Nashville mayor calls for stricter gun control after Waffle House shooting

As police search for the gunman who killed four people at a Tennessee Waffle House, the mayor of Nashville is saying “enough is enough” and calling for stricter gun-control laws.

“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,” Democratic Mayor David Briley said during a news conference on Sunday. “We all 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.

“For a moment, let’s be honest about what happened,” Briley said. “Last night, innocent Nashvilleans were terrorized by a man with an AR-15. Let’s be honest. Some people see these weapons as having a purpose of terrorizing other people. It’s happening too much. Enough is enough.”

At at little after 3 a.m., 29-year-old Travis Reinking allegedly stormed the Waffle House restaurant in Antioch and used an “assault-type rifle” to carry out the carnage, authorities said. The shooting stopped only because of the heroics of a customer who heard the gunshots and hid near the restaurant’s bathrooms, they said, before he rushed the gunman, wrestled the rifle from him and threw it away.

Authorities suspect that the gunman, who is still on the loose, may have two weapons on him: a long gun and a handgun.

During the news conference, Briley expressed exasperation and said “tragedies like today shouldn’t happen.”

This is the Antioch neighborhood’s second mass shooting in seven months. A gunman killed a churchgoer and injured seven others in a church shooting last September, mere miles from the Waffle House.

“Tragedies like today shouldn’t happen,” Briley said. “It’s been only seven months since we had another mass shooting here in Nashville, and that is far too frequent. We need comprehensive gun reform to address mass shootings, domestic shootings, accidental shootings and homicides. If we can all just come together for this and for the greater good, we can take these weapons of war off the streets of our country.”

Rep. Jim Cooper, a Democrat whose district includes Nashville, joined the mayor in condemning the nation’s gun laws.

“Nashville woke up to devastating news,” Cooper wrote on Twitter. “We mourn the innocent victims and thank our brave first responders. Many will say now is not the time to discuss change. But now IS the time.”

“We can and must do everything possible to prevent these tragedies and keep Americans safe,” he continued. “That starts with restricting widespread civilian access to military-grade assault weapons.”