Category: Blog

USAJOBS ADVICE

USAJOBS ADVICE

Looking for a government job? 

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before… Phil 3:13


When I was unemployed.  Looking desperately for a good government job, I was crushed by how many jobs I put in for without hearing anything.  I was convinced USAJOBS was the devil.  I found out later that there are ways to do it better.
Have you ever tried to get a position through USAJOBS?  It isn’t easy but not impossible.  After 7 years, I finally got one of my resumes through the gauntlet.  It wasn’t luck or a celestial event.  Someone gave me advice.  I want to share some of that with you. 
When you start or restart, create a professional profile for yourself.  You email address should not be anything but your name.  You will be judged later by RUMPSHAKER-123@ mail.com for sure. The key word here is professional. 

Pay Attention to the Announcement


Make sure you see how the supporting documents can/should be submitted.  Success is not in the number of resumes you send out, but in how thoroughly you address the employer’s needs and show your value in each submission.
In reviewing the basic qualifications and the job description – if you do NOT have similar types of duties, which make use of similar knowledge/skill/ability then you will not be considered for the position.
Don’t lie if you don’t meet all of the requirements.  If you meet the basic qualifications but not the specialized experience, you will likely not be rated as well qualified by the HR team.  Don’t dishonestly claim something you didn’t do or a skill you don’t have.

About that Resume


Match the language used in the posting. Do NOT spell out numbers (i.e., “ten” vs. “10”), even for small numbers. Get the dates right.  This is important when HR is determining whether or not you have the 1 year of specialized experience (if that is part of the qualification requirements). Be thorough in your description of job duties for each position on your resume. HR can NOT ‘guess’ or ‘assume’ or ‘give you the benefit of doubt’ that you have the knowledge/skill/ability to do the job that is being advertised.
A typical federal resume is 4-6 pages. Make good use of your resume “real estate;” everything on your resume should be focused on the job you are applying for. Anything else should be eliminated. Ten years is the main focus. You are not likely to achieve success when applying for federal jobs with a 1-2-page resume. 
Success is not in the number of resumes you send out, but in how thoroughly you address the employer’s needs and show your value.  Don’t use full sentences, but start a phrase with a verb.

For the majority of the assessment questions, if you can say expert or near expert, when relevant, do it.  But be able to back it up in your text afterwards. (i.e., examples)

You have the opportunity to save five resumes in USAJOBS.  Use it.  Do not submit the same resume for every opportunity. It may be easy but by using a cookie-cutter resume, you’ll make the same mistakes.  
And finally, don’t give up.

If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.

I finally got that good government cheddar in November.  I hope this helps you.

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Adulting Made Easier

Adulting Made Easier

Sometimes being an adult is hard. It’s difficult when you realize no one cares. It’s tough when your friends know less that you do. Life is really hard when you’re stupid. Most of us are not stupid as we are stubborn. We don’t seek help or try again after we fail. I am here to tell you that failure isn’t final. I’m a survivor. I made it to middle age. I didn’t get here playing it safe either. One of the things I did right was listen to older guys. There is nothing new under the sun. The same problems you are going through or will encounter have been around since the beginning of time.

The best that ever did it, and got away with it.

 

Why Old People Are Grumpy

One of the reasons some old people are cranky is because they are mad. They are mad that by the time they got their Shitake plate together, they were too old to make a difference, make a change or pass on the knowledge. Regrets and frustrations abound. They are also mad because they have screwed up the relationship with people they want to share information with. They didn’t communicate, they lied or screwed up and can’t reestablish the trust they lost.

Life is easy. We make it hard.

You give less attention to living when you are young than you do as you get older. When we finally start to consider where we might end up, we start planning for the future. Not everyone does this. Some seem to come out the gate with a plan. Those that do are often following someone elses’ plan for them. I have seen that person, succeed, and throw it all away when they realize it was not their goal but someone elses’.

