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After Waffle House shooting, Zeigler says we need to be able to defend ourselves

State Auditor Jim Zeigler.

On Sunday, a naked man walked into a Nashville Waffle House restaurant with an AR-15 style weapon and killed four people until desperate customers disarmed the shooter using physical force. The shooter, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, then fled the scene.

Alabama state Auditor Jim Zeigler pointed out that Waffle House is a “gun free zone” that does not allow its employees to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

“We live in a world with some crazy, evil people,” Zeigler said. “We all need to be able to defend ourselves at settings where we may have felt secure in the past. An attacker can strike anywhere at any time.”

“Please be in prayer for the loved ones of the dead and the recovery of the wounded,” Zeigler said.

“Please read the account of the two unarmed heroes who jumped the gunman as he tried to reload,” Zeigler added. “Ask yourself — ‘should those heroes have been allowed to be armed? Waffle Houses are gun-free zones. The killer must not have seen the signs.”

Restaurant worker Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, and customers Joe R. Perez, 20, were killed outside of the restaurant. Akilah Dasilva, 23, was killed inside the restaurant. Deebony Groves, 21, was shot inside the restaurant and later died at the hospital from his wounds.

After his rifle was taken from him, Reinking fled the scene on foot. A day and a half later, construction worker, Lydia French, spotted Reinking emerging from the woods a mile away. He surrendered after a detective pointed a weapon at him. Reinking had a loaded handgun in his backpack with him when he was arrested.

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In July, Reinking was arrested by the Secret Service at the White House, after he entered a secured area and demanded to meet with the president. When Reinking ignored security’s request that he return to the tourist areas of the White House and said that as a “sovereign citizen” he had a right to inspect the grounds, he was arrested on trespassing.

Illinois authorities then revoked his weapons authorization and seized all four of his guns. His weapons however were later released to his father, Jeffrey Reinking, who was told not to let Travis have access to them. His father admits that he then reportedly gave the guns, including the rifle used in the shooting, back to Travis Reinking.

Many businesses and government offices like to have no guns policies.  Second Amendment advocates point out that people who commit murders are never stopped by a “no guns allowed” sign and policies like that only deters law obeying Americans from having their personal defense weapon with them, including when they are under attack from a homicidal mad man.

(Original reporting by CNN and the UK Daily Mail contributed to this report.)

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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