From Luby’s to the Legislature – Dr. Suzanna Hupp Speaks Out
By: Amy Carducci
Long before September the 11th, part of America’s innocence was shattered on October 16, 1991 in the central Texas town of Killeen. At lunchtime a man drove his pickup truck through a window at a local cafeteria called Luby’s. Twenty four people were murdered in cold blood by a deranged man who ended his life after the 15 minute rampage. If the laws of the country supported Second Amendment rights, a patron named Suzanna Hupp might have changed history and stopped the deaths of the patron’s of Luby’s cafeteria. In her book, “From Luby’s to the Legislature,” Suzanna Hupp defends the right for all people to carry a weapon. She so believed in her cause she became a Representative in Texas. The book details her life and her mission to change government.
I had the chance this past fall to meet Dr. Hupp and hear her powerful story. She was the keynote speaker at the GeorgiaCarry.Org convention. She commands your attention and if you get a chance, you should read her book, “From Luby’s to the Legislature.” It’s a short read, and you will quickly find that you do not want to put the book down even for a minute.
In her own words Dr. Hupp describes how on fall day at lunchtime in a busy restaurant a crazed gunman drove his truck into the window of the cafeteria. Quickly, he emerged from the vehicle and began shooting helpless people one at a time. Dr. Hupp describes the horrible event stating, “he seemed to have no opposition of any kind as he continued his bloody march.” Dr. Hupp reached for her purse where she normally illegally carried a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver, but on that particular day the gun was behind in her car. With a simple shot in the air or even at the gunman, she could have dramatically changed the day’s events.
Dr. Hupp’s father was a take charge person and a veteran. He wanted to save Dr. Hupp and his wife among other victims. Her father tried to rush the perpetrator and was shot in the chest. As the gunman took his time shooting people one at a time throughout the cafeteria, patrons in a back corner of the restaurant desperate to escape broke a window. People began running from the building in an effort to save their lives. When the gunman turned direction, Dr. Hupp seized the opportunity and ran to safety. Yelling for her mother to follow, she was outside when she realized her mother did not follow. Her parents were days away from a 50th wedding anniversary. Dr. Hupp later discovered that as her mother placed her cheek against her father’s chest, she was executed by the madman at point-blank range.
In the aftermath, Dr. Hupp blamed the government for denying her the right to defend herself and others. In Texas at the time, it was illegal to carry a concealed firearm. Testifying in front of state officials and Congress became a passion. Dr. Hupp became an advocate and was instrumental in the passage of a concealed carry weapons bill that passed in Texas. She appeared on numerous talk shows and media outlets to raise awareness.
In the five years that passed, Dr. Hupp considered the idea of running for public office. In January of 1996 Dr. Hupp ran for State Representative for District 54 in Texas. Her book examines the question of Second Amendment and the right to bear arms to protect one’s self from a criminal. She asks, “What kind of government punishes people for protecting themselves?” (Hupp, 2010, p.114) The second Amendment is not her only concern as she voices opinions on the Fourth Amendment and “unlawful searches.” Dr. Hupp describes how often she is searched in the name of “national security,” but the searches are done poorly and without due cause. Dr. Hupp feels, the “half-baked, poorly run searches are not worth usurping our Fourth Amendment rights for the perception of security.” (Hupp, 2010, p. 132)
Hearing her personal description of the shooting at the Luby’s cafeteria is very powerful whether you are pro-gun or anti-gun. In her book Dr. Hupp writes in clear, concise language a story you soon will not forget. It is not a political perspective or autobiography, but her words in her own voice. It is a powerful read about an average person thrust into an extreme circumstance. Dr. Hupp wanted change and stepped up and became involved in grassroots, state level government. I affirmed my ideals that as an American citizen I have the right to protect myself and family from harm. In addition, I see the importance of the Bill of Rights and the personal freedoms I am afforded as an American and how the government can limit those freedoms.
Dr. Hupp has become a champion of second amendment rights. She believes that guns should be in the hands of law-abiding citizens that have the right to defend themselves against criminals who do not obey the law. The book is an easy read and may change your mind on self-defense and the concealed carry of firearms. The flow of the book is like sitting down with a friend and having a conversation discussing the pros and cons of controversial subject matter.
Dr. Hupp took a negative event in her life and changed it into a positive. I only wish we could all be as brave as this woman. For more information about her book and her mission, check out Dr. Hupp’s website.