Monday, April 16, 2007

Lessons From Luby’s...and VA Tech

Today's Virginia Tech massacre, the largest shooting rampage in American history, offers up many of the same lessons that the Luby’s massacre (of 10-16-91) offered, but will we take them?

On that October day back in 1991 a beserk, unemployed man named George Hennard drove his 1987 Ford Ranger Pick-up through the window of Luby’s luncheonette in Kileen, Texas, bellowing, “This is what Bell County has done to me!”

He commenced to stalk the restaurant with a Glock 9mm and a Ruger p89. By the time he took his own life, he’d killed 23 and wounded 20 others.

At the time, Luby’s was the largest shooting rampage in American history, but unlike the Reagan shooting and the LIRR mass murders, that yielded more calls for gun control, an enlightened voice came through from the Luby’s massacre, as the daughter of two people killed at Luby’s, Suzanna Gratia Hupp (above left), ran for statewide office in Texas and won.

in 1995 Texas lawmakers, led by that same Suzanna Gratia Hupp passed a law over the veto of former Governor Ann Richards that allowed Texas citizens to obtain a concealed carry handgun permit in part as a reaction against the massacre. Soon after, many states considered similar weapon permits for citizens.

The folly of gun control laws is that they ONLY disarm the law-abiding.

Thugs and outcasts will always find guns, whether they have to be stolen from military bases, police precincts and evidence rooms or simply made.

Guns are remarkably easy to make.

The idea of disarming everyone “except for the police and the military” is just as easy an idea to come across, but it’s not just easy, it’s simplistic.

Disarming the law-abiding is a net negative for everyone’s security.

In places where concealed handgun permits are regularly granted, there are actually, on average, fewer gun crimes than in places with the strictest gun control laws (Wash, D.C. & NYC).

Why did Suzanna Gratia Hupp take a very different lesson away from Luby’s than Caroline McCarthy, a widow of a LIRR shooting spree, conducted by illegal immigrant, Colin Ferguson?

Perhaps because while Suzanna Gratia Hupp was raised in the pro-gun culture of texas and Caroline Mcarthy was raised in the anti-gun culture of the northeast?

Perhaps, but there’s got to be something more. What could account for so many people in places like the northeast to support a policy that has failed in every appreciable measure?

Could it be that Suzanna Gratia Hupp simply has a lot more common sense?

The fact is that no law could ever stop a Colin Ferguson, or a George Hennard from getting guns and doing what they did, but a single armed passenger on that LIRR train, or in Luby’s on either of those days, may have made all the difference in the world.

That’s how lives are saved, by allowing law-abiding citizens to act.

Just as merely criminalizing murder doesn’t stop murders, criminalizing gun ownership doesn’t stop gun crimes.

You know what does?

Self-defense...and an armed populace.


Without Feathers said...

I think it's a forgone conclusion that guns will be blamed for this human tragedy.

JMK said...

I agree and already see it happening.

The sad thing is that the "lesson" from Luby's (one armed patron could've stopped that rampage) is the lesson for the LIRR shooting and the VT massacre as well.

Banning one tool, among many, used by malevolent people to do ill, does not address the real problem of malicious people and the violence they perpetrate.

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