Blanchard: ‘I am the Pastor of Patriots’
Ordained minister and gun rights activist told Guns & Patriots that his love of firearms and love of God is the inspiration of his newly released book.
“I love influencing, motivating and inspiring people,” said Rev. Kenneth V.F. Blanchard, who is the creator of the “Black Man with a Gun” blog and podcast which is a weekly program that focuses on inspiring, informing and entertaining the people inside the gun community.
Blanchard said his book “Black Man with a Gun: Reloaded” is a snap-shot of his life from becoming known as the “Black Man with a Gun” to “Pastor of Patriots”.
The story begins in 1986 when Blanchard became a firearms instructor, he said. “I have always been a good shot. As far as athletics is concerned, it was one of the few things I could do well.”
Thereafter, Blanchard was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency as a firearms instructor for a new police department that was started-up by the CIA, a position he held for 20-years, he said. “I worked at the facility as personnel.”
Blanchard said he loved what he was doing and decided to take his love of firearms instruction into the Black community. “I would be the guy outside the gun shop or range talking to my community about the benefits of firearms instruction.”
The fact that the Black community did not accept guns as a means of protection hurt his business. The ones Blanchard did instruct were insistent on keeping their instruction secret, he said. “Without word-of-mouth circulation, my little business died.”
That was the impetus to his moniker, he said. “My response to the community was: ‘I’m just a Black man with a gun.’”
Educational outreach continued, nonetheless, said the National Rifle Association member and sub-committee instructor. “I figured out that black history is tied into gun rights, but nobody knows it.”
The people who first gravitated to his education style were anarchists or nationalists that frightened him, said Blanchard. “They wanted me to train the brothers and maybe start a revolution. That is not what I was doing at all. So, I had to learn about my people for the next couple of years.”
Blanchard was not training a lot of people at this point, but he said he was still employed by the CIA and he was employed with the NRA in promoting conceal carry laws, he said.
“I worked with the NRA on the road and I testified before Congress on conceal carry. This gave me a good media education as a presenter and activist.”
Then in 1999, Blanchard began working as a part-time Janitor at a Baptist church in Washington and was promoted to Pastor within a couple of years, said Blanchard. “Ten days before 9/11, I gave my first sermon.”
About a year later, Blanchard published his first book “Black Man with a Gun” which created an uproar at his church and within the Black community, he said.
“I needed a real nice picture to catapult the book release, so I grabbed my .45 and King James Bible and took a photo – the church went crazy,” he continued. “They wanted to kick me out for promoting guns.”
The issue is that the church, particularly in the African American community, has an ideology against guns, he said. “They do not understand the whole thing about Jesus and pacifism. They mix the doctrines. We think Jesus would never own a gun for the wrong reason.”
However, Jesus was not here to fight, he said that was the role of his disciple Judas. “Judas wanted Jesus to overthrow Rome. He was looking for a Samson or a Judge.”
In reality though guns are just a tool, he said. “Activists like Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. used non-violent methods, having nothing to do with guns.” Jesus is of the spiritual world, he said. “Jesus is calling us to take it up a notch to the spiritual world.”
Despite the setbacks, Blanchard said he continued to preach God and guns. “I became a Pastor of Patriots.”
Gun owners dissatisfied with their own churches, hunters, shooters, military and bikers turned to Blanchard for religious instruction, he said. “I was different. I wasn’t a former deacon or choir member, I was just like them.”
The union between God and guns was born, said the retired Marine.
“Now, my congregation is on-line,” he said. “I probably have a good 400 people who download my show each week. I do a Monday through Friday, 10 to 15 minute sermons.”
Blanchard said his ministry is non-denominational with a 99% conversation-rate to God. “I preach straight from the bible, it works.”
Christian ministry combined with Second Amendment activism directs his life, he said. “I do what God calls me to do.”