Category: Blog

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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Losing Weight

Losing Weight

It’s that time of year again. Do you want some real tips on how to lose weight?

I developed my six pack by sucking in my stomach every time I saw a bikini.

I found out that there are many ways to lose a lot of weight fast. Not all are healthy or for everybody. Most of them will make you hungry and feeling like crap. The shirt I am wearing was supplied by BornTough.com. I really like their line.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas out of the way, many of us start to think what we could or should do to get fit in the New Year. If you are over 50, it is not too late. There are three things to concentrate on to succeed. One of which is not what to wear or how much equipment to buy.

The first thing if you haven’t had a physical in a while is to check with your doctor. If you have been inactive, you may have some risk factors for heart disease that you want to get advice on. You might be better off than you think. Don’t let your mind take you out of the fight. Your chronological age may be 55 but you might be 35 on the inside. After that, get moving.

Your diet is extremely important. You can lose weight by eating better. But don’t stop there. Every bit of movement counts. Here are a few tips to help you lose weight quickly, and without hunger. It can also jumpstart your metabolic rate too. (That is a good thing.)

1. Cut Back on Sugars and Starches

The most important part of losing weight is to cut back on sugars and starches (carbohydrates).
When you do that, your hunger levels go down and you end up eating much fewer calories. The Keto diet I started with the help of my daughter helped me with this. A good diet will make you burn carbs for energy. The Keto diet done right makes your body feed off of stored fat.

Another benefit of cutting carbs is that it lowers insulin levels, causing your kidneys to shed excess sodium and water out of your body. This reduces bloat and unnecessary water weight. It’s the water weight you will shed first.
It is not uncommon to lose up to 10 pounds. That is about the weight of a gallon of milk.

2. Eat Protein, Fat and Vegetables

Each one of your meals should include a protein source, a fat source and low-carb vegetables.
Constructing your meals in this way will automatically bring your carb intake into the recommended range of 20–50 grams per day. Imagine this for breakfast and it being good for you. Cheese, eggs and bacon and avocado. Nothing wrong there!

Protein Sources
Meat: Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc.
Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, shrimp, etc.
Eggs: Whole eggs with the yolk are best.

The importance of eating plenty of protein is “huge.” It supposedly has been known to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day.

High-protein diets can also reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, reduce the desire for late-night snacking by half, and make you so full that you automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day — just by adding protein to your diet. When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients.

All vegetables and fruits are not equal. Some have high natural sugars or carbs which you don’t want. Don’t be afraid to load your plate with low-carb vegetables. You can eat massive amounts of them without going over 20–50 net carbs per day.

Here are some:

Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower – I was introduced to pizza with cauliflower crust.
Cucumber
Kale
Lettuce
Spinach
Swiss chard
Tomatoes

Eat 2–3 meals per day. If you find yourself hungry in the afternoon, add a 4th meal.
Don’t be afraid of eating fat, as trying to do both low-carb and low-fat at the same time is a recipe for failure. It will make you feel miserable and abandon the plan.
Assemble each meal out of a protein source, a fat source and low-carb vegetables. This will put you in the 20–50 gram carb range and significantly lower your hunger levels.

3. Lift Weights 3 Times Per Week

You don’t need to exercise to lose weight on this plan, but it is recommended. I lost thirteen pounds in a 31 days not lifting.

By lifting weights, you will burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight. Strength training is important because it improves your strength and posture, maintains bone strength, reduces the risk of lower back injury, and also helps you tone. If lifting weights is not an option for you, then doing some cardio workouts like walking, jogging, running, cycling or swimming will do. And if you want to look good while you work out. Try BornTough.com’s line of products.
Studies on low-carb diets show that you can even gain a bit of muscle while losing significant amounts of body fat.

You want to include aerobic exercise. Aerobics work the large muscles in your body, benefitting your cardiovascular system. Make sure you can pass the “talk test,” which means exercising at a pace that lets you carry on a conversation.

You also need to stretch to maintain flexibility and range of motion in joints. They also reduce the risk of injury and muscle soreness.

The Center for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week. You should combine this with two 30-minute strength training sessions per week. The intensity of cardio should be challenging, but tolerable. You may want to grade the intensity of a workout on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being incredibly difficult. Aim for exercise somewhere in the 4-8 range. If you are just starting out, start with a less difficult routine and work up to more challenging exercise. If you want to keep going past the first month.
If daily exercise is new to you, don’t worry. Start with just ten minutes of exercise per day, and build up from there. Most importantly, find what works for you.

