Gun control and the banning of guns often come up as a hotly debated issues in political circles.

Some politicians are determined to ban virtually all guns.

Here's a story that lends good argument as to why Americans must remain armed:

On Oct. 18, 1991, George Jo Hennard drove his truck through a window in Luby's Cafeteria in Kileen, Texas, and then opened fire on a lunch crowd of over 100 people, killing 23 and injuring 20 more.

Hennard then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. The incident was one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history.

Witnesses reported that the 35-year-old gunman moved methodically through the large crowd, shooting people randomly and reloading his weapon several times. No clear motive for his actions was ever determined.

One of the outcomes of the Luby's massacre was passage of the 1995 law by the Texas legislature allowing residents with gun permits to carry concealed weapons. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, who was at Luby's with her parents on the day of the massacre and watched as they were murdered, was instrumental in getting the law passed.

Hupp had a handgun with her that day, but left it in her car to comply with the law that forbid people from carrying concealed firearms.

Another good argument came a few weeks ago in the Wilkes-Barre area. A woman was walking her small dog when a pit bull attacked her and her pet. The smaller dog was killed and the woman might have been, had it not been for a man living near the incident who grabbed his gun and shot the attacking dog.

Americans must always be capable of defending themselves, especially in this age of high drug use whereby addicts sometimes become violent to get money to support their habits, and whereby we are constantly warned about the potential of terrorist attacks.

Too much gun control makes us much too vulnerable.

There's no question that some individuals will always abuse weapons and use them the wrong way. This can happen not only with guns but with chemicals, tools, and, in the case of the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 plane hijackings, common household items.

This isn't to say that the Oklahoma City or 9/11 attacks could have been averted. But there are attacks, such as the one at the Texas diner, where fewer defenseless people might not have become the victims of a deranged gunman.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com [1]