This gun law needs strengthening
The shootings at a Nashville Waffle House restaurant on Sunday are a clear case of a mentally ill person getting his hands on guns and laying waste for whatever reason.
Travis Reinking, 29, is the suspect in the shooting deaths of four people in the restaurant. It would have been more but restaurant patron James Shaw Jr. rushed the gunman during a lull in the shooting and wrestled the gun away from the shooter.
It seems obvious Reinking was mentally ill. He was wearing only a jacket when he entered the restaurant carrying an assault-style rifle. His friends and family knew he had been suffering paranoid delusions, including the idea that pop star Taylor Swift was stalking him. Last year Reinking jumped the fence to enter the White House grounds, demanding a meeting with President Donald Trump.
After that episode, Reinking’s guns were supposedly confiscated by Illinois State Police, where he was a resident, at the request of the FBI. But under Illinois law, the guns were allowed to be turned over to Reinking’s father. His father gave them back to his son, including the rifle used to kill four people in Nashville on Sunday. The father now faces possibly prosecution, as he should.
This is an obvious case of a gun law that needs changing. If guns are to be confiscated from a mentally ill person, then they should be confiscated, not given to family members to hang on to. We hope Illinois lawmakers will move quickly to remedy this.