BornTough makes gym wear that is robust. The workout shirt I just got online is better quality than the two high-priced brands I was looking at in the mall. I had never heard of them until recently, so don’t feel alone if they are new to you too.

I was pretty disappointed at the clothing that is being sold today in local stores when I went looking for work out gear. It is not made to last. I bought some pants that were so thin, that when I tried to wipe off a stain, I almost put a hole in them. This is not the case with BornTough products, check them out.

 

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Papas Got A Brand New Bag

Papas Got A Brand New Bag

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it annoys enough people to make it worth it.

MARYLAND, USA Civil rights activist, firearms instructor and podcaster known as the Black Man With A Gun ™ retires with over six hundred available episodes. Rev. Kenn Blanchard, also a Christian pastor has decided to pass the torch of gun rights advocacy to the next generation of social media influencers that have grown exponentially on the internet over the past five years.

The Black Man With A Gun persona emerged in 1999 with the release of the website of the same name announcing the self-published book of the same name in 2000. It was an ominous time to be pro-gun. There was a tragedy at a school named Columbine. Some were worried about the Apocalypse and Y2K.

black Man with a gun first edition

Oprah Winfrey had a TV show and a Book Club that was making stars out of hacks at the time. Blanchard was elated when someone from her team requested a copy of his book for review.

“All I wanted to be is a resource for saving lives in the community. I could be the go-to guy to stop accidents in the homes, protect single mothers; and help boys become men.”

That didn’t happen.

Blanchard did begin speaking around the country to promote his book which with the website made him look authoritative. Websites were not common in 2001 unless you have a lot of resources. This website was created by a woman with a PhD that was a friend of a friend.

It was bigger than the NRA’s at the time. The Libertarian Party of Maryland liked Blanchard so much that they wanted him for a gubernatorial candidate.

Several websites around the country put his face and info on their websites. Some claimed him as a conservative, some a progressive liberal and even some a Black Nationalist.

African American themed book stores were the thing and they didn’t want to sell my book.

They said it didn’t promote the kind of values they wanted to reflect in their store. I thought it was odd though that a book about responsible gun ownership would be rebuffed while the books with the best placement in the store were about pimps, prostitutes and street hustlers. A book called “Monster,” the autobiography of a gang member had the most prominent spot in the window at the time.

I’ve been there and done that.
I got the NRA’s Eddie Eagle to do the one and only sold out appearance at an African American event in Washington, DC of 10,000 people. I received a Civil Rights Award from the NRA that got me a standing ovation at an Annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ.

Before the web presence, I was just as busy. I created a national gun club for African Americans called the Tenth Cavalry Gun in 1992. There are even more details on my bio page at http://kennblanchard.com/about

 

Tenth Cavalry at the new NRA range in 1992

May I continue?

I started the Urban Shooter Podcast after being interviewed by Mark Vanderberg on his podcast back in 2007 called Gun Rights Radio. Mark sparked my love of Old Time radio and the desire to be on terrestrial radio since a teen.

I tried everything on that podcast. We had a weekly audio drama called Zombie Strike! That some loved and some hated. We had a couple of burgeoning comedians. I have interviewed over 200 influential guests. And some not so. I stumbled, mumbled and sang to my heart’s content. I told stories and shared African American history with an audience I didn’t know would care. And I loved them for it. I told them my life, and they shared my time and experiences as the “pastor of patriots, pistoleros, and Paladins.”

The podcast helped me learn and focus my craft of speaking, preaching and reaching people. It helped me learn about myself.

The desire to retire from the gun rights movement grew after the 2019 Gun Rights Policy Conference in Arizona. I got a chance to see the heirs of my struggle. There are a handful of activist that are doing it right. They don’t have to chase advertisers or sponsors like I did. They have thousands of followers off the break.

And then there was the successful 2 A Rally in Washington DC. 2000 of my closest friends put on a major event without the usual foolishness. In spite of the naysayers it happened. This event again gave me the “warm and fuzzy” that I could depart this space and go on to other things.

I was tired of trying to convince others that I was still valuable. I was tired of watching people with no credibility or integrity –flourish. I was tired of re-introducing myself. I was tired of defending what I was doing to my wife, churches and a long list of connections.

I wanted to go out before I said something that got me into trouble. They old guys in the balcony on the Muppet Show were about to get a third.

Right after I announced my “retirement” my computer gave up the ghost. It was apropos.

I am not finished though.
My voice and passion for others is stronger. I plan to continue to podcast and write.

On guns, I am still pro-rights, pro-guns. I care more about the gun owner than the brand, model or reissue of a firearm.

I love the brother or sister that also cares about this nation, their communities and family enough to be a citizen.

