Imagine yourself as the holder of a conceal carry permit and you carry a concealed gun for self-protection. Before you go into a restaurant to enjoy a meal with your mom and dad, you are forced to put your gun in the glove compartment of your car because there is a law that forbids you from carrying your concealed weapon in the restaurant. As you are sitting there at the table with your parents, a crazed person comes into the restaurant and begins shooting people. As you try to duck below the table for safety, you see your dad shot and killed. You see the gunman walk through the restaurant shooting people. In your mind, you know that if you had your concealed gun that you had several opportunities to shoot him and save the lives of some of those shot including your parents, but because of the strict gun control law, you are helpless and can only watch your parents die.
On this day, October 16, 1991, that’s exactly what happened to Suzanna Hupp, when she was present at the 4th worst mass shooting in the US which occurred at the Luby’s restaurant in Killeen, Texas.
George Jo Hennard, 35-years-old, crashed his pickup through the glass window of the restaurant and then walked around the restaurant and opened up with a Glock-17 semiautomatic 9mm handgun. The shooting lasted for 15 minutes. Every time Hennard emptied his clip, he stopped and reloaded and then continued shooting. Hupp says that she could have easily taken Hennard out early on during one of those times of reloading and saved the lives of her parents and others, but due to Texas law at the time, her conceal carry handgun was in her car instead of her purse. Her dad tried to rush the gunman but was shot in the chest and killed. When Hupp had an opportunity to escape, she grabbed her mom and said let’s go, but her mom never followed her. Hupp found out later that her mom had crawled over to her dad and cradled him. The gunman saw her, walked over to her and she looked up at the gunman and then back down at her dead husband when the gunman put the gun to her mom’s head and fired.
Hennard killed 23 people that day, including Hupp’s mom and dad and he wounded close to 30 others. To date, the only other mass shootings in America that were worse than the Luby’s shooting was the Orlando nightclub, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary School.
After the Luby’s shooting, Hupp campaigned to change Texas gun control laws to make it legal to carry a licensed conceal carry weapon in her purse. Eventually, the Texas law was changed allowing people with legal conceal carry permits to carry their weapons in purses. In her testimony in the below video, Hupp says she does not blame the crazed gunman as he was no different than a crazed rabid dog. She’s not mad at the gunman nor does she blame the gun as ‘it didn’t walk in here all by itself’, rather she was mad at the legislators who passed the law making it a felony for her to carry her gun in her purse. Hupp also testified that it doesn’t matter how many bullets a clip/magazine holds as it only takes a second to pop out a spent clip and insert a loaded one. Listen her powerful testimony.
The Luby’s restaurant is one of many examples that clearly demonstrates that mass shootings generally occur in gun-free zones. All of the top mass shootings in the US have taken place in gun-free zones. I’ve been asked on more than one occasion if there are any examples of someone trying to carry out a mass shooting when someone with conceal carry weapon or ready access to a weapon stopped them. Here is a quick partial list:
- On Oct. 1, 1997, Luke Woodham went to his high school after killing his mom and began shooting. Assistant Principal Joel Myrick grabbed his .45 caliber handgun from his truck and confronted Woodham and stopped his murder spree before police arrived.
- On April 24, 1998, Parker Middle School was holding a dance at a local banquet hall when a 14-year-old student opened fire with .25 caliber handgun. James Strand, owner of the hall used his shotgun that he kept there to stop the shooting and hold the student until police arrived.
- On Jan. 16, 2002, a former student started shooting at Appalachian School of Law, killing the dean, a professor and another student before being stopped by two law students who were also in law enforcement. They retrieved their weapons from their cars and apprehended the shooter and held him until police arrived.
- On Dec 9, 2007, a man opened fire with a Bushmaster AR-15 on parishioners at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Earlier that day, the same man killed two and wounded two at the Young With a Mission training center in Arvada. Jeanne Assam, a former Minneapolis Police Officer had a concealed carry license and her gun was with her during the service at New Life Church. She pulled her weapon and shot the shooter, wounding him. He eventually shot himself, but her actions were credited with saving many lives before police arrived.
- On May 27, 2010, Donald J. Moore used his personal firearm to stop a mass shooting at an AT&T store in New York Mills, NY. The shooter had a list of employees he was going to kill, but only managed to wound one employee before Moore shot and killed him, all before the police arrived.
- On Aug. 30, 2010, Sullivan Central High School Resource Officer Carolyn Gudger drew her gun on a 62-year-old man with gun. Using her body to shield a student, she held the shooter in a standoff for 10 minutes until police arrived.
- On March 25, 2012, Jessie Gates was observed getting a shotgun from his truck and heading to the door of Boiling Springs’ South Side Freewill Baptist Church in South Carolina. Aaron Guyton, grandson of the pastor, saw him and locked the door, but Gates kicked it in. Guyton then drew his conceal carry weapon and held Gates at gunpoint while two parishioners subdued him and the pastor disarmed him, all before police arrived.
- On Dec. 11, 2012, Nick Meli used his concealed carry weapon to stop a shooter at the Clackamas Town Center Mall near Portland, Oregon. The shooter killed two and wounded one before Meli confronted him. The shooter stopped shooting, withdrew to a service elevator and then shot himself, before police arrived.
- On April 30, 2014, a construction foreman in Austin, Texas used his legally licensed conceal carry weapon to stop a former employee who showed up and started shooting. The foreman wounded the shooter and saved lives after being wounded himself, before police arrived.
- On May 16, 2014, an armed gunman entered the emergency room at Cache Valley Hospital in Logan, Utah. He demanded to see a doctor and then cocked one of his two handguns and said someone was going to die. A hospital security guard did his best to calm and distract the gunman. Two correction officers happened to be present and were able to confront the gunman from a different direction. The gunman was shot three times and no one else at the hospital was injured. All before police arrived.
- On July 25, 2014, a patient entered the psychiatric clinic at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, PA. He shot his case worker before pistol whipping his doctor Lee Silverman. As the man left to go shoot more people, Dr. Silverman pulled out his conceal carry handgun and shot the man three times. He was hailed by local police for saving other lives before police had a chance to arrive.
Sources for the above includes: Twenty-three Diners Massacred at Texas Restaurant; Oregon Shootings Prove Gun Free Zones are Most Dangerous and Obama a Liar; The Luby’s Cafeteria Massacre of 1991; Survivors Reflect on Oct. 16, 1991, Luby’s Shooting; Shooting Rampage at Killeen Luby’s Left 24 Dead; Gunman Kills 22 and Himself in Texas Cafeteria; Luby’s Massacre in Texas – 23 Dead