You, Me, and Police Shootings: The Truth

“The Second Amendment is for everyone.” I have to repeat the mantra of fellow former US Marine, gun rights activist, and podcaster Tony Simon.  I know people that don’t realize they are free. They believe that the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are subjective. They have allowed injustices to occur because they feel that things don’t apply to them.

A right delayed is a right denied – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

But where are we collectively as gun rights advocates when it comes to the recent police shootings of Black Men With Guns?  I had a different draft post before I read this article from The Rolling Stones Magazine.

Here’s an excerpt from The “Good Guy With A Gun” is Never Black.”

The lack of ability to imagine black people as heroes may be one explanation for these shootings. That was one of the countless things that James Baldwin was right about. American fiction is a significant contributor to our ideas of heroism both on the page and onscreen, and as the author both wrote and said in 1965, “It comes as a great shock to see Gary Cooper killing off the Indians, and although you are rooting for Gary Cooper, that the Indians are you.” Regardless of color, we all are trained from an early age not merely to synchronize whiteness and heroism, but are fed narratives that discourage us from forming any other conclusion. Barack Obama wasn’t enough to change that, to say nothing of Lando Calrissian, Roger Murtaugh or Axel Foley. Not even T’Challa from Black Panther or Chris from Get Out. A childhood of seeing men of color as cannon fodder for Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and other assorted Good White Guys With Guns has an effect on folks.

Jamil Smith

This article made me remember that I have been here before.  I have thought many times since 1986 about the possibility of being shot myself by a law enforcement officer even after graduating from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.  Being pro-gun, African American and a staunch supporter of gun rights doesn’t make me immune.

The accidental death of an African American man in Alabama by a police officer is not news you want to read on Thanksgiving holidays, much less have happen at all.  As a responsible gun owner where should we be in this conversation?

If you are a Black person, the lens in which you look at the recent shootings of Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr, and Jemel Roberson can be different.

I know police are not shooting African Americans for fun and profit.    This stuff still bother us, regardless of color.  Blaming the police broadly is a “cop-out.”

If you are a law enforcement officer  I would dare to say that you hate to hear about this,  knowing that it will make your job even harder than it already is.

Let’s look at the police.  

The police have a difficult job.  They are called to act before all the facts are known in dangerous situations.  They have to basically jump into a crowd of strangers and figure out the good guys from the bad guys.  When they get it wrong someone dies.

Have you ever heard of “Qualified Immunity.”  It is a legal defense where government officials are held harmless if they followed established procedures. It is that established procedure that will be exonerate or incarcerate the police officer in question.  The details won’t make it out of court.  You only will see the drama.  Folks will protest without knowing what was said in court.  Even what you can see on video isn’t ironclad.  There are always circumstances.

I am not excusing anything that has happened.

Police departments that can afford it use simulators to train when to shoot and when not to shoot. This reality based training is extremely useful in exposing weaknesses in police policy and in officer training.  I know for a fact that training is the first thing cut out from a departments budget.  And some people shouldn’t be police officers.

The truth is, you can’t fix stupid.

We hold law enforcement to a different standard but it is not fair.  They are still just people.

The Media

The Media is challenged to report on what will get the most amount of eyes. As consumers, we will change the channel if there is no exciting news. Fear sells.  We like to believe the worst of people before we watch good news so the media broadcasts daily, imagery of dangerous black men, criminals, using and dealing drugs, over-sexed, unemployable, idle and the epitome of death and doom. It is amplified by pop music and underground loving culture and ignorance, that promotes the negative stereotypes.  We have no problem with that.  That is why is it reported on a loop.   It is sensational. Its media worthy.  It divides.  It sells.

Black people have already started the campaign against all police.  That is wrong.

Fear. False Expectation Appearing Real.

 

The racism that everybody always brings up is really based on a fear of loss.  Almost everything we do is based on the fear of loss.  We buy stuff we don’t need because of it.  White supremacy is based on the fear of losing the so-called Whiteprivilege.  Fear of loss touches on almost everything you can name.  This is all because of the psychology of fear.  We are not as free as our Constitution allows.

We fear those different than us.  What was once a defense mechanism is now a flaw.

We are conditioned to fear.  We learn fear.  We are afraid of the unknown. We are afraid that a black man will kill us.  The myth of the predatory Black man has been used to instill fear in whites and to justify their brutality and violence against Black individuals, communities and continents since the 1600’s. The narrative has been passed down from one generation to the next and is still used to underwrite injustice against Black people.