When do you know what you want? It is a combination of self realization, environment and desire. You have to be comfortable with you. You have to want to change, improve and grow. It may suggest to you that you have to move from your physical location. I know many people that fear moving. Your environment can change your outlook and opportunities. If you were fishing and not successful, it would be smart to move your boat or change your position on hte shore to a different area, right? Somehow we search for success in relationships, jobs in the same pond when there is are oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and other ponds available.

So here I go.

I am launching this blog, a new podcast in 2020 basically sharing every positive, helpful and enjoyable thing I have learned to help you be a better adult. Because I have been podcasting since 2007, I have decided to niche the show down to just men’s issues but its what I know.

Are you happy with your career choice? It’s tougher to find a job in some places than others. Are you prepared to get the job you want?

Dating these days is a little different in some ways than it was when I was doing it. But I was “doing it.” Even though social media has entered our world, people are still the same. People still want the same things. Men aren’t much different than we were before but society has made it easier to be lazy, give less, and take more. Acceptable culture have upset the apple cart. It is still a good thing. It still can help you live a better life. There is someone out there for you, but its probably not the one you are with now.

Marriage is one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood institutions we have. It is not for everyone. There is a reason so many end in divorce. It has not been entered into with understanding. We quit too easy.

Networking is still the best way to learn and gain. We were not born into this world alone. There are billions of people out here. Someone is throwing away what you need. Someone has the key to the door you want to go through. Someone you have never met wants to help you. You will never find them, on your block, in your ‘hood, or at home.

Communicating is the magic sauce to getting what you want in life. Being able to relay your thoughts, needs, and intentions is huge. It is important to be able to talk to different people, to the opposite sex, to managers and children. If you can “talk” you can win.

Finding your purpose is a lifelong goal. The secret is you can change it as many times as you want. Don’t put yourself in a box. Don’t think you can’t do anything. All you have to do is keep moving. Stagnant water starts to stink and so does a life that is not flowing.

I found some retirees that used to fish together from May to September on the third Thursday of the month in the Chesapeake Bay. They allowed me to take the place of one of the members after he had died. The time in the boat with these sages was priceless. They shared stories that had timeless lessons. Then one by one, they died. After twenty years of fishing I had heard some of the stories more than once. I can’t get you on a boat but I can share what I know with you here. It’s adulting made easy.

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What Is Depression and How Does it Work

What Is Depression and How Does it Work

Check out this episode!

This is the fourth episode of the Game Changers Podcast.  Show notes below.

  • Depression
  • The Stigma The Truth
  • What do you do when…
  • Conversation with a Dr of Psychiatry
  • 1-800-273 TALK (8255)

Has something happened in your life recently that has got you down? You going through something? (Most of us are) You drinking, smoking or popping something to help you cope? You watching a lot of porn? (what’s a lot, right?)
You might be depressed.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or feeling “empty”
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Irritability acting like you got sand in your draws
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom
We throw ourselves into work, into household projects, we try to stay busy but sometimes, you have to fix you.

Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do
Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:

  1. Try to be active and exercise.
  2. Set realistic goals for yourself.
  3. Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
  4. Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
  5. Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
  6. Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better.
  7. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  8. Continue to educate yourself about depression.

Do you have a win? How about a loss? Or you just want to talk to me about something that concerns you? 443-360-5421 is my number. Call me, tell me, leave a message
Shalom Baby,
KennBlanchard.com

Check out this episode!

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Werewolves and the Blues

Werewolves and the Blues

My favorite movie monster is the werewolf. It has changed since Lon Chaney, Jr. anthropomorphize into a lycan in the black and white film but I still love the character. Unlike vampires, zombies or Frankenstein’s’ monster, the werewolf is a living thing. It is cursed. It is feared. It could be anyone. It is natural. It is the subject I pull from to create a series of werewolves that originate from a man bitten by a werewolf during the period of American slavery. The man now almost immortal has been hiding in plain sight as a blues musician. The books chronicle bits of history, blues music, horror and crime drama.

The books are self published. They are quick reads. I am still polishing my craft as a writer and editor. The latter needs more work. But the story is exciting to tell. I gleaned the help of my friend Derek Ward to help me with writing dialogue in the first two books. The excitement for me is in researching the lore, the music and trying to keep the history straight.