For thirty years I have fought for the rights of gun owners of all colors, and categories. I am a part of the family that cares for and encourages the growth or development of someone or something.

One of my biggest regrets is not knowing how to use the ever changing search engine optimization. What I plan to do is to become a better storyteller that can share wisdom, good times and inspiration. I’m taking the name from an Old World French and African class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers that maintained a tradition of oral history called griots.

This new podcast will speak to and about elements of American history, culture, that help us do better. There will definitely be some gun stuff there.

The Second Amendment is so important to our nation, it’s in the Bill of Rights.
The American Grio is coming. I am hoping you’ll come along for the ride.

It’s everything that is you and me.

 

 

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Grandmas Gun

Grandmas Gun

My maternal grandmother introduced me to the history of the Second Amendment and busted the myth of gun control. Her annual ritual of celebratory gun fire gave me the true origin of Watch Night.

Grandma was not a gun rights advocate, or a politician. She and my ailing grandfather lived in poverty about 500 yards from the Virginia border of North Carolina on a small farm. Historically it was the same location that Nat Turner ran through and hid after becoming a fugitive for fighting slavery and leading a four-day rebellion of both enslaved and free black people in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. It was remote, rural and poor.

Grandmas was the orphanage for our family. Her barn was the storehouse for baby items, and furniture. Instead of selling stuff, our families brought it here if it could be reused by a new parent, newlywed or member of the family needing to start out. Except for the baby cribs, most of it was never reused. It was just junk.

My grandparents raised hogs, chickens, ducks, and rabbits and had a garden. Only two neighbors. The closest was 500 yards down the road on one side. The other was the hunting lodge a mile in the other direction.

No indoor toilets, (we had an outhouse and chamber pots) no showers, drafty in the winter, blazing hot in the summers, it was going back in time.

My grandfather suffered a stroke early in my life and walked with a cane. He was slightly disabled, but still worked the farm when able, and then there was grandma who took care of us all.

It was the best time of my life.

A small pond / swamp also was connected to the property which was my playground growing up. Dish and bathwater were dumped into this place. There was a grapevine at the end of the property that was the home of bees, and all manner of creeping things.

It was in this home that I first saw my grandmother use the shotgun that sat behind the wood burning stove in the kitchen all my life.

My understanding of the Second Amendment, and gun ownership began with that shotgun. It was naturally camouflaged by rust, age and dirt. It was probably a Sears Roebuck 12-gauge 101 shotgun for the collectors.

It was that shotgun that became the base of my pro-gun stance. For people that are ignorant about guns that was what I was exposed to because of my grandmother. It was unlocked, loaded and accessible gun in a kitchen, with 3-10 grandchildren in the house at any time. No accidents, no fear of it. We respected our grandparents. We respected their home, rules and gun.

One summer that I spent there as a child amped up my appreciation of arms and my grandmother. While playing near the swamp, a four foot water moccasin came out of the water to dry itself and warm up. I was just standing there when it came out of the water. Water moccasins are an aggressive species of poisonous snake also known as the Cottonmouth. When it found its spot on the bank, it didn’t want any crap from a young kid like me. It hissed, bared its fangs and stood up to make itself look bigger.

It worked because it scared the crap out of me. I screamed. SNAKE! Grandma- Snake! It was then that I saw the marksmanship of my grandmother.

Except for New Year’s, which I will share with you next, I didn’t know if my grandmother could use the gun. I don’t remember my age but I know when she came to the screen door and saw the snake about six feet away from me, she went into mama bear mode.

“What do you want boy” she said looking through the screen door on the back porch. She saw me, she saw the snake and went back in the house.

Grandma I yelled again, not wanting to be left alone. I didn’t know she saw my predicament.

She came back in seconds. I was a first relieved and then I got worried. She had that old shotgun and started walking toward me.

The first thing I thought of was, she is old. What if she can’t shoot? She ain’t the Rifleman. She might shoot me. But that is how she walked. Like the rifleman straight at me.

No grandma no I said quietly,

Steadily walking toward me…

She mounted the shotgun into her shoulder like a soldier, looking down the barrel and without warning fired a shot which expertly disintegrated the black snake. Parts of which went back into the swamp.

The noise of the shotgun made me jump. After I looked at where the snake should have been all I saw was the back of grandma going back into the house, going back to whatever grandmas do, not even phased or concerned.

I just stood there, mouth opened, still in shock from the whole event. I wasn’t shot, she kept me from being bit, she had fired an old shotgun from what I realized today was a good distance on the move.

YAY Grandma!

