Nashville Mayoral Candidate: One Armed Patron Could Have Made a Difference at Waffle House

Vanderbilt University political science professor Carol Swain
AP Photo/Erik Schelzig

Nashville mayoral candidate Carol Swain responded to the April 21 Waffle House shooting by noting how much difference even a single armed patron could have made.

Four persons were injured and four killed when Travis Reinking allegedly opened fire inside an Antioch, Tennessee, Waffle House.

Waffle House has a gun-free policy that prohibits patrons, including licensed permit holders, from being armed for self-defense.

Swain spoke to the Tennessee Star about the attack, saying, “Today’s shooting shows how important it is to have well trained and armed citizens in the community. If one of the patrons had been armed, the situation may have turned out differently and lives could have been saved.”

She stressed her support for the Second Amendment and also took time to praise James Shaw Jr., the hero who grabbed Reinking’s rifle and threw out of Reinking’s reach, ending the attack.

Shaw Jr. was unarmed when he intervened in the attack. The Daily Mail reported that Shaw Jr. “was grazed by a bullet and treated for a minor gunshot wound on his elbow.” He “severely burned” his hands when grabbing the hot barrel of the rifle. Yet he stopped the attack.

Swain believes Shaw Jr. deserves the gratitude of Nashville but also stresses that an armed patron could have turned the entire situation against the Waffle House attacker.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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