In a matter of mere moments, the bustling, social hub in Killeen, Texas transformed into a bloody warzone at the hand of a deranged, coldblooded killer. What was once Luby’s Cafeteria became a mass grave that sunny October day in 1991.
50 shot. 23 dead. Hundreds robbed of a mother, father, sibling, or friend.
All of this despite the nation’s strictest gun laws.
Dr. Suzanna Hupp, a survivor of the shooting, is just one of the survivors who believes carrying a gun could have made a difference for her and her parents who were mercilessly killed.
“I reached for my purse… But then I realized that a couple of months earlier, I had made the stupidest decision of my life. I took my gun out of my purse and left it in my car because, as you well know, in the state of Texas it’s sometimes a felony offense to carry a gun in your purse,” Hupp lamented in a testimony before Congress.
Texas gun laws had left Hupp unarmed, unprotected, and unable to save her family.
In Texas, as in nearly a dozen other states at the time, citizens did not have the right to carry a gun in public. The New York Times reported, “Texas, despite its Wild West image, has been among this group since the mid-19th century, shortly after it entered the Union.”
Even so, George Hennard, the Luby shooter, managed to not only break the law by carrying two weapons illegally but also to slaughter nearly two dozen unarmed innocents.
Texas and nearly a dozen other states recognized this, which is why they took up efforts to revise their gun laws and allow responsible residents to carry concealed weapons.
Rather than shouting partisan inaccuracies and politicizing a national tragedy, the nation chose to look at the facts, and the facts were clear: states that allowed citizens to have concealed carry permits were no more dangerous. In fact, many proved safer, including the state of Florida.
The New York Times acknowledged that, “Florida’s experience has generally provided strong arguments for proponents of the right-to-carry bills, including the National Rifle Association… Even those who opposed the measure said it had not led to the increase in violence they had feared… handgun-related homicides in Florida dropped by 29 percent from 1987 to 1992….”
But in the national response to Sandy Hook, the facts have been ignored. Instead, there has been a rash attempt to implement gun control legislation, much of which would have done nothing in the way of stopping Sandy Hook or Luby.
Like the nation did in the aftermath of the Luby shooting, we should pause to consider the changes we are seeking to make. Would they have truly made a difference?
Both the Luby and Sandy Hook shooters had nearly 15 minutes to execute their reign of terror, giving them plenty of time to pause and reload on several occasions.
How would limiting magazine clip capacity have averted their ruthless massacres?
As the left frantically tries to push through their anti-gun agenda while the time is ripe, reforms that could have actually made a difference fall by the wayside.
For instance, it’s clear both Lanza and Hennard had severe mental issues that were left untreated. Nearly a week before the Luby massacre, Hennard quit his job, mused openly about killing someone, and kept telling his co-workers “watch and see, watch and see,” People reported. And the day before the shooting, Hennard even exploded with rage and began screaming obscenities in a local diner.
Instead of buying into the left’s half-baked, insufficient gun control agenda, why aren’t we working with the mental health community to try and put together troublesome signs like these? Where is the push to expose and remedy mental illnesses in clearly deranged people?
There is no such push because the left has hijacked Sandy Hook as a justification for measures they have long looked to implement, and they have done this at the expense of true reform.
As the left tirelessly looks to implement strict gun control measures, now is the time for America to heed the words of Suzanna Hupp, lest we find ourselves with a tragic repeat in the long line of mass shootings: “My state has gun control laws. It did not keep Hennard from coming in and killing everybody. What it did do was keep me from protecting my family.”
Related Contributions on Guns in America