Ronald Reagan shooter John Hinckley Jr. to leave mental hospital https://t.co/T3QT0CwDAY— TIME (@TIME) September 10, 2016
John Hinckley Jr., best known as the Ronald Reagan shooter, is to be released from a mental institution after 35 years. Hinkckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity after shooting four people including the President himself.
The shooter said at the time that he only wished to impress the actress Jodi Foster whom he was infatuated with after seeing her performance in the movie Taxi Driver which came out five years earlier.
James Brady, White House press secretary at the time, was the most seriously wounded in the Reagan shooting having been left handicapped and disfigured. He died in 2014. Albeit 33 years after the shooting, his death was linked at the time to the long term damage suffered at the hands of the Ronald Reagan shooter.
The other two people who were shot were a Washington D.C. police officer and a Secret Service agent who were only moderately wounded.
Anyone who was over the age of 10 back on that day in 1981 will always remember the attempt on President Reagan’s life. President Reagan won the admiration of millions of Americans for how he responded to his own shooter. Ronald Reagan famously told his wife, “honey I forgot to duck.”
Some historians feel that the assassination attempt actually enhanced Ronald Reagan’s Presidency which could mean that he actually owed a debt to his shooter.
Ronald Reagan is the only President to survive having been shot. JFK, McKinley and Abraham Lincoln all died. President Ford did survive attempts on his life at the hands of two different shooters, but no bullet ever hit him.
The Reagan shooter is being released some time today, Saturday September 10, The New York Times reports. John Hinckley will be allowed to live with his 91-year-old mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, but he will not be a completely free man.
The would be Presidential assassin will need to continue to receive psychological therapy and work or volunteer at least three days a week. And Hinckley will not be allowed to travel more than 50 miles away from his home, go near any government offices, and will need to have a GPS app in his phone so that he can be tracked all of the time.
And the Ronald Reagan shooter can expect continued negative reactions from his mother’s neighbors as many have voiced their concerns already when Hinckley was merely allowed out of the hospital for short visits.
One neighbor, Joe Mann, told the Washington Post that he is concerned that Hinckley might be a threat to residents saying, “It’s not a matter of forgiveness but a matter of security.”
Ronald Reagan shooter leaves mental hospital today for good. pic.twitter.com/PvmOAresQy— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 10, 2016
To this Hinckley’s lawyer Barry Levine countered that the doctors have cleared his client as being safe. “If those people who have concerns were fully informed, they’d have nothing to worry about,” Levine told The Post.
After he determined that the Ronald Reagan shooter was no longer a threat to society, a Federal judge ordered Hinckley’s release back in July.
At the time, The Reagan Foundation release a statement saying the following of Reagan’s shooter.
“John Hinckley is responsible for the shooting of President Reagan and three other brave men. One died two years [James Brady] ago from the wounds he received. Contrary to the judge’s decision, we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others and we strongly oppose his release.”
Many political commentators from Sean Hannity to Bill O’Reilly were infuriated by the news of Hinckley’s imminent release. But the Ronald Reagan shooter’s lawyer Barry Levine reminded people at the time that his client was not evil, just mentally ill and misguided.
The Federal Prosecutor who tried Hinckley told NBC“I don’t think that anybody who tries to nullify a national election with a bullet should ever been walking free, no matter what their mental state.”
Ronald Reagan’s son Michael simply tweeted that since Saturday is a college football day then he would not comment on politics today, or apparently the Ronald Reagan shooter.
You can see the extensive coverage of the Federal Judge’s somewhat controversial decision to release the Reagan Shooter in the Inquisitr’s report.
Hinckley had sent Jodi Foster a letter 35 years ago in which he wrote the following in an attept why he wanted to kill Ronald Reagan.
“I will admit to you that the reason I’m going ahead with this attempt now is because I cannot wait any longer to impress you. I’ve got to do something now to make you understand, in no uncertain terms, that I’m doing all of this for your sake!”
The Ronald Reagan shooter certainly failed to gain the love of the object of his obsession. Now people must wait and see if John Hinckley Jr truly no longer poses a threat to Jodi Foster, a president, or anyone else.
[Photo By The White House/Getty Images]