When I first started carrying a firearm, it was kind of a tradition to carry at Walmart. After all, it’s a place where you’re likely to be around a fair number of people, which meant that if no one seemed to notice you were carrying, you were kind of doing it right. Or not. I honestly don’t know where the tradition started, but it was something concealed carry permit holders all over the state of Georgia did.

However, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had someone been carrying on a similar tradition at a Mississippi Walmart yesterday.

A “disgruntled employee” killed two Walmart colleagues and wounded a responding police officer Tuesday in far northwest Mississippi, authorities said.

The deadly incident started at about 6:32 a.m. at the superstore before another responding officer eventually wounded the shooter, who was then taken into custody, a Southaven police dispatcher said.

Two employees were “senselessly murdered this morning in our city,” Southaven police Chief Macon Moore told reporters. Southaven is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, which is about 16 miles away.

The shooter is in custody and was identified by police as Martez Tarrell Abram, 39. Abram wounded one officer before the other brought him down, police said.

Authorities said Abrams was suspended from Walmart pending the outcome of an investigation, according to a statement from Southaven Police Department.

“One of our officers was shot at this time. He was saved by his vest,” Moore said. “At this point, the suspect was engaged by another officer. He was struck twice by gunfire from our officer. He was taken into custody.”

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite called the shooter a “disgruntled employee” with “a personal grievance with his employer.”

That last bit is important since despite this taking place somewhere that we may tend to think of as fairly crowded. In the wake of Gilroy, it would be easy to assume this is yet another mass shooting.

That doesn’t appear to be the case. After all, no one else was hurt. It appears Abram targeted the two managers because he was angry with them, then likely shot the police officer rather than be taken to prison.

Now, this not being a mass shooting doesn’t make it less awful. It’s still a terrible situation and my heart goes out to the family of those killed.

There’s a lot not mentioned in the report, of course, including just why Abram was suspended. Clearly, he didn’t figure he’d be exonerated by the investigation for whatever reason. Then again, he may not have been doing much in the way of figuring. It’s impossible to know what the heck was going through the mind of someone who would do something like this.

Luckily, Abram wasn’t so far gone that he decided to kill everyone in the store that he could. I’m very glad I’m not writing that kind of story right now. He wasn’t that far gone, thankfully.

Still, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had someone with a concealed carry permit been in the store. Could they have ended the threat and minimized the loss of life? Obviously, it would depend on a number of factors, but it’s a possibility and why we need as many people carrying as humanly possible.

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