To the editor:
Former Texas State Representative Dr. Suzanna Gratia-Hupp was in Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, on Oct. 16, 1991. She was there having lunch with her mother and father when George Hennard drove his truck through the front of the cafeteria. He then opened fire on the unarmed diners.
During the shooting, Gratia-Hupp reached for her purse where she kept her gun. The gunman was roughly 12 feet from her and she felt confident to shoot the gunman and end the killings. It was then that she realized, to comply with Texas law, she had taken her gun out of her purse and left it in her car. Luby's Cafeteria became a very easy place to commit mass murder. Twenty-three people were killed including Gratia-Hupp's parents. Twenty more were wounded before the gunman ended his own life.
In March 1992, Gratia-Hupp was testifying in favor of Missouri's HB-1720, a bill that would allow the citizens of Missouri to obtain a permit to carry a firearm concealed or openly carried. She said:
"Let me make a point here, in case this isn't becoming extremely clear. 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! That's the only thing that cotton pickin' law did. OK. Understand that. That's - that's so important."
Weapons Free Zones do not mean safety. They can actually have the opposite effect.