My fascination was stoked by a CBS online feature commemorating the shooting’s 25th anniversary this January. The page features unedited footage of the entire event, from before Reagan emerges until after Hinckley is taken away in a police car. (Click on “On Camera: Reagan Shot” under “Related Video.”) This is certainly footage that I had never seen before, complete with audio that was muted for its profanity when broadcast.
The new Supreme Court insanity case has reminded me of something that the 25th anniversary also brought to mind earlier this year: something my Criminal Law professor said on the first day of his course. What he said was this: “One of the times I felt most proud to be an American was the day John Hinckley was acquitted. Because on that day I learned that a man can shoot the President of the United States on national television, and a jury of citizens will acquit him if the law says he is not responsible for his actions.”