Ronald Reagan hinckley shooting assassination
In this Nov. 18, 2003, file photo, John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington. Lawyers for Hinckley, the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, are scheduled to argue in court Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, that the 66-year-old should be freed from restrictions placed on him after he moved out of a Washington hospital in 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
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[ED: Note that the name of James Brady, Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, appears nowhere in this Associated Press report. Brady was shot in the head during John Hinckley Jr.’s attempt to assassinate President Reagan in 1981. Brady’s death in 2014 was ruled a homicide, having never recovered from his injuries.]

By Ben Finley, AP

John Hinckley Jr., who shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was freed from court oversight Wednesday, officially concluding decades of supervision by legal and mental health professionals.

“After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FREEDOM AT LAST!!!,” he wrote on Twitter shortly after 12 p.m.

The lifting of all restrictions had been expected since late September. U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington said he’d free Hinckley on June 15 if he continued to remain mentally stable in the community in Virginia where he has lived since 2016.

Hinckley, who was acquitted by reason of insanity, spent the decades before that in a Washington mental hospital.

Freedom for Hinckley will include giving a concert — he plays guitar and sings — in Brooklyn, New York, that’s scheduled for July. He’s already gained nearly 30,000 followers on Twitter and YouTube in recent months as the judge loosened Hinckley’s restrictions before fully lifting all of them.

But the graying 67-year-old is far from being the household name that he became after shooting and wounding the 40th U.S. president — and several others — outside a Washington hotel. Today, historians say Hinckley is at best a question on a quiz show and someone who unintentionally helped build the Reagan legend and inspire a push for stricter gun control.

“If Hinckley had succeeded in killing Reagan, then he would have been a pivotal historical figure,” H.W. Brands, a historian and Reagan biographer, wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “As it is, he is a misguided soul whom history has already forgotten.”

Barbara A. Perry, a professor and director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, said that Hinckley “would be maybe a Jeopardy question.”

But his impact remains tangible in Reagan’s legacy.

In this March 30, 1981, file photo, Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, foreground, Washington policeman Thomas K. Delehanty, center, and presidential press secretary James Brady, background, lie wounded on a street outside a Washington hotel after shots were fired at U.S. President Ronald Reagan. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)

“For the president himself to have been so seriously wounded, and to come back from that — that actually made Ronald Reagan the legend that he became … like the movie hero that he was,” Perry said.

Friedman, the federal judge overseeing Hinckley’s case, said on June 1 that Hinckley has shown no signs of active mental illness since the mid-1980s and has exhibited no violent behavior or interest in weapons.

“I am confident that Mr. Hinckley will do well in the years remaining to him,” the judge said during the hearing earlier this month.

He noted that lawyers for the government and Hinckley have fought for years over whether Hinckley should be given increasing amounts of freedom.

“It took us a long time to get here,” he said, adding that there is now unanimous agreement: “This is the time to let John Hinckley move on with his life, so we will.”

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38 COMMENTS

  1. I was sitting in a barbershop on Hunter Army Airfield watching it live on a 12″ B/W in the corner. I bolted back to the orderly room with the news. Hardly an eyebrow was raised.

    • The lunatic who created Brady & all that chit Reagan signed into law. Yes he is a murderer. With a freaking .22!

      • I keep hearing from so-called “gun experts” over and over again. That the 22 is a worthless firearm. Worthless for self-defense or worthless for offensive use.

        This Assassins “worthless gun” immediately incapacitated four people. They all would have died if they had not gotten immediate medical attention. Two of the victims were permanently disabled for the rest of their lives. And those two died prematurely because of their bullet wounds. That caused other long term medical problems.

        The .22 has been used as an assassination tool forever. And those “experts” users are quite satisfied with them.

        And yes a center fire caliber is always better.

        • Chris, I own a new Beretta .22 like yours, and I will not carry it for defense for one *glaring* reason –

          It’s blow-back operated, and if you have a mis-fire, racking the slide does *nothing*.

