The Waffle House shooting may well be one of the most bizarre mass shootings we’ve seen. I mean, a Waffle House isn’t exactly a common target, not to mention the shooter carried out his attack while wearing nothing but a coat.
While there’s little doubt that mass shootings are carried out by deranged individuals, doing so while naked takes the crazy up to eleven.
However, there were signs he was a disturbed individual to start with. Enough so that, after he was arrested for jumping the White House fence, his former boss urged the feds to hold onto him.
The co-owner of a Colorado crane company where the suspect in a deadly weekend shooting at a Nashville restaurant once worked said she had urged federal officials to keep him in custody after he was arrested at the White House last year.
[The killer], 29, is accused of opening fire Sunday outside a Waffle House with an AR-15 rifle and then storming the restaurant, wearing only a green jacket. Four people were killed and four others were wounded in the shooting.
But [he] had exhibited erratic behavior for years before the shooting. Crane company co-owner Darlene Sustrich said they got a call from the FBI after he allegedly tried to jump the White House fence last July.
“We told them, ‘Hang onto him if you can. Help him if you can,’” Sustrich said.
Unfortunately, they didn’t. In fairness, I’m not sure they could have held onto him as long as needed. While we now have an idea just how sick the guy was, the FBI likely didn’t. Instead, he was just a bizarre sovereign citizen type who you roll your eyes at but otherwise ignore for the most part. Most of those guys are all talk anyway.
But this one wasn’t. Through the 20/20 vision of hindsight, we can now see that yes, the FBI should have held onto him for longer. They probably should have taken steps to get him some much-needed treatment. Unfortunately, no one who had the authority to start that process realized it.
Then again, it doesn’t mean it would have worked either.
What we now know is that the killer was an incredibly sick, disturbed individual (allegedly) who committed a horrible atrocity. The fact that he was unclothed only adds another data point into what we now understand as a troubled mind.
However, we also need to understand that this individual was legally disarmed according to the laws of the state of Illinois where he lived. He was not able to lawfully own a firearm according to the state. Yet his father, who had every reason to know this as he received the guns that had been confiscated by police, gave the AR-15 back to him.
Restrictive laws were already in place, and they failed. There are reasons they failed, but they failed. Again.
Maybe it’s time to start looking at ways to combat these kinds of shootings without restricting the rights of people who didn’t do anything, considering how often these laws fail. Just a thought.