18.03.30 Reagan Shot

March 30, 2018
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March 30, 1981

Attempted Assassination of President Reagan

On his 69th day in office, President Reagan was shot outside a D.C. hotel by John Hinckley Jr., a 25-year-old man who said he wanted “impress” actress Jodie Foster.

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6 Shots Fired; 4 Men Shot

  • Pres. Reagan: bullet hit close to his heart, but he made a full recovery months later.
  • A D.C. officer shot in the back.
  • A Secret Service Agent who threw himself in front Pres. Reagan shot in the stomach.
  • WH Press Secretary James Brady was severely injured. He was shot in the head, leaving him partially paralyzed & in a wheelchair.

“The verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity was a bad verdict.”

Patti Davis, President Reagan’s daughter to NPR in 2015

In 2016, 34 years after a jury found him insane, a federal judge released Hinckley into the custody of his mother after doctors at the mental hospital where he lived for decades said he was no longer a threat.

Jim Brady’s Lasting Legacy

After he recovered, Jim & his wife Sarah became advocates for stricter gun control laws in the U.S.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act into law. The Act requires federally licensed firearms dealer (about 60% of all gun sales) to conduct background checks of potential gun buyers.

In 2014, when James Brady died his death was ruled a homicide because he died as a result of the injuries he sustained 33 years earlier when he was shot, but prosecutors decided against charging Hinckley, and he was released just two years later.

by Jenna Lee,