(Erica Ritz) Dr. Suzanna Hupp became a case study in gun control after testifying in front of Congress as a survivor of the 1991 “Luby” massacre in Texas where both of her parents were killed. On Monday, more than a decade later, she spoke once more on the issue, examining it through the lens of the debate currently gripping the nation.
During her first appearance, Hupp explained how a friend had given her a gun when she was 21 and, though she doesn’t like guns or hunting, she agreed to get some training and carry it in her purse.
Not long after, a man crashed his car into a restaurant where she was eating with her family and started shooting people.
“It took me a good 45 seconds to realize that this man wasn’t there to commit a robbery,” she said. “He was there to simply shoot as many people as he possibly could.”
“When I finally realized what was occurring, I thought, ‘I got him,” she said, snapping her hand. “And I reached for my purse. He was maybe 12 feet away…But then I realized 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.”
She proceeded to describe how her father was shot trying to rush the man, and how she tried to escape with her mother. When she turned around, she saw that her mother had run back to be with her father in his final moments, and was soon shot as well.
Here is video of her original testimony, which is well worth the watch:
In the intervening years, Hupp has become a staunch advocate for concealed-carry, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996. After six terms, in 2006, she chose not to seek re-election.
She appeared on Monday, she said, not in any professional capacity, but simply as a citizen.
Hupp began by noting how uncomfortable she felt when victims of gun violence were asked to stand at the beginning of the hearing.
“Honestly, I don’t view myself as a victim of gun violence,” she said simply. “I view myself as a victim of a maniac who happened to use a gun as a tool, and I view myself as a victim of the legislators at the time who left me defenseless.”