MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Discussions surrounding gun violence are happening in the wake of a deadly mass shooting at a Collierville Kroger. WREG spoke with a firearms expert who says along with discussions, there must be a renewed push for gun safety.

Former law enforcement officer and gun expert Bennie Cobb says Thursday’s mass shooting is a reminder, violence can happen anytime and anywhere.

Cobb, who says he’s been a certified trainer since 1988, has worked to ease the fear surrounding firearms. He says it’s never the gun itself, but the person pulling the trigger, that is the problem.

“The best thing I can tell anybody that wants to own or possess a gun, is go get some training,” Cobb said.

It begins with the basics: familiarizing yourself with firearms. Cobb knows what happened in Collierville could happen again, but he stresses even those with rattled nerves can’t just react without good guidance.

“Without the training and skillset, more likely than not you’re going to miss your target,” Cobb said. “The bullet is going to keep going and until it finds somewhere to impact, and sometimes its some old lady sitting on the porch.”

He says it is vital to understand the power of a pistol. If you have to defend yourself, focus on your target while also exercising verbal self-defense.

Cobb says you have the right to own a gun, but it is your responsibility to make sure you know how to safely use your firearm. He says although in Tennessee, it’s no longer required to have a permit to carry a handgun, knowing how to properly use it could ultimately be a life or death decision.