The most recent book is more sexual in nature than the others. I am a romantic at heart, with a dirty mind. In my creative journey, I can see this as a graphic novel or a movie series. I have seven more books in my head. Only time will tell if it comes to fruition.

[table id=2 /]

Born in what is now the west African country of Gambia, Sulayman, an aspiring musician and storyteller, of the tradition of “akonting” was captured by British slavers and sold as a slave in North America in the 1700’s. Accused of raping his white mistress, the plantation owners’ daughter, he was publicly whipped until presumed dead in the courtyard of a huge estate, to be removed in the morning. Barely live but unconscious, he comes to in the full moon night. Wounded by unfettered he makes his escape into the nearby swamps. Going by the limited knowledge he had about the land and the lore, he remembers that North was the direction of freedom. And that God had made it so moss only grew on the north sides of the trees in swamps. After hours of walking in the marshes, he learned that moss grew on all sides of trees. Seeking to die in peace, he shelters himself and bleeding back in the hull of a tree trunk as he waits to pass on from this life to the next. As he slips out of consciousness from exhaustion and blood loss he sees the eyes of a predator closing in on him.

When he awakes he finds that he is now being taken care of by a strange woman of the swamp. He heals and enjoys the freedom he has not seen in a decade. He soon learns the price of his freedom. This woman has changed him into something else. They are spiritually bound somehow and over the past three hundred years he has evaded her.

Today he is a modern day blues musician. A relic in every sense of the word. He has successfully managed to keep his secret hid from all but a few. The times are changing. Evil is flourishing. It is becoming harder and harder to keep his existence undercover. And now there is another problem….

This is the continuing story of Solomon Love, werewolf.

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Having Children in 2020

Having Children in 2020

Check out this episode!

HAVING CHILDREN 

The chances of having a child increase when a man and woman have sexual intercourse. Previous personal history, health, age or economic status often doesn’t matter.  If sperm fertilizes egg, there is a good chance a baby will be produced.  We are created for procreation. Most of the men I know didn’t know what kind of father they would be.  Some want a lot of kids.  Some want only one.  Some wonder if they will be good enough.  Some wonder if they can afford it.   It is a common thought to not have children in this day in age.  It has always crazy.  It has always been bad.  It is always a turbulent time.  Kids are born anyway every day. That is the way of the world.

Ready or not.   Aside from any of that, what do you do after they arrive.  it doesn’t matter if you are married or not for the biology to occur.  Your social status, ethnicity, race, or age doesn’t matter as it relates to if it will happen.  What do you do after the baby is born?  You have to adjust.  You have to adapt.  You have to change your plans.  Children are a game changer.   Marriage, which, when done right really helps you raise a good child is not in vogue, not popular and not understood.  Do you realize how easier it is to raise a healthy, happy child in a loving home, with shared values, incomes, and goals?  Do you realize how great it is not to struggle mentally, physically and spiritually as some do?  Marriage is not the answer for everyone but it is not what folks are doing these days that we call marriage either.   Marriage is not the magic pill.

You must be mature. You must be close to the same page.  You must communicate.  You must want to grow.   And on top of it all there are people that use children to live.  They use welfare like a career path.  They have them so they will be supported financially by the state or you for the rest of their lives. There are those that think all they want is the child they don’t want you.  They like your genes.  You are reduced to being a sperm donor.  You’ll make a pretty baby, they think.    One of the truly crazy things in today’s culture is that crazy behavior is supported.  You will find groups and organizations that promote and give advice to behavior that is detrimental to a child.     But let’s say, no matter what your situation is, you are father.  How do you become a dad?  In my humble opinion, you have to change your priorities.  You have shown love.  And before I lose you, if I haven’t already, I’m talking about sacrificial love.  The love that takes over your life so that you would give your life for your child. You child didn’t ask to be here.  It can be raised by the state.  It can be raised in brothel, crack house, or the streets.  The only reason and the only way your child will make it is if you protect it, love it, nurture it, teach it, feed it, all of that.    OK lets back up.

