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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Would be Reagan Assassin John Hinckley, Jr. Released

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Mental health patient, or not, John W. Hinckley Jr. is a potential killer.  Nonetheless, a federal judge has ordered that Hinckley be released.  Hinkley is the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan March 30, 1981 - only 69 days into Reagan's presidency.  Reagan's wound to the chest was the result a bullet that ricocheted off a limousine.

At first nobody was aware that Reagan had been shot.  He insisted on walking into the emergency room, entering the hospital unassisted.  Inside the hospital Reagan said he was having difficulty breathing.  At that point, his knees buckled, and he went down on one knee.

Reagan went into shock, and normally an elderly man in Reagan's predicament would not be able to survive.  The 70 year old, however, was in excellent physical health, which was one of the contributors to his survival.  Another factor that led to Reagan's survival was the fact that it had been decided to take him directly to the hospital, rather than to the White House.

Ronald Reagan was known for being quick witted, and his quips did not cease while on a hospital bed.  When his wife, Nancy, arrived, Reagan said, "Honey, I forgot to duck."  While intubated, he scribbled to a nurse, "All in all, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."  In the operating room, Reagan removed his oxygen mask to joke, "I hope you are all Republicans." The doctors and nurses laughed, and the lead doctor, Joseph Giordano, a liberal Democrat, replied, "Today, Mr. President, we are all Republicans."

John W. Hinckley Jr. was acquitted in 1981 after his lawyers orchestrated a successful insanity defense.  Hinckley claimed he shot President Reagan to impress a movie star, Jodie Foster, and then spent the next 35 years in a government psychiatric hospital.

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman says Hinckley no longer poses a danger to himself or others.  The 61 year old, after he is released, will live full time with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The release could be as early as August 5, 2016.

Among the conditions of Hinckley's release, he must stay within a 50-mile radius of Williamsburg and he must always have on him a trackable phone and provide information about vehicles he will be driving.

I would rather they tag him with a GPS marker before they release him into the wild.

Hinckley was 25 when he shot Reagan, White House press secretary James Brady, U.S. Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty with six exploding “Devastator” bullets from a .22-caliber pistol. All survived the attack.  Brady was left paralyzed by a shot to his head.

Brady, following the injury, became an activist for gun control, dying in 2014.  His death was ruled to be connected to his head injury.

Michael Reagan, President Reagan's oldest son, said that he and his father forgave Hinckley.

President Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, voiced opposition to Hinckley's release.  “I’m not surprised by this latest development, but my heart is sickened,” she said.

In a statement, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, which hosts Reagan’s presidential library, said, “Contrary to the judge’s decision, we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others, and we strongly oppose his release.”

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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