The second time I saw the shotgun move from behind the stove was during hunting season. It was a cold morning, during my Christmas break and a truck load of white men drove onto the farm unannounced. By the time a couple of them approached the outer door, Grandma had the shotgun in hand as she opened the door to greet them. They never knew it but she was armed.

With practiced “sweetness” she answered the door, ready to defend us if necessary. The white men were just as polite and apologized for the interruption and offered “Ms Mary” some venison should they be lucky today. It was in exchanges like that I saw examples of how an armed society was a polite society. I think that is a podcast somewhere.

And then finally the annual event that reminds me of my grandma’s shotgun was watch night otherwise known as New Year’s Eve.

For some people making noise, and popping corks is the extent of celebrating the New Years’ revelry but I want to share with you what it meant to an African American woman born before women were allowed to vote, the Titanic sank, and during the time when people of color were discouraged from voting. Someone who was a child during the conflict of WWI, and Virginia’s alcohol prohibition.

My great grandparents where the first generation to celebrate the experience what was first called Freedoms Eve.

You see, New Year’s Eve used to be a special occasion in African American culture. Celebratory gunfire meant more than noise making. Freed men owned guns, slaves did not.

Let’s go back to December 31, 1862. After the Union Army was victorious at the Battle of Antietam on September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary proclamation that declared that all slaves in “any state or designated part of a state . . . In rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Many blacks in the North and South as well as both free and enslaved blacks anxiously waited for Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to become effective on January 1, 1863.

Wide eyed with anticipation, many African Americans dared not sleep throughout the late night hours because they wanted to watch “the night turn into a new dawn.” As they watched, many slaves reflected on their hardships and toils, mourned the memory of their ancestors and loved ones who died in slavery, and spent time thanking and praised God for allowing them and their descendants to watch the night of captivity pass.

The chains of poverty, racism, and discrimination have acted as constricting shackles for many African Americans throughout the course of the century following emancipation. Being only quasi-free and given the illusion of equality, many African Americans derived hope from the well spring of their faith as they struggled for the realization of God’s perfect will for true liberation and justice

But this wasn’t universal. Many African Americans want “to distance themselves from the more painful and degrading aspect of the race’s collective past,” as they feel that celebrating emancipation kept the memory of slavery alive. After 1870, and even continuing into the twentieth century, many African Americans advocated halting Freedom Day commemorations. It is rarely even mentioned in church services.

Shooting a gun wasn’t allowed for many of us. We have culturally added prohibitions on ourselves to prevent our children from being lynched, or jailed. This self-inflicted behavior is from the Black Codes. The first gun control law in Virginia was circa 1639 where the General Assembly of Virginia specifically excludes blacks from the requirement of possessing arms.

Black codes were restrictive laws designed to limit the freedom of African Americans and ensure their availability as a cheap labor force after slavery was abolished during the Civil War. Though the Union victory had given some 4 million slaves their freedom, the question of freed blacks’ status in the postwar South was still very much unresolved. Under black codes, many states required blacks to sign yearly labor contracts; if they refused, they risked being arrested, fined and forced into unpaid labor. Outrage over black codes helped undermine support for President Andrew Johnson and the Republican Party.

The end of slavery in 1865 did not eliminate the problems of racist gun control laws; the various Black Codes adopted after the Civil War required blacks to obtain a license before carrying or possessing firearms or Bowie knives; these are sufficiently well-known that any reasonably complete history of the Reconstruction period mentions them. These restrictive gun laws played a part in the efforts of the Republicans to get the Fourteenth Amendment ratified, because it was difficult for domestic terrorist aka night riders (KKK) to generate the correct level of terror in a victim who was returning fire. It does appear, however, that the requirement to treat blacks and whites equally before the law led to the adoption of restrictive firearms laws in the South that were equal in the letter of the law, but unequally enforced.

High Court rules has no power to stop KKK members from disarming blacks. In United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. at 548-59 (1875) A member of the KKK, Cruikshank had been charged with violating the rights of two black men to peaceably assemble and to bear arms. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the federal government had no power to protect citizens against private action (not committed by federal or state government authorities) that deprived them of their constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment. The Court held that for protection against private criminal action, individuals are required to look to state governments. “The doctrine in Cruikshank, that blacks would have to look to state government for protection against criminal conspiracies gave the green light to private forces, often with the assistance of state and local governments, that sought to subjugate the former slaves and their descendants… With the protective arm of the federal government withdrawn, protection of black lives and property was left to largely hostile state governments.” (GLJ, p. 348.)

When I was a kid, all my heroes had guns. Around Christmas time that was all I wanted. All the popular TV shows had guys with trademarked guns. Cowboys, spies, cops, cartoons, and soldiers all had cool guns.