          You have to pick the dead round out with your fingernail before you can get a fresh round ‘in the pipe’.

          I love that little gun to death, but it’s too risky for me to rely on. Mine is a back-pocket backup and ‘velo-dog’ gun…

        • Everything that has walked, crawled, slithered, flown or swam on earth has been killed one time or another with a .22

          Will it do it reliably? Not generally. But it does kill. I’ve treated patients shot with everything from a BB, to a 20mm cannon shell…who survived.

    • “I bolted back to the orderly room with the news. Hardly an eyebrow was raised.”

      I recall a piece of shit telling the story of someone sticking their head into a classroom at Columbia University in NYC saying “Regan got shot!” and the room erupted in *cheers*.

      That’s an example of the pureness of the love that Leftist Scum ™ have for their fellow man… 🙁

      • Reading “Kids Who Kill – Confronting Our Culture of Violence,” circa 1998. Even more pertinent today as then….just further down the rat hole. Your example of Leftist’s loss of civility, respect for leaders is noted as a strong influence on young violence perps. They make excellent Useful Idiot Tools.

    • “…does that mean he can hook up with Jodie?”

      I doubt she’s interested, she prefers fish over beef… 🙂

    • Im confident that she plays for the other team, but I think she might throw him an “atta-boy” for trying to take out one of the left’s most hated people.

    • Maybe but she’s an old bat now. I think he was in love with the 12 year old hooker Jodie Foster from some crap movie set in Ciudad de Nueva York…

    • Ask what Hinckley is going to do when a secret agent calls him and says “The Red Fox trots quietly at midnight.”

      • The only answer could be, “SAY WHAT?!?!?! Redd Foxx died in October, 1991! Call someone else with your prank phone calls!”

  2. It’s not just a coincidence that the would be assassin of President Reagan is being let free 2 yrs before the soon to be best Republican POTUS (POTUS Trump) is going to retake the White House in 2024. It’s a democrat planned POTUS assassination plot in the making IMHO.

  3. This is just the long-term Legacy of the diminished capacity or the “twinkie defense” laws. Written by people, and supported by people, who don’t believe criminals should be held accountable for the crimes they commit.

    • Nope, not the twinkie “diminished capacity” defense, but instead the following: The ALI Test lowered the insanity standard from an absolute knowledge of right from wrong to a substantial incapacity to appreciate the difference between right and wrong; thereby recognizing degrees of incapacity. ALI also broadened the insanity test to include a volitional or “irresistible impulse” component. The test focused on the “defendant’s understanding of his conduct” and also on the “defendant’s ability to control his actions.” .

      • Yes you are correct. But what I said still stands. They don’t believe criminals should be held accountable. They have worked, and will continue to work, to create any way, a criminal can use the laws, to avoid accountability. Because Libertarians Liberals and the Left think there are too many people in prison.

        Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were “sacrificed” on the “Alter of Progressive advancement”. The man, who planned to murder them, and did murder them, was out of prison in less than 3 years.

        Their killer should have been executed in the gas chamber.

        Since then the [email protected] pr0gress!ves have made it even easier, for criminals to avoid time, in jail or prison. Prop 47 in California is a perfect modern example.

  4. Was his mama there to meet him when he got off the train? I feel a perfect country and western song coming on . . . .

    Forget it. It’s already been done, and Hinckley was not there to greet his mama when she got off the train from prison.

  5. if your goal
    is more assassination attempts on republican presidents
    this is one of the ways
    of getting it done

  6. Listen to some of Hinckley’s music. Betcha cant go through much of it before your considering suicide or a pencil through the ear drums.
    And how about that, an attempted presidential assassination and your walking free, Wow.

  7. “After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FREEDOM AT LAST!!!,” he wrote on Twitter shortly after 12 p.m.”

    Yeah that whole “free at last” type of line sounds better coming from pacifists who are unjustly imprisoned, not people who try and blow people away

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