We project this fear.  Have you ever heard of projection?  That is when one accuses someone of having traits they refuse to acknowledge in themselves.

The behavior of people around us also can influence our responses to threats. You ever see people run because everyone else is running?  It is a smart response to crime prevention.

“Fear has a certain contagious feature to it, so the fear in others can elicit fear in ourselves. It’s conditioning.  We come into the world knowing how to be afraid, because our brains have evolved to deal with nature.”

The truth is this is sad.  This has happened before.  Fear and perception cloud our judgements.  Until I started to look “older” I used to cause quite a few people to move fast across the street, lock car doors when I approached or clutch their wallets/purses.  I have been followed in the stores.  I have been accused of “casing” a place while shopping.  This is our society.  I know that all it takes is one bad apple to make us accuse thousands of people in any group.

WTH do we do now?  How can we stop this?  How can we keep our nation together?  How do we stop it from happening tomorrow?

I want to hear your opinions.    But really think about what I said.   The tragic killing of people that scare us, isn’t new.  Don’t restate the problem?   What do you suggest we do to solve this?

 

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

Changing firearm practices within the state of Georgia

ATL Georgia

 

Gun laws in the United States have changed over the years, federally and in many states including Georgia. Of course, the most famous gun law in the country is the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” However, in 1934, the first piece of legislation to control gun sales was enacted, inspired by outcries over widely-publicized shootings. Further gun control laws passed Congress in 1968, 1993, and 1994, although some major court cases did work to successfully challenge restrictive bans.

Gun control laws are becoming stricter in many parts of the country, but Georgia actually has new laws protecting gun owners’ rights in more locations in the state. Georgia follows federal gun laws, but it does not require permits for long guns or background checks for individual gun sales.

There are many active firearms owners and advocates for gun rights in Georgia, and it is important that they understand how the changing laws affect them.

One of the laws that benefits Georgia gun owners is the Stand Your Ground law. This law aims to protect people who exercise their fundamental right to protect themselves in their own homes. The law is designed to stop people from being charged criminally if they kill an attacker while protecting themselves or another person.

The principle behind the law has long roots in Georgia law. In 1898, the state Supreme Court ruled that people have a right to use deadly force if their own life is in danger. Previously they were required to attempt to escape before deadly force could legally be used.

While the principles may date back over a century, the modern Stand Your Ground law was enacted in 2006, and its constitutionality has been reviewed at a federal level.

Since the law was passed, the number of related deaths has nearly doubled, from 7 annually to 13. The laws are sometimes criticized for promoting violent confrontation rather than de-escalation. More commonly, they are criticized not for their intent but for their application, particularly allegations of racial bias directed at police and prosecutors.

The law applies to anyone who believes his or her life to be in danger. People have the right to kill to defend themselves, and the shooting can be considered a justifiable homicide. However, police and prosecutors may not side with a self-defense claim, so people still may face aggravated assault or even murder charges. The Stand Your Ground law helps criminal defense lawyers for those facing charges to present a strong defense.

Additionally, the law can help crime victims protect their rights. One famous application of the law helped a man subject to an armed carjacking protect his rights after he shot and killed the man who was threatening his life. People can feel more secure about defending themselves and their loved ones when they know there is legislation that backs up their rights.

In 2014, Georgia revised its gun laws to expand protection for gun owners who carry their firearms in public. The Safe Carry Protection Act allows gun owner to bring their firearms to bars, churches, government buildings, airports, and even schools.

Many of the rules are subject to local legislation or a building’s owner, however. In addition, the law eliminated fingerprinting as a requirement for a firearms carry license and prevented the state from maintaining a database of licensed gun owners.

The law can help people to go about their business as gun owners who regularly engage in concealed carry. Rather than needing to lock away their gun where they won’t be able to reach it in an emergency, people will be able to defend themselves during an attack in a bar. In addition, people who go to the airport and forget to leave their gun behind can pick it up later; they won’t face criminal prosecution for a simple mistake.

The most recent update to Georgia’s gun laws is HB 280, passed in 2017. The law allows gun owners to carry on the campuses of public colleges and universities in the state. Bucking the trend toward increased gun control, Georgia’s legislature backed increased rights for the state’s 1-million licensed gun owners.

While licensed owners can carry concealed guns on any university property, they’re still forbidden from carrying in dormitories, sorority or fraternity houses, gated daycare facilities, private offices, and in classrooms with high school students.

Once again, the law prevents law-abiding, gun-owning college students from facing prosecution or disciplinary charges from coming to school with their firearm. In the worst-case scenario, gun owners can use their skill and training to protect others from an armed attacker on campus.

