'If Only I'd Had a Gun'

A woman who saw her parents killed in a mass shooting goes on to push for gun rights

Thursday, January 10, 2013

More than twenty years ago, Suzanna Gratia Hupp witnessed the death of her parents at the hands of a gunman at a Luby's cafeteria in Killeen Texas. When the rampage was over, twenty-three people were killed and dozens more injured. Till the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, the Luby's massacre was the deadliest shooting rampage to ever take place in the United States. 

This experience moved her to run for the Texas House of Representatives, where she pushed for concealed handgun laws that eventually went into effect in Texas in 1996. Since then, she's remained vocal on the topic of gun control, authoring a book on the topic: "From Luby’s to the Legislature: One Women’s Fight Against Gun Control."

She explains how her thinking on gun control has evolved and describes what she hopes Vice President Joe Biden's meetings with NRA leaders will accomplish.


Suzanna Gratia Hupp

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [15]

Bob Smith

1. They are coming for your guns , please sign the petition.
2. Who is coming for your guns?
3. Hillary and Obama.
4. Really, I think they are not, it's about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, are you a criminal?
5. No.
6. Do you support criminals having guns?
7. No.
8. Then what are you worried about? YOu will always have guns to protect yourself.

Feb. 18 2013 04:00 PM
Swili from New York, NY

This woman is completely insane. I can't blame her for a screw coming loose when she lost her family in such a tragedy, but make no mistake...a screw is loose there.

Jan. 10 2013 09:59 PM

Dlmc from Brooklyn: No one needs the gun capacity to kill 30 people in a minute. And what she said about guns in the classroom was more ridiculous than my fictitious deer.

Jan. 10 2013 08:20 PM
dlmc from Brooklyn

Michael from Texas- before calling someone else a liar, get your own facts straight. Military bases are "gun free" zones, soldiers are not permitted to walk about armed. That is why the Ft Hood terrorist was able to kill/maim so many.
Lucinda - TRY LISTENING TO THE STORY. No there are not aggressive deer where she lives, their was a rampaging human who killed her parents. She feels that had she been armed she could have saved their lives.

Jan. 10 2013 05:28 PM
Joanna Cullen from Seattle

I just want to agree with those who are pointing out that the presence of guns has little to do with the institutions or areas. There were people with guns present at many of the locations of the mass shootings. There is no one solution, but common sense will see that the regulation of the sales and ownership of guns is part of the solution. Ensuring that the society emphasizes solutions that are not violence as a solution to conflict and anger and fear is a part of the solution. Mental health initiatives that reach out to those who may be very isolated, alone, fearful angry, or depressed and helping them to connect in a more positive way to society is important.

Jan. 10 2013 04:43 PM

One has to wonder why the news media has failed to as the NRA about the Ft Hood incident. Selective memory or just plain scared to do be good journalists. (If you don't throw enough slow pitches and call strikes fairly the guests my refuse to be interviewed)

Jan. 10 2013 01:56 PM
Mike from Oregon

I think the NRA's position of one uniformed, armed guard at every school won't work because a shooter will target the one obstacle, first. It might work if the guard is plain-clothed, not uniformed. But then there's the problem of paying 1 person $100,000/yr, and all he does is walk around the halls all day. And then, how many kids will die before the 1 guard can be alerted, get to the scene, id the shooter, get in position to shoot and shoot.

It does seem like allowing teachers to carry guns might work, maybe. Many, on scene already, not identifiable, low cost. Lots of problems with it too, but the current situation doesn't seem to work either.

Jan. 10 2013 01:49 PM
Michael from Keller, TX

I will address only one of the false claims made by your guest -- the statement, often a part of pro-gun rants, that these massacres never happen where legal weapons are plentiful. Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 people in November 2009 on the Fort Hood, TX military base. This simple fact should be available to everyone to challenge this "more legal weapons" canard whenever it appears.

Jan. 10 2013 12:53 PM

Thank you, Suzanna, for your views. I agree with you.[Retired teacher 38 years.]

Jan. 10 2013 12:36 PM
Angel from Miami, FL

Too bad we don't have true numbers from the days of the Old West to see what exactly are the gun violence statistics in an environment where just about everyone had a gun. DO we have those numbers?

Jan. 10 2013 10:14 AM

Why does she need assault weapons? Are there aggressive deer where she lives? Does she need to make sure she takes a bunch of people with her if she ever becomes suicidal?

The police arrived in minutes in Newtown. The number of shots the killer was able to get off in that time is the reason for the high death toll. Teacher and administrators threw themselves in the line of fire. If he'd been forced to reload, they might have stopped him.

Jan. 10 2013 09:49 AM
Derrick from Charleston, sc

Gun owners seem to think if they had a gun in the situation of a mass shooting they would magically rise to the occasion and be the hero we see in movies. Well this is certainly not the case. In any extreme stress situation you will sink to the lowest level of your training and for the case of 99% of gun owners there is 0 training under extreme stress. You won't make the shot you made at the range under 0 stress. At best you'll forget you have a gun. At worst you'll make yourself a target. Even police officers and soldiers with high stress training make m8stakes that cost lives under stress.

Jan. 10 2013 09:42 AM

You've got to be kidding me. You didn't challenge her claim that mass shootings won't happen in Texas because teachers are being armed. What if a clueless kid gets a hold of the teacher's gun? What about the proven fact that crimes of passion are deadlier if there's a gun on hand? My daughter can't take a peanut to school but we're supposed to be okay with guns in the classroom?

Jan. 10 2013 09:36 AM
Fact_Check from Detroit

Politicians tend to have selective memory. Apparently Ms Hupp (a Texas Legislator?) is unaware of the mass shooting that occured at Fort Hood (that's in Texas folks). Clearly the soldiers at Fort Hood are all unarmed.

What are the folks (NRA et al) who dare to suggest that armed guards will stop mass shooting been smoking (their own ideology)

Jan. 10 2013 09:35 AM
Sean from Brooklyn

Basically theses nuts want us to go backwards to a time where everyone carried a gun. What's to stop a teacher from losing their mind and shooting up their classroom. From what I can tell, the only law that has made a real effect on gun violence is the outlaw of guns. If Australia and Japan can do it why can't an "enlightened" country like ours achieve such a goal.

Jan. 10 2013 09:35 AM

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