Oh yeah and my grandma.

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Hope in God – Speak Life Podcast 113

Hope in God – Speak Life Podcast 113

Psalm 42:5 King James Version (KJV)

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Episode 113 – Speak Life Podcast

This is the podcast that never made it. I will figure out how to get it onto Pandora and all the other players that my friends are using to listen to the http://Speaklifepodcast.com.

The subject is about hope this week.

The hope as I am speaking of today is based on the strength of his faithfulness. God has never failed me. I have failed Him. I have not given him props for what He has done for me. I have done stupid stuff in his presence and acted like He didn’t see it. I have blasphemed. I have done all manner of evil. And even on my best day, I have fallen short of the Good that He is.

But God, so loved me that He gave me a million chances to get it right. I had to first acknowledge that He is God. I had to acknowledge and accept the gift that He gave me in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. I had to ask for forgiveness, based on the sacrifice of his Son. To take the place of my mistakes in His presence. I had to repent in my heart, in my spirit that I know I don’t deserve this but gladly and willing accept it. And then claim Him. My God, My Father, My savior, mine.

And that starts your relationship. I had to get things in order. And its not one way. when I moved toward God, HE moved towards me. He was always there I just didn’t know it. He helped me before I could speak the right words.

He let me know I was on the right path. I had to start learning His ways. I had to start being sensitive to the move of the Spirit in my life. it was a growth thing. I still mess up but He is quick to correct me and I can tell when its Him now and not me or the world.

I started looking at things, and people different. That is my hope for you.

So how do you get Hope in God or anyone for that matter. We grow confident based on past performance, knowing their character, having confident expectations. Expectations is the event that is considered most likely to happen.

But if you don’t have a relationship with someone, do you know them? Can you count on them? Do you have any confidence is a stranger?

I don’t think so.

Based on that logic; why do you ask God all the time for stuff when you have no relationship with Him? You know of Him? But do you know Him for yourself?

psalm 42:5 ESV

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation

And in case you didn’t know, my twelve year old iMac gave up the ghost this month. I lost all my special effects, music beds and work flow for podcasting. I know I should have backed it up. And I had another laptop that is almost as old that is failing too and is too full of junk to allow anything new. I have a couple of links for fundraisers here. If you can please consider helping me.
Donate here

https://paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/3587637

Gofundme for the computer campaign is here.

Thank you.

Kenn

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Did I tell you I love motorcycles?

Did I tell you I love motorcycles?

 I love motorcycles.

 

I love the look and feel of them.  I love the culture.  Riding a motorcycle is not a passive activity.  You have to be fully engaged to be safe and enjoy all that the world is when riding a motorcycle.  I just got the opportunity to combine two of my favorite things.  I’m hoping to soon podcast about motorcycles again professionally.  

I’ve been riding motorcycles since 1977.  I rode a Honda 350 motorcycle in high school before I bought my first car.  This was only a year after Gore Tex ™ was manufactured or sold to regular people.  It was a cold ride in the winter months.  I remember not being able to write in my homeroom class a few times because my hands were still numb.  

I had a couple of motorcycle podcast attempts already.  I learned that motorcycle shows are seasonal.  I learned that there is plenty of competition for the earbuds and not a lot of good shows.  I plan on taking what I learned from the Baptist Biker, Motorcycle Radio and Motorcycle Talk to make this an informative, entertaining and community supported show.  Those three podcast have faded.  Domain squatters have snatched up those domains and are now holding them for ransom; but I’ve moved on.  

There are no failures, only lessons!

Riding a motorcycle gives me a sense of freedom. I feel like I am in control of the moment.  There are not that many opportunities to do that these days.  Riding lets me, be me without anyone’s permission.

Back in 1981, I was selected to leave my Combat Engineer unit to become a Marine Security Guard.  I rode my brand new Yamaha XS 850 for Camp Pendleton, CA to Quantico, Virginia to see this great country before I left it to serve in an US Embassy abroad.  It was an amazing experience.
It might sound like a cliché but it’s true,

“Four wheels move your body, two wheels move your soul.”

Riding a motorcycle takes away all my tension and stress. It’s a cheap reboot. It brings a sense of calm and ease to my mind and body.  I’ve preached my best sermons on my bike.  It doesn’t matter that nobody has ever heard them, or that they never sounds as good the second time.  
The most obvious reason I love motorcycles are that they are fun to ride. I have been on commutes to work where I was tempted to keep on going.  I know I am not the only one.  How about when the sky turns a different color or you see some element of wildlife near the shoulder that you hope stays over there?  What about the feel of the temperature drop near a wooded area, or body of water?  What about the warmth of riding in a city that changes when you leave it.  