Gun laws are always in flux, and it can be important to consult with a lawyer to better understand your rights, especially if you’ve been involved in a self-defense incident. However, Georgia continues to be a state with strong and expanding protections for the people’s right to bear arms.

 

 

J. Blake Ledbetter is a partner at the law firm of Conoscienti & Ledbetter in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Ledbetter possesses significant experience with Uber accident lawsuits and a range of legal issues involving rideshare drivers and riders. Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil trial practice, specifically in the areas of business law, corporate law, contract law and personal injury law.

 

 

Instagram

My first website was started in 1999 but I didn’t really start blogging till 2007. The social media aspect of growing a community was challenging. It still is tough when you are talking to the same people all the time even though you are trying to grow. Fortunately, none of us has to stay stagnant.

When Instagram first came out I thought it was like a visual version of twitter. I found out that it is a pretty good platform to promote your stuff. I am able to share pictures and videos of what I am doing this week, and find new folks that may be interested in my ever changing mindscape. A visual feed can reflect your brand’s uniqueness and differentiate your business. Instagram is a east place to share feelings, situations through pictures.

To grow your reach though, sometimes you need help. I do. I found a young guy that helps me. He has a method and knows How To Monetize Instagram. If you are interested I suggest you check out the site at https://www.socialnetworkelite.com.

My Instagram is @kennblanchard . It would have been better if I had my trademarked name – blackmanwithagun but another brother has it. connect with me @kennblanchard

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

Patrick Kilpatrick Professional Bad Guy

The actor known as Patrick Kilpatrick is releasing and new book which will be part of a two volume memoir, DYING FOR LIVING: Sins & Confessions of a Hollywood Villain and Libertine Patriot on Oct. 1, 2018 by Boulevard Books.

I got to meet Patrick when he invited me to the 2010 Hollywood Shotgun Sporting Clays Invitational to benefit City Of Hope Bone Marrow Donor Program at Triple B Shotgun Sporting Park on October 9, 2010 in El Monte, California. It was big deal because I was the ONLY podcaster present back then.  The dude is still at it and maintaining his tireless pace as one of Hollywood’s go-to action villains.

I’m trying to get him interested in helping me with my Solomon Love stories.

Patrick Kilpatrick has played against a spectrum of Hollywood’s leading action heroes including, Tom Cruise, Yun-Fat Chow, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan, Bruce Willis, Steven Segal, Sean Connery, and Jean-Claude Van Damme, to name a few.

I call this professional bad guy a friend.  He is pro-Second Amendment.  He is a native of Virginia.

The Book

Patrick Kilpatrick actor

“For those of you  hoping for unvarnished, inglorious behind-the-scenes and scandalous sagas of Hollywood action, I boldly refer you to my memoirs.”

 

He never served in military but he has looked out for vets. His father was a decorated WWII Underwater Demolition Team hero. He and his publisher Boulevard plan on donating a percentage of his book sales to those who’ve been wounded in service to the country.

He is an articulate guy that loves his country.  DYING FOR LIVING – Sins & Confessions of a Hollywood Villain and Libertine Patriot is going to share some of the behavior Hollywood is known for.

The books’ plot points include murderous bi-polar assaults by an adulterous mother. It has privileged education amidst pastoral splendor and American Revolution patriotism. Also tucked in are bi-racial affairs, indiscriminate promiscuity and incendiary politics … not to mention, a near fatal car accident, motorcycle crashes.  Scribing for nearly every magazine in New York as well as body-guarding the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Rod Stewart and more …and my global vision for 21st century America.

Patrick is smart and often as serious as a heart attack but he is good people.  If you see his name on the credits of another movie, or in the book store soon check it out.

 

 

 

 

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

My Biggest Podcast Movement Lessons

Eric Rosenberg and Kenn Blanchard

I’ve been podcasting since 2007. The Black Man With A Gun website has been around since 2000. I know 999 things that don’t work. I am still at it. Podcasting still is an awesome medium for marketing even if the firearms industry doesn’t know it yet as a whole. It won’t replace terrestrial radio but has its own space.  It has a long tail.  I love it.

The Black Man With A Gun Show provides a connection to the people I know and would hang out with if they lived next door, around the world. We know each other. I love the people in the gun community.

So before hanging up my microphone, (which I was considering) I decided to go to the largest podcast convention for content creators, movers and shakers to better my craft. My wife still doesn’t understand that I have almost 2,000,000 downloads in a niche. Nor exactly what a podcast is but it’s OK. She’s not the only one. Podcasting itself is less than 20 years old. I went to the 2018 Podcast Movement in Philadelphia. Here are some of my biggest Podcast Movement lessons.

