More lives could’ve been saved had patrons inside a Tennessee Waffle House been armed when a gunman opened fire at the popular diner on Sunday, a Nashville mayoral candidate argued.
“Today’s shooting shows how important it is to have well-trained and armed citizens in the community,” candidate Carol Swain said in a statement denouncing the shooting, in which four people were killed. ” … If one of the patrons had been armed, the situation may have turned out differently and lives could have been saved.”
Swain, a conservative commentator and former Vanderbilt University professor, described the deadly attack as yet “another example of the rise in violent crime that is plaguing our fair city.”
Suspect Travis Reinking, 29, is accused of killing four people and injuring several others with an assault rifle at the Antioch diner. His killing spree was halted thanks to the brave efforts of a man named James Shaw Jr., who managed to wrestle the weapon away from Reinking, preventing more bloodshed. The suspect was arrested Monday after a 32-hour manhunt.
Swain praised Shaw for his heroism, adding that all Nashvillians should thank him for his brave actions. The local hero has since raised more than $135,000 for the victims of the deadly shooting.
If elected mayor, Swain has promised to work with the Metro Council and mental health agencies to address the mental health struggles impacting some of the city’s residents, The Tennessean reported. The self-described “strong supporter” of the Second Amendment criticized current Mayor David Briley for “pandering” and suggesting comprehensive gun reform in response to Sunday’s tragedy.
“I will work with the (Nashville) police and community leaders to create cultural change in our city,” Swain said. “I call on all Nashvillians to be the change they want to see in their communities.”
Swain is one of 12 candidates running against Briley in the May 24 special election. Early voting starts May 4, according to the newspaper.