How many times have you heard this argument when it comes to guns?
“But heck, if it’s one person we stop and it’s one life we save, why not. That one life may be yours, your kid, your mom, or someone else you know.”
What anpit the other side of that? What if it costs one life? As long as we are dealing with hypotheticals, what if one person had been armed with a weapon, and had stopped any one of the past spree shooters sooner? Would that have saved a life? A dozen lives? Two dozen?
That isn’t a hypothetical situation: It happened in Kileen, Texas on October 16, 1991 in Luby’s cafeteria. A man drove his pickup truck into the front wall of the restaurant, killed 23 people and wounded 27 with a firearm before killing himself. In that restaurant was a woman named Suzanna Hupp, and was having lunch with her parents, who were both killed by the shooter that day. Ms. Hupp had a pistol in her purse, but had left it in the car, because it was illegal at the time for people to carry concealed weapons in Texas. She later said that this decision was one she would regret for the rest of her life.
Her father, Al Gratia, feeling he “needed to do something”, tried to rush the gunman and sadly was fatally shot in the chest instead. Hupp, eventually seeing an escape through a broken window (broken by the shoulder of another horrified, fleeing victim), grabbed her mother by the shirt telling her “Come on, we have to go now!” As Hupp moved toward the only escape, she believed her mother to be following behind. However, upon reaching the safety of outside, she then realized her Mother, Ursula Gratia had stayed behind to be with her mortally wounded husband. Hupp was told soon after the incident that her mother had instead watched her daughter get to safety and then turned to be with her husband of over 40 years. Ursula stayed by the side of her mortally-wounded husband, cradling him as his life slipped away. Al Gratia died almost instantly. Ursula Gratia had time to glance up at the gunman afterward and back down at her husband before the crazed man then shot her in the head at point-blank range, killing her instantly.
Had Hupp been able to legally carry her pistol armed that day instead of being forced to leave it in the car, she would have saved as many as a dozen people from death. The laws against ramming a building, carrying a weapon, shooting people, and committing murder did not save a single life that day. The law abiding woman left her gun in the car, in compliance with the law. The criminal broke the law, and two dozen people, including the parents of the law abiding gun owner, paid for that with their lives.
If it saves just one life, shouldn’t we try it? More guns may not be the answer, but there is one thing that has been demonstrated over and over: More gun laws that disarm the law abiding are not the answer.