Pearl Harbor Day 2019

I test rode a Pearl colored 2019 Indian Roadmaster motorcycle from Chesapeake Cycles. It was sunny, dry, and the temperatures were mid 40’s. The shop was surprisingly busy but I was taken care of.

The 7 mile route was nice. It was a back country road in Parole, Maryland. It had farm land, hills and turns.

The motorcycle performed better than any Harley I’ve owned. The phrase “analog vs digital” comes to mind.

The shifting, braking, and balance was not just different. It was better. This bike was 200 lbs heavier than my HD 2007 Electra glide. It had more features than my daughters Honda car. And it cost more than it too.

It’s about 30k out the door. That’s the only reason I didn’t sign a contract immediately. I need to save up for this one.

More to come…

I will be teaming up with Viking Group for a new review with these two links in the New Year.

https://www.vikingcycle.com

https://www.vikingbags.com

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Starting BJJ

Starting BJJ

When you start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) you don’t need much but patience and a good teacher. The right clothing however can make your journey more comfortable.


The uniforms of BJJ have evolved from the universal Gi’s used in Tae Kwon Do or the heavier ones in traditional Judo. Some according to my friends are too soft for anything more than pajamas and others too course. The ones featured here that the host of the WarriorCast podcast is wearing are functional, comfortable and stylish. They run a little smaller than I am used to. The ones in the picture are marked A4.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling-based martial art whose central theme is the skill of controlling a resisting opponent in ways that force him to submit. Due to the fact that control is generally easier on the ground than in a standing position, much of the technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is centered round the skill of taking an opponent down to the ground and wrestling for dominant control positions from where the opponent can be rendered harmless.

The Warriorcast podcast is a weekly show of interviews and viewpoints from Ken Blanchard, II about MMA, boxing, and pop culture. You can listen at warriorcast.com

It usually starts with the thought, “I want to try out jiu jitsu.” Start with an intro class at your local gym. It may be a solo class or with a small group with the instructor to teach you the basic movements. This is your opportunity to see if you like the environment, people, and setup as well as ask them any questions that you might have about how things are run. I would expect them to talk to you about how they structure their program (pricing, contract terms, etc.) after the lesson, but you should not feel pressured to sign anything. It is 100% ok to say that you want to think about it before signing anything if you aren’t ready to sign for any reason.

If you’re not sure about something like what to bring/wear, just ask on the phone.

I often see two things that a lot of people worry about but that are rarely issues. First, they think they’re going to show up and basically get beat up for an hour. That is not how it works. They’ll help you get acclimated, you’ll do some warmups, then you’ll spend most of the class drilling. You might do some live rolling at the end, but again, most schools have you sit back and just watch the live rolling for the first class or two. Once it’s time for you to roll, all your anxiety will be gone.

Also, a lot of people think that they’re going to be an annoyance to whoever they are training/drilling with. That is rarely the case, either. 99.99% of the folks in this sport, regardless of belt color, are more than happy to help new people with questions, technique, etc. Don’t feel like you’re holding them back. We’ve all been in the same place.

Is a great resource for people just getting started or just thinking about getting started. It will answer most of your questions and some questions you didn’t even know you had.

Beginners are sometimes the most dangerous people on the mat. They want to prove themselves. They don’t want to get tapped. They don’t want their ego bruised. For the safety of all your rolling partners, do the exact opposite. They will roll as hard as you roll. They will take into consideration that you are a beginner and try to teach you and go easy with you. Accept that, and leave your ego at the door. You are going to get beat thousands of times before you actually feel experienced. That is called learning.

Also beware of gyms with bullies, and people that want to hurt you. There are a few of them. They are the exception to the rule but watch a class first or get a recommendation from someone you know.

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Farewell Message From Kenn Blanchard

Farewell Message From Kenn Blanchard

I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left. Last night, I put together a video and a podcast episode sharing my desire to exit from the Second Amendment advocacy space. I called it my Farewell Message. The concept of leaving on a high note had been on my mind and I had been talking about it for weeks. Last week my 12 year old iMac hard drive died. Then it fell off my table (no damage). I took it as a sign.
Being the Black Man With A Gun indefinitely was not my plan. All I wanted was financial success. My level of success was independence and self-employment. It never came. Most of it was because I refused to do anything that seemed criminal or unethical. I am not politically motivated. I am not ambiguous. I like people that some don’t and don’t like people that many like.

The good news is that I am still going to be around. The bad news is that you won’t see or hear me talk about firearms or gun legislation after December 2019. I am tired and want to change my evergreen focus to a seasonal one. In this season of my life, I am looking forward to passing on information, encouragement and enjoying myself more than fighting, defending and debating crazy people. I’ve been doing it since 1987.

I have a website called kennblanchard.com that I plan to update and contribute to with all my shenanigans. I hope you decide to follow it. Currently I produce WarriorCast.com ‘s podcast, Speaklifepodcast.com and the Kenn Blanchard Show podcast. Warriorcast belongs to my son and covers his world of martial arts, boxing and pop culture. Speak Life is the weekly show from the Gospel ministry I serve, and the Kenn Blanchard Show is my cornucopia of thoughts.
With my podcasting computer down, I created this video.

Here are my thoughts, spoken from it.

This is my farewell message to friends, family and coworkers in the 2A movement. In my twenty plus year of being in this space, I have never seen anyone actually retire. They usually die, get a mention in the NRA Rifleman, and Ammoland and that’s it. Or they screw up in a media interview and get crucified by trolls and the community members that like that sort of thing. I’m trying to go out on my own terms.
The world has changed since I started. A lot. Some good stuff has happened. And some bad. I used to call myself the Bill Cosby of the Gun Rights Movement. That isn’t a good analogy now. And there were a couple of other guys that I grew up looking up to that have since gone down in flames.
Like my wife repeatedly say, don’t compare yourself to anyone, just be you.
I started with nothing. I still have most of that left.
I started in 1986 wanted to be a firearms instructor for my community. I wanted to become a high paid speaker or radio personality. I wanted to leverage my creativity and entrepreneurism to become a successful business person. I became the Black Man with a Gun (BMWAG)
The local DC Maryland and Virginia community wasn’t ready for an under 30 year old African American firearms trainer. The government allowed me to moonlight and do this side activity but with a strict warning not to disclose my bona fides. I was watched. I was monitored. I had to ask permission before I traveled. When I appeared before the public they thought, how could I know anything? How dare I talk about guns when there was the so called black on black crime, police shootings, and drug wars going on. I got beat up a lot at ranges, gun shops and churches where I tried to advertise. But I became involved in the gun community/ gun rights when I failed to make money as a trainer/instructor in 1987. Gun rights activism doesn’t make money if you are honest.
Since then I have been involved in the gun debate, as it intersects firearms instruction and civil rights. I created the Tenth Cavalry Gun Club in 1991 that grew from Washington, DC, Baltimore, NJ and Illinois. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, introduced me the show business of politics and I worked with to the NRA, GOA and SAF. The website Black Man with a Gun debuted in 1999. I’ve been involved in US Supreme Court cases we have won for the 2nd Amendment even if my name isn’t on it.
I learned more about myself than anything doing this stuff I had a training business, where I provided instruction and certifications in first aid, armed security and tactics. I failed in business but I pressed onward.
I started before social media and looking back I could have been a boss with that thing but I didn’t.
I reached out to all the so called black leaders and announced my intentions in the gun world. It was risky because historically, this same leaders are anti-gun. But I went there. I tried to buy a shooting range. I got blasted by Rev Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and local pastors.
I created a podcast in 2007 and I was embraced by the people black people said I should beware of. The demographic that loved the BMWAG were the same folks that are accused of racism, cronyism, and supremacy. White males were calling me brother. They were listening to my shows. They were inviting me and my family to events across the country. I shot historical firearms in Tennessee. I ate at the homes of millionaires, in country clubs, and places in Washington DC I didn’t know black people were allowed in. I learned that our country likes being divisive. I learned that racism exist mostly because people need it as an excuse. I learned that organizations really don’t want change. I learned that people like mess, and drama. I learned that I was a conservative.
I loved meeting people like you. I loved shooting exotic and new firearms. I loved championing the cause of freedom. I loved being the Black Man with a Gun. I loved mixing faith and firearms. I loved being the pastor of patriots, pistoleros and paladins. I loved writing but podcasting was my jam. I loved and hoped that one day I would make enough money to quit my day job. That didn’t happen by the way. I learned that my faith has sustained me. I learned that my unique position has saved lives.
But it has had its bad side too. I’ve spent too much money learning, and chasing influencers. I filed bankruptcy along this journey. I’m ok now but I learned a lot by my mistakes. My wisdom came at a price. I almost lost my wife on this journey. I almost got kicked out of two churches from being pro-gun. I lost positions, promotions and opportunities at my old government job because of my pro-gun activities. It came at a cost.

