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December 21st, 2012
04:25 PM ET

Massacre survivor defends gun rights

Brooke Baldwin talks to Suzanna Gratia Hupp who survived the Luby's Cafeteria shooting in Texas over 20 years ago. Hupp contends that had she had the right to carry her gun she could have saved her parents who were killed in the shooting.

Post by:
Filed under: Brooke Baldwin
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Frank Smith

    Brooke, your interviewee was correct that the so-called "assault weapons" are *NOT* capable of full-automatic, rapid fire.

    The AR-15 legally available to civilians in the United States is only a semi-automatic rifle. They are all semi-automatic rifles, which fire only one time the trigger is pulled. The only resemblance to military weapons is in appearance. They fire the same ammunition at the same rate as any other semi-automatic hunting rifle of the same caliber.

    There are military "assault rifles", which your colleagues have seen on battlefields. These weapons are capable of full-auto and burst firing ("rapid fire", as you referred to). These weapons are absolutely illegal in the US, and require a federal Class III license, which is *extremely* difficult to obtain. Even with a license, full-auto assault rifles cost anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000 and can only be bought from a small number of sources. They are highly regulated. One provision of the license enables the BATF to perform random inspections to ensure that they are securely stored.

    It is very unfortunate that this misunderstanding of terminology exists. I made a point to not weigh in on either side of the debate in this post. Many people, yourself included, have been regrettably misinformed that these weapons are capable of rapid firing. I think it would be very helpful if for the sake of accuracy, CNN could take the lead in clarifying this issue. I think it is absolutely relevant to all sides of the debate, and the best real discussions can occur when everyone properly understands the terms being used.

    December 22, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  2. JSR

    But Frank, does that still make them ok to have around? And what about those magazine clips? Come on dude. Don't you have common sense? "Oh, they're only semi-automatic. Therefore they pose no threat." Get real.

    December 22, 2012 at 2:07 am |
  3. Jason

    JSR, you should read Franks post over again. He's only clarifying the differences between a fully automatic and a semi auto weapon, and the ease in which a person is able to obtain one. It doesn't help anyone when members of the media spread misinformation, whether intentional or not. If there is to be a serious discussion on firearms it should be centered around facts not lies, or half truths.

    December 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  4. Robert

    I heard Don Lemon say that AR-15s are "never" used as hunting rifles or as home defense weapons. I beg to differ, and so do the large number of wild hogs (which are about as tuff an animal as we have in the US) and deer I've seen put in the cooler, and the large number of people who I know personally who use them as their number 1 choice as a home defense weapon. They are used just like any other semi-auto rifle or pistol which have been legal to use by civi's ever since they were first developed. The anchors on CNN need to start reporting the news, and stop pushing their own beliefs on the American people. Another thing...If you don't know guns, then don't pretend to. You are all making fools of yourselves by reading some nonsense talking point that some anti-gun guy gave to you. Do some research for yourselves. Little hint, if someone wants to push an anti-gun agenda, then that guy usually doesn't know them NEAR as well as a guy who has built his own rifle, and spent years shooting it.

    December 24, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  5. Willie Aponte - NY State

    I have a suggestion. For research, go to a gun range and dry fire (pull the trigger without any ammo in the weapon) an AR-15, a semi-automatic pistol and a revolver. That's to see how hard (or easy) it is to pull a trigger. After that load the weapons with live ammo and fire them. At that point you will have real world experience and will probably stop calling AR-15's rapid fire assault weapons.

    December 24, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  6. sandflee1224

    The N R A leader has suggested a ridiculous solution to the tragic events concerning the Newtown, Conn events. I am unable to understand the necessity of being able to shoot the number of rounds that an assualt rifle can deliver, other than to be used against other human beings. How can a responsible adult justify the sale of these weapons to the public? The arguments for the carrying of guns that would enable an individual to step in and shoot these "lunatics" does not seem to be a valid argument since I am unaware of any news report to suggest that this has ever happened in this country. The guns do not kill, true, but automobiles do not kill without the misdirection of a errant driver BUT we have laws to proctect against their missuse. The production of motor vehicles is also controlled by standards designed to make them safer. We are not going to change the actions of certain individuals BUT we can limit the availability of these assualt type weapons to curb the effects of their misuse. Let's get real about this! Our constitution protects our right to bear arms but is that an open door to any type of weapon? I think not!

