John Hinckley Jr., who shot President Ronald Reagan and three others in 1981 and spent the following decades in psychological confinement, says America has too many weapons to fall into the hands of mentally ill people bent on violence.
“I think there are a lot of guns in America,” Hinckley told ABC News. night line Tuesday.
The 67-year-old, who was released from custody in June, added that he believed people with mental disorders should not be allowed to buy weapons.
“I definitely don’t think mentally ill people should get weapons, that’s kind of obvious,” he said.
Several decades ago, Hinckley was able to legally buy a gun for $47 at a Dallas pawnshop without a waiting period or background check despite troubling signs of psychosis in his past.
Previously, he told his parents that he loves a fictional woman named Lynne Collins.
Before his attempt on the president’s life, Hinckley became obsessed with actress Jodie Foster. He sent her notes, moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to be near her, and planned either to kill himself, steal a plane, or shoot the president to get her attention.
He was originally planning to shoot President Jimmy Carter, who left office before Hinckley could attempt his life.
Instead, on March 30, 1981, 25-year-old Hinckley shot President Reagan in Washington, D.C., wounding police officer Thomas Delahante, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and press secretary James Brady in the process. Brady was later confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
“It was like trying to commit suicide just by saying, ‘That’s it,'” Hinckley told ABC about his mental state at the time. This is the end of my life.”
A jury trial later found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity, and he was placed on a regimen of antipsychotic medication and hospitalized.
Thirteen years after the assassination attempt, Congress passed a gun bill named James Brady. The bill mandates federal background checks and waiting periods when purchasing firearms.
The question of what the government should do to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people is as alive as it was in 1981.
Communities across the country have suffered horrific shootings throughout 2022, including in Buffalo, Southern California, Ovaldi, and most recently Highland Park, Illinois, where Robert Cremo III is allegedly Seven people were killed and 36 injured After the shooting at the Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago.
There were several indications that the 21-year-old Highland Park suspect was unwell, according to officials. There was advice for 2019 that Mr. Kremo attempted suicide and a call later that year after the troubled young man He threatened to kill his entire familyThis prompted the police to confiscate a large number of knives and a sword from his home.
Mr. Cremo, who was Accused With seven counts of first-degree murder on Tuesday, she also left Long trail of threats On the Internet, including songs and videos glorifying shootings and violence in schools.
However, he was able to legally purchase multiple guns in Chicago, according to police.
Similarly, Salvador Ramos made Uvalde’s shooter Violent online threats towards Girls, glorified guns, and family members horrified by his mental state before he legally buys guns.