By: Teresa Mull
Suzanna Gratia Hupp survived a 1991 mass shooting at a Luby's in Killeen, Texas that claimed the lives of 23 people, including Hupp’s parents. Since then, Hupp has been pushing for fewer restrictions on firearms.
The Dallas Morning News reports:
"I reached for the gun in my purse on the floor next to me," Hupp told a congressional committee Wednesday during a hearing on the economic costs of gun violence. She recounted the moments after the killer, George Hennard, crashed his pickup into the restaurant where she was eating with her parents and opened fire. "But then I realized that a few months earlier I had made the stupidest decision of my life. My gun was 100 yards away, dutifully left in my car to obey the law because at that time in the state of Texas, carrying a handgun was illegal."
Hupp's campaign to ease restrictions on guns has spanned several decades. She won a seat in the Texas House, where she served for 10 years. On Wednesday, she told her story during a hearing of the Joint Economic Committee.
Hupp, a chiropractor, was invited by fellow Republicans, and she focused her testimony on what she called "the high cost of gun control."
Few GOP members of the committee attended the hearing, which lasted nearly two hours. Democrats used the opportunity to make their case for strengthening background checks for gun purchases and passing "red flag" laws that let law enforcement seize firearms from people deemed dangerous. The Texans on the panel, both Republicans — Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Kenny Marchant of Coppell — did not attend.
Hupp is not the only victim of a mass shooting to speak out against gun control. Andrew Pollack, who lost his daughter during the Parkland, Florida school shooting earlier this year, said this week on Fox News, "My daughter paid the ultimate sacrifice because of those Democratic policies and I've been hurt by the Democrats more than anybody in this country -- and I hold them responsible.”
Congress is set to debate another ban on so-called “assault weapons” next week. And in Texas, GPM reported that following the mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa, Texans were left wondering how their local government would respond.
In early September, they got their answer. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed eight executive orders to help bolster the training, tools, and resources law enforcement and the public need to provide and respond to Suspicious Activity Reports.
“Abbott's executive orders are essentially a form of ‘Red Flag lite,’ encouraging Texans to report fellow Texans over so-called suspicious behavior," Chris McNutt, Executive Director for Texas Gun Rights told Gunpowder Magazine. “This, of course, can simply be putting a pro-gun or ‘don’t tread on me’ sticker on your car, which triggers the far Left-wing extremists Abbott is trying to placate with these orders.”
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.