers. They’re the guys who say, “if it’s a righteous shoot, you have nothing to worry about” and “better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.” They tell you, “shut up and don’t say a darned word to the cops” and, sometimes, even things like “drag his body inside and put a knife in his hand.”

Unfortunately for you, the Internet lawyers are not going to be there to pay your legal bills if you’re involved in a deadly force encounter, and they’re not going to be sitting in the jail cell next to you if you follow their dubious advice. It is absolutely true that surviving the encounter is the first problem you have to solve, but if you make it through alive, it isn’t the only problem. And, if I may say so myself, surviving a deadly force encounter only to lose my freedom and bankrupt my family is a decidedly hollow victory.

For that reason, if you’re a law abiding armed citizen,The Law of Self Defense, by Massachusetts lawyer Andrew F. Branca, might just be the most important book you can read this year.

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Book Review: “The Cornered Cat: A Woman’s Guide to Concealed Carry”


To say that Kathy Jackson knows her stuff when it comes to firearms and shooting is sort of like allowing thst Tiger Woods knows a thing or two about golf. Kathy is an instructor at the Firearms Academy of Seattle, teaches workshops for women through her Cornered Cat Training Company, and is the editor of US Concealed Carry magazine. She’s also the maintainer of Cornered Cat, which is perhaps the firearms and concealed carry resource going for women. (The site is a great resource for men who would like to help the women in their lives who want to shoot, too.)

I imagine Kathy probably wrote “The Cornered Cat: Concealed Carry for Women” at least in part because she got tired of people asking her when she’d make a book out of her Web site. The truth is, there are precious few resources out there specifically tailored toward women, and although I’ve been lucky enough to experience fairly little in the way of overt sexism in the gun community, there’s no question that the lion’s share of the material out there is geared toward men. Many gun books and magazines, and no small number of equipment manufacturers, seem to cater to the “tacti-cool” guys who want to play the “bigger, better, latest, greatest” game with their guns and gear. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, of course, but for a woman new to shooting, it can be a bit intimidating.

That’s where Kathy’s book comes in.

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Book Review: Campfire Tales from Hell

Campfire Tales from Hell is subtitled “Musings on martial arts, survival, bouncing, and other thug stuff” and that’s not a bad description of the book.

Edited by Rory Miller, the book features essays from well-known self-defense/martial arts folks like Marc “Animal” MacYoung, Wim Demeere, Alain Burrese, and a host of less-well-known voices. I bought this book on my Kindle, though I see there’s a paperback version available as well.

Read on to find out more about the book, and what I thought about it.

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Book Review: “Personal Defense for Women”, by Gila Hayes

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, and one of the books I just finished is “Personal Defense for Women” by Gila Hayes. Gila is an amazingly talented and knowledgeable woman: An instructor with the Firearms Academy of Seattle, an accomplished author and journalist, and now the Operations Manager of the (fabulous) Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.

With all this knowledge and experience behind her, it should come as little surprise that Gila was able to pack the book chock full of terrific information. What may be surprising, given Gila’s credentials in the firearms world, is that the focus of the book doesn’t shift to firearms until almost halfway through. But you won’t be sorry about that; the first half of the book is just as rich and in some ways even more important.

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Book Review: SHOOT, by Julie Golob

Whether you enjoy shooting rifles, pistols, or shotguns, or even other weapons like black-powder muskets, chances are there’s a competitive shooting event for you. And, chances are that you can find it within the pages of SHOOT, the new book by professional shooter and Team Smith & Wesson captain Julie Golob.

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