Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reagan Shooter Wants More Freedom

The Associated Press has reported that would-be presidential assassin John "I Love You Jodie" Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan and three other people more than 30 years ago, is seeking to spend more time away from a Washington, DC, mental hospital "with the goal of eventually allowing him to live outside the facility full-time."

Hinckley is already allowed to visit his mother's home in Virginia. His lawyers have asked Judge Paul L. Friedman to allow longer visits of 17 and 24 days duration. Unsurprisingly, the government opposes the plan, calling Hinckley, now 56, not "sufficiently well to alleviate the concern that this violence may be repeated."

The assassination attempt was a nearer thing than was generally understood at the time. In 2001, Larry King interviewed Dr. Joseph Giordano, head of the trauma team that treated Reagan on March 30, 1981, after the president had been hit by one of Hinckley's bullets ricocheting off the side of the presidential limousine.

King: Dr. Giordano, how close to death was President Reagan?

Giordano: He had a very serious injury, Larry, and I think he was close to death. I think that the fact that he came immediately to George Washington [Hospital] and that there was a trauma team there that were quickly able to resuscitate him, saved the day.

He came in with a blood pressure that was barely obtainable, and he left a half-hour later from the emergency room with a blood pressure that was that essentially normal. In fact, it was above normal. So, that period of time was critical, and I think that happily, it worked out very well.

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