The event started for me with an Ignite speech. It was a chance for me to deliver a five minute talk with (20) PowerPoint slides to showcase my gift of public speaking. I’ve been speaking for 20 years and pretty comfortable on stage. Although this crowd was not part of the gun community per se, communication is still key. I realized during this conference that maybe one of the things I could do to help others is to show how to be better on stage.

The next three days were full of presentations, media exhibits and meeting people. The most important thing was the development of those new relationships, and connecting with like-minded people from around the world. I got to talk to a handful of folks that are changing the world through their content creation.

I got a chance to ask the pros what worked in their markets. What was selling and what was not.

There were probably 1800 people there or more.  All of us had something in common. We had community. We had family. We have something to say.

It was an expensive week, but I think it was worth it. I’m going to spend more time making my show better for my community. Going to do more of what you like. I’m going to be more purposeful in my content. And continue to lead.

I met podcasters like  Entrepreneur On Fire, John Lee Dumas. I got to hang out with John Dennis and Chris Krimitsos.  Really nice guys that are like family to me.

 

 

 

 

 

I got a selfie with the lovable Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.  Pat gave the Key note speech and even brought his son into the act (literally).  Nice.

 

 

We celebrated a Hall of Fame moment with my buddy Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting.  He was actually inducted into the Podcasters Hall of Fame that week.

 

Dave Jackson School of Podcasting

 

 

 

 

UK master from Music Radio Creative‘s Mike Russell.

 

 

Mike Russell and Kenn Blanchard

I got the opportunity to speak to podcast editor great, Steve Stewart. And a boatload of positive people like Monica Rivera, from You Wanna Do What podcast.  It was a great week.

 

 

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.

I’m on it.

 

 

 

 

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

All Politics Is Local – Gun Rights

The gun issue changed my life. It taught me the value of freedom. It showed me how my government works or doesn’t. It introduced me to politics.

As a gun owner you are responsible for the safety of yourself and everyone in your home. You enjoy the freedom of gun ownership. You enjoy the fun of owning, collecting, competing, hunting, and recreationally shooting. You may even own your firearm(s) for self-defense. Whatever your reason, sooner or later, you will be find out that part of that responsibility is to contribute to the national debate on gun rights. You are in the fight regardless of your political views, knowledge of the system, ability to articulate, education or financial, gender, ethnicity,  or marital status. You are a part of the political landscape because you believe in the right to keep and bear arms.

So what do you do? What organization do you join? Where should you send your money?

First of all, you know everyone is begging for your dollars. All organizations, clubs and committees are not equal. Beware of the ones with the best marketing, fancy logos, celeb endorsements.

Caveat Emptor.

Some groups do nothing. Some do a little. Some do as much as is they are able. Do your research.

Support the gun rights organizations that are working the local levels. I’m talking, your state organizations. They are underfunded, understaffed, under appreciated. I know there are the National blah, blah; and the blah, blah of America. You want to start being a soldier in the organization that is in your state. You know the one that has been begging you, annoying you to show up and be counted. Give them a second look.

The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights. It expresses the principle of federalism and states’ rights, which supports the entire plan of the original Constitution for the United States of America, by stating that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution. All remaining powers are reserved for the states or the people.

Your local politics matter.

Every day, states take care of amenities and infrastructure, such as transportation and public schooling; the people who are elected in local elections have more impact and influence over citizens’ everyday lives than one may think. These people are accountable for almost everything the state is responsible for; the state controls taxes, welfare and the judiciary. Gun rights are a part of these. Once a state law does not contradict the federal constitution and is not an enumerated right of the federal government, the state can pass it. The state mandates most of the laws that people are afraid to break.

Locally elected officials are supposed to act on citizen’s behalf and convey their issues to the federal branch of the government. You know they don’t when it comes to guns. Therefore, participating in local elections is supposed to be the most democratic aspect of American politics; these elected officials are supposed to represent citizens.

If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Stay at it. Step up and make a difference.

A political activist is someone who is involved in the political process for the sake of promoting, impeding or raising awareness of a certain issue or set of issues. It doesn’t pay but is needed now. Political activism typically involves engagement beyond just voting, whether it be through protest, demonstration or lecture.

