In the immediate aftermath of a shooting in an Antioch, Tennessee breakfast restaurant and with a partially naked suspect still at large, Nashville’s acting mayor was quick to call for increased gun laws.
The Waffle House shooting occurred in the Nashville suburbs in the predawn hours Sunday, leaving four dead and four injured, with the alleged killer, Travis Reinking, leaving a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle at the scene. This left David Briley, a Democrat who assumed the post of Nashville’s acting mayor last month, reeling.
“The victims of this shooting deserve our prayers and for us to rally around them, but they also deserve leaders who will do something to keep weapons of war off our streets,” Briley said on social media. “Let’s be honest about what happened. The citizens of Nashville were terrorized last night by a man with an AR15. That is the purpose of these weapons.”
U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, a Democrat representing the Nashville area in Congress, also said the country needs change and “that starts with restricting widespread civilian access to military-grade assault weapons.”
Though as of Monday morning, Nashville police cautioned a possibly armed Reinking is still at large and the situation was fluid, national gun control groups echoed Briley and Cooper’s sentiment towards more gun control.
“This past year has seen tragedy after tragedy – those you’ve seen on the news and those you haven’t,” said former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords through her eponymous group. “We’ve seen weapons that belong on a battlefield used to slaughter innocent Americans, including children. We’ve seen thousands more die in hundreds of communities across every state. This is not normal, and we shouldn’t accept it as normal.”
With news that Reinking had previously been arrested by the U.S. Secret Service and once had his firearms collected by police due to his behavior, the Brady Campaign issued at least two different statements, the first slamming the “gun lobby” and the second making a point to agree with Nashville’s Mayor, saying, “We concur with Nashville Mayor David Briley today – enough is enough.”
Briley, an area attorney who has served as the city’s vice-mayor since 2015, was sworn in as mayor last week after scandal-plagued Megan Barry’s resignation and is running to fill the rest of her term in an August special election.
Let’s be honest about what happened. The citizens of Nashville were terrorized last night by a man with an AR15. Enough is enough.