 The kid has been born, the mother is a psycho chick with a nice body.  it was a one night stand, or a repeat offense cause it was that good, she is not someone you thought would be a good mother but… or she belongs to another, was married, separated and … there are a million scenarios   if you don’t have children right now, and you are listening, allow me to help you understand the importance of contraception, the importance of abstinence, the case for waiting, the case for being smarter than your penis, deciding not to take the hot chick to bed immediately as if her expiration date was fast approaching.   the case for marriage, the case for planning because the alternative is to be a single father, dealing with a woman that doesn’t want anything to do with you except your child support.

Another child getting lost in the system, thinking her father doesn’t love her.  thinking all men must be like that guy….   But my guest this week, is a humble guy, a good man I met at work.  He just recently became a father, since I’ve known him and from the outside looking in, is doing damn good at it.  His name is Gardner Douglas. He is an Army vet.  He is an entrepreneur and a podcaster.  And he is the second guest on Kenn Blanchard’s’ Game Changers Podcast.

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The Struggle of a Single Dad

The Struggle of a Single Dad


Check out this episode!

Integrity, lies, trust, us.
You are going to hear a candid personal account of Michael J. Woodland of IG@munitionsweaponstactical
It is a conversation with a single father of what he is going through. What do you think? 

Do you have any wisdom to share with us?

I am still working through my workflow and equipment.
You can support the show at https://support.kennspodcast.com

And we have a private Facebook group.

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The importance of a Father

The importance of a Father

Fatherhood and good parenting are important to me.  

My world has been shaped and influenced by men that acting like fathers to me or did not. At this point in my life, I am close to sixty years old.  I have survived a lot.  I have raised successfully two adults.  Of all the things I have done in my life, those are my highlights.  I want to share what worked and what doesn’t with life with as many as I can.

Fifty years ago a father’s word was questioned less.  Men had it easy in some respects.  They didn’t have any cultural responsibility to take care of his children. That responsibility rested with the mother, or mother substitute.  That was not a good way to operate.  

I think it matters and I don’t have a study or research to quote.  I know however that an extremely high number of men in prison and heading that way are there because they didn’t have a dad.  

I think my kids learned by watching me interact with different things.  How dad handled it was processed, sometimes imitated.  I think my kids learned how to regulate their feelings and behaviors. It didn’t end at 12 either.  They needed to see and hear me talk about adult issues too.  I think parents throw their kids out too soon with too many threats available for them to have to fend for themselves.

Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections.
There is no question that fathers do play an important part in their children’s lives: the majority of studies affirm that an involved father can play a crucial role, particularly in the cognitive, behavioral, and general health and well-being areas of a child’s life; having a positive male role model helps an adolescent boy develop positive gender-role characteristics; adolescent girls are more likely to form positive opinions of men and are better able to relate to them when parented by an involved father; it is generally accepted, under most circumstances, that a father’s presence and involvement can be as crucial to a child’s healthy development as a mother’s; and experiencing validation of their importance in the general parenting literature has made fathers much more conscious of their value, which, in turn, leads to their greater desire to be involved.

We learn by doing, talking, reading, discovering and a mix of these.  I want to be a conduit for change.  I want to help the men in my circle and yours do better, be better, get a second a chance.

We can talk about your story too as we work through, I’ll deal with issues relating to the absent father, the alienated father, and the divorced father.
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30 Year Gun Control Cycle

30 Year Gun Control Cycle

In 1991, I began a campaign to change the gun laws in America. It was accidental. Having grown up in the turbulent 60s, the groovy 70s and the excessive 80s, the thoughts on guns depended where you were geographically, and culturally. The Gun Control Act of 1968 had made firearms the scapegoat for the murder of the Kennedy’s, King, and El Shabazz. It was an easy sell. War is still hell. Criminals still kill people. Bad guys still exist.

Every thirty years since the first gun control act in the Virginia colonies preventing the Indigenous people, Chinese and African from owning firearms, the issue of gun control flares like sunspot. Politicians find the support to lie and instill fear of the inanimate object. Organizations grow based on that lie and people that don’t want to think believe.

