I started out with nothing, and I still have much of that left.
I started my online presence in 1999 after being a gun rights activist. Choosing the controversial subject of gun control to weigh into, I leveraged my unprofitable firearms training business into a persona known internationally as the Black Man With A Gun ™.
The website, Black Man with a Gun debuted in 2000, in the age of America Online 1.0. It was a big site for the time, taking a few minutes to load. It was complete with the controversial photo taken by Washington, DC artist, Jason Miccolo Johnson Photography that became the cover of my first book. The picture is featured with the American flag in distress in the background as I held a submachine gun. The website has been my flagship in the great Saragossa Sea of the internet.
The Black Man with a Gun book was a homage to the only other book of its kind written by Robert F. Johnson, “Negroes With Guns”; published in 1968.
The gun rights movement is an evergreen subject debated and supported by politics and the uninitiated. The topic of guns has been an issue with society since the Chinese invention of gun powder. I used it to learn about politics, history, business, the world and myself.
From this journey I have introduced firearm safety into the homes of untraditional America. I have testified and lobbied for the reform of concealed carry in Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Maryland.
During this time I became obsessive trying to find a niche in the firearms industry. I created a training business focused on bringing minorities to the shooting sports and founded a national shooting club from African Americans called the Tenth Cavalry Gun Club. I have been the recipient of the National Rifle Association’s Carter-Knight Freedom award, the Second Amendment Foundations’ Gun Defender Award of the month (August 1997) and the St. Gabriel Possenti medal from the St. Possenti Society.
I started before social media. Over the past few decades, I have been involved in almost every pro-rights event that required a person of color to show the diversity of the shooting sports around the country. I have provided commercials for TV against racist gun laws and been featured in four documentaries, one with the BBC. He has served as a columnist for New Voices Newspaper of Durham, North Carolina. I have served as a director and chaplain of the Law Enforcement Alliance of America. I have worked with the American Sport Shooting Council, the Second Amendment Foundation, the CATO Institute, Gun Owners of America, and the National Rifle Association. The first edition of Black Man with a Gun was featured in the August 2001 edition of American Rifleman. I was featured in the Washington Business Journal on Jan. 2002. I was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal (1999) as a security expert. I have served on the Urban Affairs, and Training committees of the NRA in the past. I’ve was an advisor/editor for the creation of the Refuse to Be a Victim course book.
Audience engagement is my strength and I’ve spoken on stage with Donald Trump (2014),
and Charlton Heston. I’ve been the antagonist on a talk show hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton,
and countless radio shows defending gun ownership.
A few days before 9/11 I became a licensed Christian minister. A few years later a pastor of a small church in Washington, DC. Being an evangelist of gun rights and Christianity seemed in contrast but they weren’t. Anyone that has been trained as I have to actively protect life against all types of threats, to be also concerned with the spiritual wellbeing of others was the final part of the pie.
I have been protecting others my whole life. It has the word guard or police in the description I have done it. I’ve been a crossing guard, lifeguard, bodyguard, USMC Embassy Guard, security agent, federal police officer, and executive protection specialist. I have done these tasks in thirteen high risk countries often while the country was at war.
The paradox for me is that I am an animal, and music loving, creative that desired to be in theater, oil paint, draw or play instruments. I’m that guy that is at home near any large body of water, bikers or outlaw types. I’m a hippie on the inside that can shoot well, and is trying to live like a disciple of Jesus.
I’ve had some exciting highlight during my tenure. I was on a short list to replace TV and cable host. I’ve auditioned for a cable TV series that almost made it prior to the station pulling all gun relating shows on the network following the tragedy in Sandy Hook Elementary.
After discovering podcasting in 2007, I created the Urban Shooter Podcast now called the Black Man with a Gun Show to be able to reach people I have met as an activist and encourage them to stay in the fight for freedom. I use my podcast to inspire, entertain and share parts of history that few have heard.
I’ve been active in the podcasting space. I’ve spoken at Blogworld, New Media Expo, DC Podfest, Podfest Multi-Media Expo, and Podcast Movement. In 2019, I got a chance to emcee Podfest in Orlando, FL, fulfilling a dream. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MvpT-fIFWs
In November 2019, I announced that I was “retiring” from my Second Amendment activism. I believe that I succeeded in inspiring the next generation of activist. A look into Instagram and Facebook alone will prove to you that I am not the only black man with a gun. I am proud to know many men and women of color, Latinos / Hispanics, and others in the nontraditional gun community doing their thing.
I hope to continue podcasting, writing, producing content about other things than guns, (but you may still see some related products) but talk about and review products relating to motorcycles, martial arts, the outdoors, the arts, blues music, and faith. Occasionally, I will even talk about cigars, or dogs and its ok, if you are not into that. I have gained a lot of wisdom from my mistakes and want to share inspiration from friends and acquaintances that have succeeded in living their dreams.
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And like Frank Sinatra sang,
“I’m gonna live, live, live until I die.”