After the Paris and San Francisco Islamic terrorist attacks, there was a marked shift in how many of the 12+ million concealed carriers in the United States viewed the world beyond their front doors.
Those who only carried rarely, when traveling to “bad” parts of town, began carrying regularly. Those who heeded “gun free zone” signs before quietly decided that being able to respond to deadly threats and save lives was worth the risk of prosecution. people began carrying spare magazines, signing up for more defensive handgun and trauma medicine training classes, and began adding medical equipment like tourniquets and trauma dressings to their “go bags” and everyday carry (EDC) gear.
It was a tectonic attitude shift from “I carry a gun to defend myself” to “I carry a gun to protect myself and my community.”
We are transitioning to an entirely different mindset on the role of concealed carriers in our society, and that shift in how concealed carriers look at the world was put on bold display in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday when a family featuring several concealed carriers moved to defend the customers of an Academy Sports location after they heard gunfire outside the store (my bold below):
Knoxville police say a shoplifting suspect is dead after a confrontation with Knox County deputies at Academy Sports.
Officers say the suspect hit a deputy then ran over another. A deputy shot at the suspect, killing him.
Both deputies were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“One deputy discharged his weapon in defense of his life and the life of his partner,” said a release from KPD.
The suspect’s name has not been released.
Witnesses reported that several shots were fired near Academy Sports Friday night as nearly 100 people shopped inside.
“My wife, my daughter, my sister in law ran to the back,” explained Dustin Harbin. “They have guns also, to protect her and the baby. We just ran up front to clear, make sure nobody was gonna come through the front door.
“With everything going on in the world right now, you think there’s no way it can happen here. A million thoughts go through your head, and then it’s just try to get out as quick as possible, try to get to safety as quick as possible,” said Jared Jaber.
The Harbin family might be the first recorded confirmation of this new “post-Paris” mindset of concealed carriers, but I strongly suspect that it will not be the last we see of citizens prepared to respond to an active shooter or terrorist threat.