I have to warn you, it is an investment of your time, and resources. You will often look around and wonder WTF am I doing here? These clowns don’t care. These clowns have their own agendas. You will see the professional organizations, lobbyist and lawyers in those halls, but they all started somewhere and you are in the fight now, not a spectator. You being there on the ground, is important. Look, learn, and connect with someone, in the State house because the assistant, the intern, the low level person they send out to talk to you, (because they are too busy), will be someone important in the future. Don’t belittle, push off, blow off anyone you meet.

Now is the time for you to give back to the land of the free and the home of the brave. Don’t let people you would not want to share a beverage with speak for you. Your silence gives them consent to do whatever. And they have been.

Our country tis of thee, baby…

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

Super belt Review

When is the last time you paid attention to your belt or the belt used to hold up your pants and your gun?

One of the reasons you might hate your job is that you’re miserable physically all day. Not only is it that your feet hurt and your ballistic vest gets heavy but you’re having trouble keeping your pants in the right place.

One fix, might just be a good belt.

A good belt is more than fashion. It’s just smart. A good belt keeps your gun in the same place. A good belt gives you a good platform to perform a good draw. If you wear uniform it holds up your Sam Brown (police)belt better. What is better? Better is comfortable. better is better on your back and lower spine. If you spent all day pulling your waist up that’s not good.

I’ve been wearing this belt for about a year  now and I love it.

It’s worth it. Buy it now and never have to buy again. Your pants stay put and you look better. And one importantly you feel better.

The folks at DaltechForce.com gave me a really cool product to review. it was a belt. When is the last time you thought about belts or belt loops? I know, right? This one is different.

Well this is a great belt. Not sure what it is made out of but it feels good and strong. Its comfortable and holds my pants and holsters up without binding, pinching, wilting or any of the other things that happen to leather. This thing is supposed to be water, dirt, chemical and weather resistant. I believe it. I give it a five out of five. Its my new favorite belt. If you order one you can save 10% if you use the code iBelt35 at http://daltechforce.com

 

It’s here.  Don’t forget the coupon code.  code iBelt35

 

 

 

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

Reboot

As you probably already know, the Black Man With A Gun website recently experienced what you might call a “catastrophic event.” Kenn has successfully recovered some of the content, but much was lost for good, including over five years of my writing. As you might expect, my first, knee-jerk reaction was…well, unprintable here. But I have learned over the years that the old adage about crying over spilled milk is true…and that time spent lamenting what cannot be undone is also time wasted.

So I am embracing this “reboot” as an opportunity for a fresh start. And in the spirit of that fresh start, I have a confession to make. For those of you who are unaware, you should know that I…Dave Cole…am not black. In fact, I am as white as they come. Most of my ancestors came here from Scotland, England, and Germany shortly after the Mayflower landed, and we’ve been here ever since. I spent almost the first half of my life in East Tennessee, before serving in Texas, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Korea with the United States Army for nine years as an Air Defense Artillery officer. Then I got out and moved to Northern Kentucky near Cincinnati, where I have worked in both private industry and as a police officer.

Not black.

Then early in 2012, I was listening to Kenn’s Black Man With A Gun podcast when he asked if there were any writers out there who might like to contribute to his website. I’ve always liked to use the written word as my own personal outlet, and I had some stuff I’d already written handy…so I sent it to Kenn. He emailed me back inside of an hour asking, “Can I go ahead and start posting this material?” I said “Sure,” and the rest is history.

But today…Martin Luther King Day…what is even more important to note is what Kenn Blanchard did not ask me. Before accepting my writing to post on the Black Man With A Gun website, he did not ask me what color my skin was. He simply read my writing, and judged whether it was good or not, regardless of the color of the person that it came from.

Isn’t that what Martin Luther King was talking about? Isn’t that exactly the way he would have wanted us to treat each other? Rather than focusing on our differences, Black Man With A Gun is a place where we focus on our commonalities…a love of guns, shooting, and liberty. I’m personally quite proud to be a part of this team, and excited to reboot into 2018 with all of you.

Michael J. Woodland Live

A few years ago, I met this US Army guy named Michael. Like Nightwing to the Batman, he is working on becoming MORE awesome as he partners with me. Michael J. Woodland is pushing me into the 22nd century with video. Here we are live this week. Look for us to travel, shoot and meet you in 2018.

https://youtu.be/K4ldaI3dcnM


If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

551 – Christmas Blues and Building an AR

Tis the season of feeling blue, and contemplating futures at the same time of celebrating the birth of Jesus and commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. (Hanukkah)  Going to whet your whistle in building your own AR platform rifle.

Michael J. Woodland and I have a great conversation that you are welcome to join.

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun