The world is a dangerous place, Memphis especially so, and more people are taking steps to protect themselves. At the start of 2009 there were almost 33,000 permit holders in Shelby County. This year there are 38,000 permit holders, an increase of 16 percent.

Two recent crimes, one in which a burglar shot a homeowner and the other a knife-wielding man shot and killed by a potential victim, symbolize what has driven more and more people to get gun permits.

Chip Holland, training director at Range USA, said handgun permits could protect when law enforcement can not.

“When you need the police the most, they’re not going to be able to be there,” Holland said.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

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