Memories
1. Civil rights award from the NRA for bringing the Eddie Eagle program to Washington DC in a big way.
2. St Gabriel Possenti award from the Gun Dean, John Synder at the Second Amendment Foundation
3. Creating the tenth cavalry gun Club and getting the club to shoot at the NRA range when it was brand new
4. Meeting Charlton Heston and getting Christmas cards from him for a few years
5. Being the chaplain of the LEAA
6. Being a part of the concealed carry reforms across the US
7. Testifying in VA, TX, MI, WI and SC legislative houses
8. Interviewing the Gunny, Lee Ermey, Wayne LaPierre, befriending a rabbi like Dovid and connecting with my Jewish brethren
9. Speaking in front of 20K in Albany NY
10. Meeting Donald Trump and getting a selfie in NY
11. Publishing two three books related to the my journey and the 2nd amendment
12. Creating a website in 1999 and trademarking the name bmwag
13. Being mentioned in a movie, pros and Cons.
14. Getting a chance to audition for a pilot show on Spike TV
15. Podcasting for 12 years, 630+ episodes, sharing American history, and introducing new generations to things they may have missed.
16. Working with over 12 industry companies and getting sponsored by Crossbreed holsters and USCCA
17. Interviewing over 100 historical people for the podcast

Why am I leaving?
When I got started in 2000 as the BMWAG, it was tongue in cheek. It was my version of a shock jock. I did it with all the intentions of being replaced by many untraditional firearms instructors, activist and clubs. We have that. I personally know of Spanish speakers, LGBT, African Americans, disabled vets and boat loads of women involved now. I’ve been the go to guy media for law enforcement issues in the black community, religion and guns and veterans issues as it relates to guns. Most of the time, after a tragedy. Not good times. There have been almost a steady flow of tragedy to respond to. If you know the media game, if you sound reasonable, truthful and not bombastic your contribution will not be used. I think I might get the reward for the most media nobody but the editor as seen. I’m tired of that.
It took me awhile to learn the game of hyperbole. On a good day, I can crank it out like the best of them. But it’s not my style. Over the years I have learned that I am not the loudest, nor the most controversial voice out there. I started focusing on taking care of the second amendment first responders instead. And I still will. I care about you, your family and where you are going.
I learned you need a team to succeed. You can be one dude on a mission as I have been. You have to learn how to delegate. You have to inspire folks to work for you for nothing until you can pay them. I didn’t manage that.
Since 2007, I have been producing digital content. The Lord has allowed me to create, practice narration, speak and presenting online. I was intimately involved in the gun debate, US Constitutional issues and social causes. And with that I am well known among the gray beards. This fight is evergreen.
I believe that this season of my life is ending and that I am to move on to the next. I want to entertain. Teach and continue doing the needful on the sidelines. My best work and most of my accomplishments are not online. I have changed minds. I have saved families. I have helped veterans. I have been a brother to those in need. I have helped mothers, grandmothers and children.
So how do you retire on your own terms? I figured my first step was in letting my friends know of my intentions so it doesn’t catch them off guard. Decrease my expenses. Live modestly. Love unconditionally. Continue to help my fellowman. I am still pro-gun, pro-rights and pro-life – my life. If you want to find me, I will still be online, shooting recreationally, still be singing, playing the blues, riding my motorcycle, preaching the gospel, smiling and praising my God.
I thank those that reached out when they saw my IG or Facebook post, and checked on a brother. It wasn’t a lot of you but I noticed who you were. It means I picked the right ones to call friend.
Special thanks and much appreciation to the Crossbreed Holsters Company and family. We connected early and even after the passing of Mark, we stayed connected. Carol has been a blessing.
Tim Schmidt of USCCA has been instrumental in my success too. He was a sponsor of my podcast and 2A work long before anyone knew what social media was. He has moved on and grown his brand exponentially
Barbara Baird of Women’s Outdoor News has been like a confidant and big sister. It is only because of her that I even got invited to blogger events and SHOT show parties. If you saw or met me somewhere exclusive in the gun community it was because of a connection with her.
Shout outs to American Built Arms who sponsored my internet TV show for three months. Blanchard Outdoors.
Shout out to my Sho Nuff supporters of my Patreon account that kept me solvent. I made a pact with the wife not to spend any family money fighting for the RKBA and I’ve doing that successfully for a decade because of you. Thank you.

Like Sheriff Bart said before me,

“Work here is done. I’m needed elsewhere now. I’m needed wherever outlaws rule the West, wherever innocent women and children are afraid to walk the streets, wherever a man cannot live in simple dignity, wherever a people cry out for justice.”

Shalom baby.

Black Man With A Gun ™

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