Every thirty years, gun laws become more restrictive. Common sense is excused. The facts are ignored and popular opinion shifts away from reality.

What has happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the past few months is right on schedule.

The response is different though. In the past thirty years, we have connected via the internet. The news is still fed to us, but it can be chosen. Information can be shared without government approval. People are able to decide what they want to believe. The tactics to divide us are still the same and still work however.

Fearing a repeat of the deadly violence that engulfed Charlottesville more than two years ago, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary emergency Wednesday banning all weapons, including guns, from Capitol Square ahead of a massive rally planned next week over gun rights.

The Governor of Virginia, mobilized law enforcement to imply that the decades old Lobby Day in Richmond was a threat to the Commonwealth. The passing of sanctuary cities in over 150 locales in the state added to the fervor. What is worse is that the same governor that may have donned black face in college, insinuates that the Virginia Citizens Defense League is like the white supremacist that plagued Charlottesville in 2017. Yes, he found some crazies to arrest prior to Lobby Day but the 3000+ people that successfully showed up, not only cleaned up after themselves but were law abiding.

He declared a state of an emergency and bans guns from Capitol Square. The media loved to show us the pictures of the armed brothers and sisters outside that area.

Gun control is and always has been racist.

The racism nobody will admit is against the white male gun owners of Virginia.

I have spoken at the VCDL gun rights rally a couple of times in the past twenty years when it didn’t conflict with my travel to the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show. It is held every MLK weekend. Some question whether I had a problem with that day being used as a Lobby Day, a gun day?
My answer is hell no. Even if you are not a gun person you call it a day of service, not a day off. When I was in Richmond, following the rally, Virginians respectfully went on appointments to meet with their elected officials. I know the group, and have seen the great work they have done for those that believe in the US Constitution. The Virginia Citizens Defense League is a non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the rights of Virginians to keep and bear arms pursuant to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 13 of the Constitution of Virginia.

Gun control doesn’t work. It has always been a failure. We cannot legislate behavior. Criminals don’t obey law. Making new laws (we already have over 20,000 gun laws) does not save one life. It has been a faithful trick of the politician for centuries. Making new laws looks good for the politician but does nothing for the neighborhood.

In December 2019, I retired from the fight we know as Gun Rights. It is a “never ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.” I don’t know anyone that has ever “retired” from a job that didn’t pay a salary but one that was 24/7 representing the under-represented, maligned and demonized gun owner; but I did it.

I pass the baton to the growing and connected diverse number of activist that didn’t exist when I started calling myself the Black Man with a Gun. They are dynamic. They are all colors of the rainbow.

What’s next for me?

I still love podcasting. I’m going to pivot and rebrand. I have started a new channel and podcast to support the great men I have met that are fathers that could use an advocate, a cheerleader and a resource to do the right thing, be a good man, and a better dad. I want to be a better uncle, friend and brother. I plan to continue to inspire, motivate and teach guys I know how not to make the same mistakes I have. I want to show them how others have succeeded in family matters.

I made some stupid mistakes as a husband. I want to share those so others don’t. I did some great things as a day and I want to share those. I think my kids learned by watching me interact with different things. How dad handled it was processed, sometimes imitated. I think my kids learned how to regulate their feelings and behaviors by watching my struggles. It didn’t end at age 12 either. They needed to see and hear me talk about adult issues too. I think parents throw their kids out too soon with too many threats available for them to have to fend for themselves. I created a podcast to help my brothers know they too can do better than their fathers did.

We don’t talk about winning as dads. When I got married and instantly became a father, I wanted to be a good dad. I’ve learned some stuff and know BS when I see it. I want to share some dadvice here with you in addition to ready children’s stories that might inspire you to pick up a few for your munchkins on the new YouTube channel.

My mission is to speak to and about elements of fatherhood, and men’s issues. I want to help the person that forgets or needs a reminder that we can do better.

