James Brady and that awful day that President Reagan was shot
Who doesn't remember the moment when we learned that President Reagan was shot? I was in Mexico City and got a phone call from my mother saying that President Reagan was shot. I quickly tuned in The Voice of America on short wave and got some of the latest details.
One of those early details was that James Brady, President Reagan's first Press Secretary, had been fatally wounded.
Brady was a very popular guy and got along well with the media.
We learned Monday that James Brady died at age 73:
"On March 30, 1981, Mr. Brady had originally asked one of his aides to go with the president on a routine assignment to address a gathering of the AFL-CIO at the Hilton Hotel on Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington. Mr. Brady changed his mind at the last minute and joined Reagan.
After speaking to the union delegates, Reagan and his party made their way out of the hotel and were walking to the presidential limousine when they were fired on about 2:30 p.m. The shooter was John W. Hinckley Jr., a young man who said he hoped the assassination would impress the actress Jodie Foster.
Outside the Hilton, bystanders, police officers and Secret Service agents wrestled Hinckley to the ground and arrested him. He got off six shots from the .22-caliber Rohm RG-14 revolver, which he had bought at a pawn shop in Dallas for $29.
Mr. Brady, the first person hit, was struck above the left eye. Reagan was hit by a bullet that ricocheted off the limousine. Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty were also injured. Brady, Reagan and McCarthy were taken to George Washington University Hospital. Delahanty was taken to Washington Hospital Center, which is now known as MedStar Washington Hospital Center."
Later, Brady and his wife became active in the gun control movement:
"Nearly 10 years to the day after he was nearly killed by Hinckley, Reagan himself joined the fray, announcing his support for the Brady bill in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.
President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law in 1993."
We don't know whether the Brady Bill worked or not. The jury is still out on all of this gun control legislation. I still do not believe that gun control is the answer.
However, this is about remembering the man, a good man who was literally in the wrong place at the wrong time. His life was never the same after the terrible shooting that almost took his life.
RIP James Brady....and thanks for your loyalty to President Reagan.