Welcome to the Black Man With A Gun website!
The idea was born on a outdoor shooting range as I stood with my two friends as we paused between instructing new CIA officers in the hot sun of the summer. The three of us were unique in the shooting world and gifted atteaching. What if we could start a black business to teach theunderrepresented gun owning community how to be safer with their firearms?
What if we could inspire new gun ownership in the African American community? What if we saved lives by stopping misinformation and providing the urban adult with the option of firearm training?
It was inspiring. It hit all my buttons. The Agency was less than happywith my entrepreneurism. After doing all the necessary disclosures, and notifications, I launched African American Arms & Instruction, Inc. in 1990.
This was before social media, GOOGLE and the Facebook.
I courted the firearms industry, the gun rights groups and all media at the time. Prior to this any and all attribution of African Americans with guns was associated as negative. It was in the gun community that I first saw the America I had been looking for. Like me they were veterans, former law enforcement and college educated people with families. Many were people in the realm of the Judeo-Christian faith. Jews and Gentiles, blacks and whites on the same side.
Like many in Black America, the Jewish people were not 100% sold that guns were mechanical devices that needed to be included in their lives. I gained new allies that taught me about cultures outside of my own and my business took a back seat to activism.
The business created a gun club called the Tenth Cavalry that grew intothree chapters after 1991. The Buffalo soldier name was the only positive association I could think about that didn’t slow the momentum that I was gaining. I learned quickly the cost of being a cult figure. I wasn’t ready for it.
The NRA moved its headquarters from Washington, DC to Fairfax, VA and built a state of the art range in its basement. The Tenth Cavalry Gun Club was one of the first clubs to test it out. I received media training from the NRA. I became the unpaid spokesman when needed to testify in state houses, persuade politicians and clergy that guns in the hands of a person of color was not a bad thing.
After a successful couple of years of this I helped changed concealed carry laws in Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin. I worked with lobbyist and legislatures to change laws in Chicago, Annapolis, and the District of Columbia.
After the birth of my son, and a bunch of missteps at my good government job, I slowed my roll but became known as the Black Man With A Gun.
I thought it was funny. I knew I wasn’t the only one but at the time I wasthe most prominent. I wrote a book while working part-time in a church called “Black Man With A Gun, People fear what they don’t understand.” I had the photos taken by a local legend that I stumbled on named Jason M. Johnson.
My editor suggested I change it to Black Man With A Gun, A Responsible Gun Owner’s Manual for African Americans.
This book was published in the same tragic year as the Columbine Shooting. I have great timing. It was during the time of the Y2K scare.
The gun club and I were also prepping for the apocalypse. We had older members teaching how to preserve and cook foods. It was interesting times. I close cousin that had made it big in the NFL gave me money to self-publish. I had a literal ton of books delivered to my door one day.
The pro-gun book for responsible gun owners that I thought would get me out of debt and make me a hero in my community failed. Oprah’s book club team said it was something they didn’t want to support. African American book stores were against it. Although books about drug dealers, pimps and gang members were prominently displayed.
When they went out of business I didn’t weep.
Another friend, paid a webmaster with a doctorate to create my website in 2000. HTML was like rocket science back then and I had a website bigger than most corporations. It took about 3-5 minutes to load on a computer but it was awesome. We had dial up modems back then.
I was one of the first “bloggers” allowed to the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT show) as media. It was a difficult time.
Bloggers were hated at this time. We might have hundreds of readers that took no time in comparison to the “dues that had to be paid,” for a freelance writer to make it in the magazine business.
I became the ambassador of grassroots activism. I learned from the group — Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) before the creator passed away. I helped the Pink Pistols gain momentum. I created the Latino Gun Owners page on Facebook.
And I’ve been beat up by the best of the anti-rights people publicly and privately for three decades.
Almost all of my adventures have been made better by the assistance of one person time or another. I’ve only got this far with a little help from my friends. I’ve tried all kinds of things over the years. I’ve sold targets, shirts, hats, and eye and ear pro. I created the Urban Shooter Podcast in 2007. It’s still going but has changed names a few times. I’ve run for public office and written a series of fiction about werewolves. I have become the unofficial chaplain of the gun rights community and all of my social media post are to entertain, educate or enlighten.
These days I feel more like a mountain man after civilization has “become”. I see the progress of so many that are doing what I could not. I was too early in most of my endeavors. The failures hurt so bad, I don’t want to revisit them now even though it is possible and easier. I’ve tried everything at least once.
Today, I can see the wake I left. I am an ordained pastor now, that loves playing the guitar and inspiring the next generation to live their best life, and contribute as much as they can to the betterment of the world.
Some of the most engaging post of his site are from friends I have met along the way. The podcast has over 600 episodes that you were invited to listen to. I have a whole network if you want to visit it.
The journey continues.
Rev. Kenn Blanchard