On Monday, police arrested Travis Reinking, 29, for opening fire at an Antioch, southeast of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Waffle House, over the weekend.
The suspect killed four people during the shooting and has since been arrested and taken into custody.
This is not the first incident Reinking has been reported to the police for. He was once taken into custody by Illinois Police for stashing an AR-15 firearm in the trunk of his car, then after being caught, dived into a public pool wearing a women’s pink robe.
Last July, he was grabbed by the Secret Service for forcing his way on to the White House grounds.
He tried to cross a security barrier, stating he was a “sovereign citizen” who wanted to speak with President Donald Trump about “business matters.” So not only was Reinking under the radar for Illinois police, but also Nashville police, Secret Service and the FBI.
Because Reinking was on the police’s radar well before this tragic Waffle House incident, his ability to obtain a firearm should have been nearly impossible. Past incidents also included illegal firearms, which brings up the question of how Reinking was able to obtain these firearms once again. Illinois Police revoked his firearms license and ordered that his guns be given to his father. However, he was able to get them back somehow.
Don Aaron, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokesman, stated, “We have a man who has exhibited significant instability.”
Regardless of Reinking’s instability, the guns should have never been given back to him by his father, which were then used during the Nashville Waffle House shooting.
Since his father, Jeffrey Reinking, returned the guns to his son, this should be seen as a violation of law. This also brings up the fact that firearms are far too easy to get ahold of, whether the person carrying them is mentally stable or not.
Reinking’s parents told police that he had threatened to kill himself with guns that he owned at home. He eventually went to the hospital for evaluation of mental stability but was released.
Enough is enough and more should be done to protect citizens. Though there has been a long and ongoing debate about stricter gun laws, incidents like these give more reason for more gun control.
The mayor of Nashville, Democrat David Briley, said, “I know that we all want to live in a safe environment that allows everyone to go to work or school and feel and be safe. We want to live up to our greatest potential, and it's my responsibility as the mayor of Nashville to try and make that happen. Clearly the victims of this shooting deserve our prayers and our thoughts, but they also deserve leaders who will step up and take action and do something to get these weapons off our streets.”
Certain weapons are not needed for protection, in fact, they seem to do more harm than good in our society. Reinking used an AR-15 firearm. Weapons like these are used to harm people and should not be an option for protection.
It is time to think about the victims and victims’ families who have been harmed in senseless shootings such as this one.