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Freedom Is Too Good for Hinckley


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  • Freedom Is Too Good for Hinckley

    I heard about this on Fox News today..

    It's been 30 years since John W. Hinckley Jr. stood outside the Washington Hilton Hotel on a gray, misty day and tried to kill the President of the United States with a .22 caliber that he'd loaded with six Devastator bullets, designed to explode on impact.
    He is 55 now, younger than the four people he shot that day. One of his victims, the main target — my father — died more than six years ago. Three others remain. Former White House press secretary James Brady is 70. The most gravely wounded and the first one shot, he sustained a massive brain injury that left him paralyzed on one side and forever impaired. Timothy McCarthy, now 62, was a Secret Service agent trained to take a bullet for the person he was protecting. That's what he did. He dived across my father and was shot in the abdomen. Thomas Delahanty is 76. On March 30, 1981, he was a District of Columbia police officer. After being struck in the back by one of Hinckley's bullets, he was left with permanent nerve damage and was forced to retire.

    Hinckley was patient that day. At 1:45, he waved as my father stepped out of the limousine and walked into the hotel to deliver a speech. Then he waited. He had a girl in mind whom he wanted to impress. Surely, actress Jodie Foster would notice him if he assassinated the President. At 2:25, when my father walked back outside, Hinckley yelled, "President Reagan! President Reagan!" Then he crouched like a marksman and fired six shots. Four lives were changed in a matter of minutes, none more dramatically than Jim Brady's.
    "But there were other victims too," Sarah Brady tells me now, so many years later but so close to the wound. "Our son Scott was 2 years old then. The first time I took him to the hospital to see his father, Jim wailed — that awful sound he'd started making — and it frightened Scott so much, it was years before he felt comfortable around Jim."

    Jim Brady is now almost completely blind. He has spinal stenosis. Both are secondary conditions resulting from the bullet that tore into his brain 30 years ago. For the past year, he's been screaming in his sleep. Every night. Sarah doesn't know if he's having nightmares about the shooting, but she thinks it's likely.
    Hinckley's days at St. Elizabeths Hospital in southeast Washington are spent strolling around the grounds, feeding stray cats or going on supervised visits to the beach and bowling alleys. He plays his guitar and sits in the sun reading. He's had a job at the hospital library. He's had numerous girlfriends. The longest relationship was with Leslie deVeau, who was placed in St. Elizabeths in 1982 after she killed her 10-year-old daughter with a 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun while the girl slept. She then tried to kill herself but only managed to shoot off her left arm. At one point, in 2008, Hinckley was reportedly involved with several women at once.

    Since 2000, Hinckley has been allowed unsupervised visits off hospital grounds. It began with overnight stays at his parents' house in Williamsburg, Va. Despite the government's objections and its argument that Hinckley still has a "narcissistic need" to impress women — a need that could again lead to violence — U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman has consistently sided with Hinckley's attorney, Barry Levine, and granted more and more freedom to the man who once called his assassination attempt "the greatest love offering in the history of the world."

    Hinckley is now allowed to visit his mother in Williamsburg (his father is deceased) for 10-day stays 12 times a year. He's been given permission to obtain a driver's license and get a job. He reportedly does volunteer work in the library at the state mental hospital in Williamsburg. He's required to stay at his mother's house and to always be accompanied by her or a sibling when he goes out. (His mother is 85, and his siblings live in Dallas.) He must carry a GPS-enabled cell phone. Hinckley has expressed his wish to someday settle down in Williamsburg.
    "Every time he gets out for a 10-day period," Sarah Brady says, "I get a call so I know to not go to Williamsburg then." She and Jim live nearby, in Delaware. "I love going there. But I obviously don't want to cross paths with John Hinckley."
    Tim McCarthy is the police chief in Orland Park, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He's told the government to stop calling him whenever Hinckley leaves St. Elizabeths. "I told them, 'If he comes to Illinois, call me. Otherwise, I don't want to hear about him.'" Two of his three children were 2 and 4 in 1981. They too are victims. Friends took his wife to the hospital on that horrible day, no one knowing if Tim would live. "No one should have to go through what the families went through," he says.

    My mother, for her part, remembers the noise and chaos of the hospital that day and a nurse coming in to tell her that time was running out to find the bullet in my father's chest.
    Tom Delahanty has remained mostly out of reach. Tim McCarthy used to keep in touch with him, but then Tom stopped calling back. "I think it must be hard for him, living with what happened," Tim says. (I attempted to contact Tom for this article but never got a response.)
    The plan for Hinckley's ultimate freedom has been in place for years. His attorney is as patient as his client. Short visits, then longer ones, then complete release. And there is this: because Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity, the law states, if it is determined that he is sane, no danger to himself or others, he must be set free. Judge Friedman can make the decision for his release, just as he decided in favor of unsupervised visits. "There's no predicting human behavior," Tim McCarthy says. "And guns are easier to get in Virginia. If he is released, I hope they know what they're doing." So Hinckley might in time reside as a free man in Williamsburg, stopping at the local coffee shop, browsing bookstores, maybe venturing onto the local tennis courts and golf courses.
    Jim Brady will live the rest of his life in a wheelchair and a bed. Sarah will tend to him as she has done for the past 30 years. His son will continue to make up for the years when he was frightened to go near him. Tim McCarthy will avoid talking about that awful day while always bumping up against it. Tom Delahanty will stay out of reach, forever scarred. My mother will hear the echoes of that day and remember the deathly paleness of my father's skin.

    Time is a matter of perspective. Sometimes 30 years isn't so long. There are times when the American legal system works brilliantly. There are times when it fails. The story of John Hinckley should always include this: As far as the victims are concerned, he beat the legal system. He had wealthy parents who bought him a tenacious lawyer. Neither Levine nor Hinckley will be awakened in the night by Jim Brady's screams. Sarah Brady will go to her husband, night after night, and remember a time before Hinckley loaded his gun with exploding bullets and aimed to kill.

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    He should not be allowed to get out like this.
    It's not that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so. Ronald Reagan

    TSA, I would rather be felt up than blown up.

  • #2
    ...exploding bullets


    • #3
      Frangible Ammunition

      Frangible, or “soft,” rounds are designed to break apart when they hit walls or other hard surfaces to prevent ricochets during close-quarters combat. Frangible ammunition represents the first viable revolutionary change to firearms science in the past 100 years. Frangible ammunition is a relatively recent development in bullets, presenting a departure from the standard projectiles in use for both range shooting and personal protection. With the advent of modern hostage rescue tactics in the 1970s and 1980s, the military and police agencies began to look for ways to minimize overpenetration risks. One widely-accepted solution was the frangible round, also known as the AET (Advanced Energy Transfer) round.
      Originally posted by crass cop
      Just do it in front of a camera and try not to get a boner and you shoudl be fine.


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