Hero Disarms Waffle House Shooter after Government Fails To

The government attempted to disarm the Waffle House shooter, and failed, leaving a private citizen to take care of himself and others.

James Shaw, Jr., attacked the Waffle House shooter with his bare hands and disarmed him. He says he’s not a hero because he acted out of self-preservation.

I respectfully disagree. Shaw is a hero because he responded to danger rather that being passive in the baseless hope that someone else would rescue him. He took action and, in so doing, naturally saved others. To use an airline analogy, there’s no shame in putting your own oxygen mask on first and that’s the only way you can help others. Otherwise you may need help.

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The government, on the other hand, had officially banned the Waffle House shooter from possessing firearms.

That didn’t work out. The government is only able to disarm non-criminals, making them more vulnerable.

The Guardian reports, “Nashville shooting: ‘hero’ hailed as suspect White House arrest revealed.

The gunman who killed four people and wounded four at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville early on Sunday, before fleeing in the nude, was still at large as evening drew on. […]

The customer who wrestled an assault rifle from the suspect, ending the shooting, was saluted as a hero. […]

The secret service said meanwhile that the suspect, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, was arrested last year for being in a restricted area near the White House. Reinking’s firearms authorization was revoked at the request of the FBI and four weapons were seized, including the AK-15 he allegedly used in the Nashville shooting.

Reinking is from Morton, Illinois, and was known to both Illinois and federal law enforcement, Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said. A sheriff in Illinois said Reinking’s state firearms card was revoked after his arrest and his guns were given to his father with the promise they wouldn’t be shared with his son. Aaron said Reinking’s father had given them back. Police said they were in possession of the AK-15 and another gun. Two others were unaccounted for.

The shooting happened at 3.25am and the suspect wore nothing but a green jacket when he shot two people in the parking lot outside the Waffle House, Aaron said. Entering the restaurant, he continued firing until Shaw grabbed the rifle. The gunman fled, shedding his jacket, and was seen walking, nude, on a road.


“I looked back and I saw a person lying on the ground right at the entrance of the door, then I jumped and slid … I went behind a push door, a swivel door,” Shaw said. “He shot through that door. I’m pretty sure he grazed my arm. At that time I made up my mind … that he was going to have to work to kill me. When the gun jammed or whatever happened, I hit him with the swivel door.”

Shaw’s statement, “I made up my mind … that he was going to have to work to kill me,” represents epic heroism in my opinion! He is an example to us all.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com

About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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