    December 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  7. rb4dtwbsts

    @sandflee1224 – Did you even watch and listen to what Suzanna Gratia Hupp said, or read Frank Smith's comment? The AR15 is NOT an assault weapon, i.e. NOT fully automatic. Fully automatic weapons were banned in the *1930's*!! The misnamed “assault” rifle is actually a semi-automatic weapon which requires that the person pull the trigger every single time to shoot a bullet. Yes, in the military, in a combat zone, weapons that can rapid fire are used by soldiers, but these weapons are already illegal for a civilian to have in the U.S. and have been for over 80 years. You may want to listen and learn something by opening your mind instead of repeating misinformation due to lack of knowledge and bias. And to @Brooke – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE... Stop OVER-TALKING your guests. Suzanna attempted several times to explain the difference between an automatic, rapid fire, weapon and a semi-automatic weapon. But YOU just wouldn't let her talk, insisting on repeating, over and over and over and over and over again what YOU had heard and what YOU thought was being told to you, about YOU YOU YOU! This is what prevents a real conversation because the media refuses to let the person who has been invited to present their information and their side of the story from doing so. I see this on all the networks and it's a discredit to all of them, as well as being profoundly annoying. The result is that there is no real discussion, just pushing the interviewer's point of view on the given subject, whatever that might be. I see this on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC and it’s become a disease that is rampant in the media. What is the problem about letting your guests actually say what they’ve been invited to say? Are you afraid that they may be so eloquent as to actually say something that may convince someone they have a valid point to be considered? Isn’t that the reason for bringing that person on the show, to have an “adult” conversation about a controversial subject? Willie Aponte's suggestion that you "go to a gun range and dry fire (pull the trigger without any ammo in the weapon) an AR-15, a semi-automatic pistol and a revolver. That's to see how hard (or easy) it is to pull a trigger. After that load the weapons with live ammo and fire them. At that point you will have real world experience and will probably stop calling AR-15's rapid fire assault weapons." is a brilliant idea. Would you do that? Do you have the courage to step outside what you have "heard" and been "told" and obviously believe, and get some real-life experience so you can talk from "knowledge" instead of what someone else has interpreted for you? Until that happens, until you "walk" in those moccasins, you simply don't have the first-hand knowledge to make a valid argument for what you have “heard”. You are obviously a very smart person. Do yourself a favor and talk based on facts and experience, not hearsay, not on what you have “heard” or “read” or what someone has “told” you for a change. And let your guests finish what they have to say without busting in and preventing them from doing so when you have "different information" and what they are talking about doesn't fit in with your preconceived notions.

    December 25, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  8. Fish Fingers

    "Guns don't kill people, people do."

    This is an incomplete and frankly loony thought..

    People kill people with any weapon or "tool" they can find. Guns just do a really good job with the deed.

    To continue to allow a loophole in weapons registration and licencing (national gun registry is need) is foolishness. Owners and guns should be tracked, a database to include the purchase of ammunition for those weapons. strict laws in place to judge the worthiness of gun owners, etc.

    I could go on but this information is already provided by a well throughout organization.

    Check out the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

    Solutions exist.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  9. JSR

    They say the AR-15 isn't needed to defend yourself. However, I am starting to come around. It's definitely not needed to defend yourself from one burglar, but who's to say your house isn't barged in by multiple people with weapons? Then it's an important weapon. Why can't we just do both what the NRA wants and what gun control advocates want? Who says we have to have middle ground? Just do both things.

    December 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  10. kps

    Again, liberal agenda for gun control.Brooke kept repeating assault weapon it's not my words when she was told it is a made-up term and very misleading. That's what CNN wants.

    December 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
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