Today we talk with Carlton Leflore – @cleflore23 on Twitter.
Why are you a gun owner?
I started owning guns right after I got shot 3 times during a home invasion and left for dead. I used to be against guns, I was a classic liberal. Once my life was in danger and I knew I was helpless without a firearm, I changed my view on guns. Now I own guns for protection, target shooting, collecting and supporting the Second Amendment.
Wow. I have no doubt that an experience like that can change a person’s outlook. How did you view the role of firearms ownership before that terrible event as opposed to now?
I thought guns were something that only criminals and the police used. Growing up in a bad neighborhood you only see the bad guys use guns against the good guys. Because of this I was largely against guns, I fell into the liberal mindset. If you want them to play softer on a criminal, you had no reason to own guns. But of course I was against criminals having guns and I thought law officers would stop them. Of course I was wrong.
Do you carry daily?
I carry a variety of guns, but my everyday carry is my Glock 17
What got you into expanding your collection beyond one rifle or one pistol?
I love different calibers and the craftsmanship of each and every firearm that’s out there. No firearm is the same, they all are unique in every way.
So you see firearms as objects of beauty or art, too, or are they more just interesting tools for you?
I view them as both. I think some guns are just tools like your carry guns or your hunting guns. I think others are works of art like a 1911 that’s beautifully crafted to be displayed in a case and never to be shot. I can look at my Kimbers and see a beautiful work of art and then I can look at my Glock as a tool for my defense while in the field.
What’s your fave rifle or pistol?
My favorite pistol in my collection right now has to be my Kimber Eclipse Target 2
What worries you most about American culture today?
That we are more reliant on the government than ever before. It used to be that a man took pride in protecting his family, now men are more reliant on the government to protect their family and themselves. We are weaker than ever before.
How do you combat in your home or with your family this cultural decay that you see in modern society?
Interesting question. I live in Orlando, home of the second worst mass shooting in American history. I used to tell my family and friends that the worst thing that could possibly happen to them while being unprepared is a mass shooting. A lot of people used to brush it off as me being paranoid, then the Pulse Nightclub shooting happened. They quickly changed their tune.
I watch the local news all the time and I see how we’re becoming more detached from society. Killing has become a game to the deranged and evil. All they care about is racking up a body count and making the national news so that their name lives on forever. I try to encourage friends and family to seek self-defense training and it doesn’t always have to be with a gun, but seek some type of training. Understanding situational awareness and how to respond to a threat is key. I would rather someone have the training before they ever buy a gun. After get the training that they need on how to respond to a threat, and situational awareness, they can get the training they need on how to respond to a threat with a gun.
Sounds entirely appropriate for ordinary citizens. Thanks Carlton.
Here are guns from Carlton’s impressive collection: