Monday, April 23, 2018

A sovereign citizen with no pants...

...walks into a Waffle House.

This one has something for everybody.  Stay with me and keep hands and feet inside the ride.

Very early on Sunday morning Travis Reinking arrived at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, outside Nashville, and went to work.  Dressed only in a jacket (presumably he needed someplace to put spare ammunition), he shot two people in the parking lot and four more inside, leaving a total of four dead.  James Shaw, Jr., then emerged from the bathroom and wrestled the AR-15 away from him.  Mr. Shaw is African-American, which will become significant as we go on; he was unarmed and had no combat or law-enforcement training.  A bullet grazed his arm and he burned his hand on the gun barrel.

Reinking, a self-described "sovereign citizen," packed a lot of experience into his twenty-nine years.  Last year, for instance, he was arrested outside the White House and prevented from having an important discussion with Trump.  The report filed by the Secret Service reached the sheriff's department in Tazewell County, Illinois, where he lived.  Although he does not recognize their authority (sovereign citizen, remember?), they violated his sacred right to Keep and Bear Arms.  They revoked his gun permit and confiscated the AR-15, a .22 caliber rifle, a Remington 710 and a 9 mm. handgun.  Unfortunately, they gave them to his father, who gave them back.

This was probably unwise.  Sovereign citizenship aside, Travis had shown signs of mental instability before.  He once arrived at a public pool in a pink dress, stripped to his underwear and went for a swim.  He complained to police that someone was "tapping into his computer and phone" and barking like dogs in his apartment.  (Perhaps he went to the White House to compare his experience with the "wire tapps" ordered by Obama at Trump Tower.)  He also became convinced that he was being stalked by Taylor Swift.  Apparently she is worshipped on the Nazi right as a "pure Aryan goddess."  You want to know more, there's the Google.  I already know too much and would like to forget it.

And so, on to the restaurant, where four people died because they wanted something to eat at three in the morning and it was open.  Reinking fled without his Bushmaster, took off his jacket, put on some pants and ran into the woods.  At this hour he is reported "in custody."

Fresh ammunition (poor choice of words) for the Never Again movement spearheaded by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivors.  For Black Lives Matter, another white (alleged) mass murderer arrested without incident -- funny how that happens.  From Trump, who is generous only with opinions, a blizzard of semi-literate Sunday morning tweets about Hillary/Uranium/Lying Media/Witch Hunt/conspiracy/poopoo/caca/random nonsense but not a word about James Shaw, Jr., hero.  (Did I mention he's African-American?)  For the NRA, clearly the issue here is mental illness, not guns.  Never guns.  Could have killed four people with a fork left on a table.  For the two people in the hospital, thoughts & prayers.  For the sovereign citizens, I guess another martyr.  For Taylor Swift, oh, who the fuck cares?

See?  Something for everyone.

Update:  The NRA has responded!  Its spokesman, Grant Stinchfield (I swear), says James Shaw did moderately well at the Waffle House, but he should have had a gun.  Then there would have been more killing and the police wouldn't have had to hunt for Reinking and Antioch would not have been locked down, as it evidently was for a while.  But, all right, not bad for an unarmed man.

Last week, two black men were arrested for sitting in a Starbucks for several minutes without buying anything.  This was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, not the one in Mississippi; I checked.  What do you think happens if a black man with a gun enters a Waffle House in the "open carry" state of Tennessee?  At three a.m.?  Probably.

Instead of responding to this crap, James Shaw has established a GoFundMe page for the victims.

So go.


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