Follow me as I crank up the computer and peg the microphone on Kenn Blanchard’s Game Changer Podcast at http://kennspodcast.com

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Developing My Software

Developing My Software

As I mature, I have begun to care more about software than hardware. I own enough stuff. I am not the master of all that own but I am working on it. What I have in excess I am selling or giving away. Another semi-automatic pistol will not make me a better marksman. Mastering myself does that.

I’ve reached a point where strengthening my inner self is more important than acquiring more stuff. When you die, your stuff goes to someone else. Often it is someone undeserving but you have no control over who gets it.

“We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sails.”

For almost thirty years, I have been involved in the gun rights movement. Since 2000, I have been known for my trademarked phrase, Black Man With A Gun. The people I have met in the gun rights movement have been amazing. They are passionate members of our country. What I have appreciated more are those that have a successful home life. True success is peace, good health and family.

I started looking for those that had solid families. I gravitated to those that sacrifice, are present and show integrity. I have learned that those that dis the father in their lives often are or have struggled so much that they may not be ready for you might want to share. They have trust issues. They are not dependable. They have had no example of positive leadership traits and had to be pirates, mercenaries and ninjas to get to this far. You almost can’t blame them if you think about it that way. We all want to thrive. You can only grow from what you know.

Pirates are romanticized until you get robbed by one. “take what you can, give nothing back.” I used to think like this. Now I am trying to give as much as I can away.

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Mind Blown

Mind Blown

Had a good friend call me last night excited with a new idea he just had. He suggested I write a childrens book about guns. He said he was tired of all the gun violence. He said that I had credibility and knowledge that would make people listen. My head exploded.

Mind Blown GIF by SYFY - Find & Share on GIPHY

I grew up in an athletic family.  I have two cousins that made it to the professional sports level.  My father was trying to play professional baseball in New York before he “remembered” he had enlisted.  My mother was a star basketball player in high school.  Somehow those genes missed me.  I however was a marksman.  I didn’t know it was important or esteemed until the State Department placed a bunch of different firearms in front of me preparing to serve as an Embassy Guard overseas as a US Marine.  After enlistment, I got a good government job with the Central Intelligence Agency.  They nurtured my curiosity and gift which led me to shoot firearms from all over the world.  I became a trainer for our security teams and agents.  I have been trained by some of the best in the world to teach.  By the time I got to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia; I was a distinguished expert.  And when we didn’t have time to train folks, they sent me to protect VIPs in 13 hostile places.

I became internationally known and trademarked the name Black Man with A Gun™. I was ordained in the Baptist church and became a pastor which being pro-gun was a challenge. I have testified in the state legislatures of Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, Michigan, Maryland, and Wisconsin. I have been podcasting since 2007. I have voiced commercials for TV and radio against racist gun laws. I have been featured in four documentaries. I have authored several books.
 
It was then that I noticed for the first time, the disparagingly low numbers of African Americans in the gun magazines, books and competitions.  I created African American Arms & Instruction, (A3i) in 1991.  Forbidden by “the government” from using my bona fides for marketing, I got used to not promoting myself to my own detriment.  I did connect with like minds as a gun advocate and began my crusade to change the hearts and minds of people I thought would eventually see the light.  As an advocate before the age of social media, I got beat up by all the usual suspects often not on camera but in churches, town halls and state houses. I wrote the first edition of Black Man With A Gun in 2000 to help me get the word out.  I created a national African American gun club in 1992.  I met the founder of USCCA then and forged a friendship as he was building his magazine and ultimately USCCA as it is today. Rewrote the book in 2014.  I retired from the Second Amendment struggle in 2019.  Letting the younger lions take it on.  I’m a little more coordinated now than I was as a kid.  I can run and shoot accurately now, just not that fast.

Since he obviously forgot all that, I suggested I should probably then try to influence state laws, lobby, get on TV, radio, create a podcast, a website, a facebook group, and travel to places of worship to speak too. I gently reminded him that “gun violence” is a misnomer. That all he has just mentioned I have done for thirty years. I shared with him that the gun advocacy ranks have risen and that I knew of at least ten new “soldiers.” (I wondered how he had missed it)

Stick a fork in me mama, I’m done.

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