Suzanna Gratia Hupp’s Testimony in Dick Durbin’s Anti-Gun Hearing

I didn’t watch today’s dog and pony show run by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin today because, as a subcommittee hearing, it’s just not quite as big of a dog and pony show. However, I did sit down to read the submitted testimony from Suzanna Gratia Hupp, one of the scheduled witnesses. I thought it was worth sharing some highlights.

On the issue of gun free zones:

Since that time, we have seen dozens of these mass shootings. Isn’t it interesting that nearly all have occurred in places where guns were not allowed. If guns are the problem, then someone explain to me why we haven’t seen these mass shooting at skeet and trap shoots, or NRA conventions, or the dreaded gun show. We will never know if lives could have been saved at Sandy Hook if a teacher or two been armed. …Rid the country of gun free zones. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be able to stop someone from going into a workplace and shooting his estranged wife and the person sitting next to her. But you will prevent the high body bag counts we are seeing now.

On misinformation from lawmakers about guns they want to ban:

Look, guns are just a tool. They are tools that can be used to kill a family, or tools that can be used to protect a family. It merely depends on whose hands that tool is in. You may wonder why I take issue with an assault weapons ban. That is simple. It is because there’s no logic involved with the proposed ban. I believe that the public and much of the media have been misled to believe that assault weapons are rapidfire, automatic, machinegun-like weapons. I know this from the many interviews I have done on television, radio and newspaper.

On the argument of a bill of needs:

I have heard many pundits and legislators say, “Why would anyone need this type of gun or a magazine that carries this many bullets?” Well, in this Land where Freedom hangs by a thread, I hate to think we are going to begin having government committees determining what each citizen needs. They may decide you don’t need to drive a particular car, or need send your child to private school.

And in this Land of Liberty, it is not only our right to keep and bear arms, I would go so far as to say it is our duty.

She also has a suggestion for lawmakers that includes not actually making a law, which I’m pretty sure has to cause smoke to come out of the ears of some legislators who just don’t comprehend the concept that not everything has to be about controlling behavior:

Encourage, not legislate, but encourage the media to quit using the murderers’ names in all of their follow-up reporting. I would love to see them never show the creep’s picture after the first day. If the killer is still alive and going to trial, wouldn’t it be great if they fuzzed out their names and faces as if it were obscene? We all know they have to report the news. But they could be part of the solution and help take the glory out of their horrendous acts.

There is one reference Hupp makes in comparing a mass killer to a rabid dog, and I’m not sure it’s such a good analogy.

Now it may sound odd to you, but I wasn’t angry at the guy that did it. That’s like being mad at a rabid dog: you don’t be mad at it. You might take it behind the barn and kill it, but don’t be mad it. I told the newspapers the next day that I was mad as hell at my legislators because they had legislated me out of the right to protect myself and my family. The only thing the gun laws did that day was prevent good people from protecting themselves.

The reason I take issue with this analogy is because I’m not sure how many people would really get it. I think many urban and suburban dwellers understand that a rabid dog is a bad thing, but I’m not sure how many consider it a) a real threat, or b) something that needs to be shot. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s amazing how many people don’t understand the natural threats around them anymore. I had an encounter in college where I had to talk back some friends – educated women – who thought an animal that showed possible signs of being rabid was just so cute and nearly tried to pet it. I mentioned Old Yeller, and they just blinked. To make the argument to them that rabid animals should be shot would horrify them. If they ever had a rabid pet, their solution would be to take it to a vet. If the vet says put it down, they wouldn’t make the connection that it’s the same as shooting it. To them, the idea that the individual could diagnose the problem and provide the same final solution for the animal is just beyond them. That’s what we have vets for – official people with titles and government sanction, at least according to them.

That said, I don’t think that the analogy makes or breaks the testimony. I think it’s overall good written testimony.

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