John Hinckley, the man who shot Ronald Reagan and his press secretary James Brady in order to win the heart of Jodie Foster, is free today. He is being sent home from St. Elizabeth's to go live with his 90-year-old mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, and hopefully stay on his meds and not do anything fucked up, or buy a gun from a private seller who doesn't have to do a background check.

Hinckley is, by the way, not the first attempted assassin to be released into the wild, though he is the first one who actually got a shot in, and technically killed anyone (James Brady's death, decades later, was ruled a homicide as it resulted from complications from the shooting). Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore, who both attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford in September of 1975, are also free now. Which means -- just hypothetically -- there could be a revival of Sondheim's Assassins but with a portion of the cast being the real people. Though I would imagine that Squeaky would have a hard time filling the shoes of the fabulous Annie Golden, who originated the role and is also Norma on Orange Is The New Black. Trivia!

Everyone at Wonkette is very happy that we do not work in an office today, because yes, I will be walking around singing this all day. BOTH PARTS. I'm sorry, that's probably bad, but it is a really good song and it is possible that my neighbors are tired of hearing me singing One Less Bell To Answer in the style of two Miss Barbra Streisands anyway.

Hinckley's attempted assassination of Reagan spurred a call for gun control legislation, namely the Brady Bill, which even Reagan himself supported. Unfortunately, thanks to the efforts of the NRA -- who surely will be lobbying for his right to own a handgun -- we don't really have enough gun control measures anymore to prevent this sort of thing from happening! Nice! Also, uh, the measures we take to protect victims of stalking? Not so great either! I've actually got two women I care about dealing with that shit right now, so that's nice. Sadly, it's pretty likely that if this sort of thing were going on right now and Jodie Foster were like "Hey! This dude is stalking me and sending me some real messed up notes" and was not a celebrity... she would probably be told by police that he is just expressing his first amendment right to free speech and that there was nothing they could do!

It would be cool, I guess, if these kinds of things were things that we learned from and then adjusted our criminal justice system accordingly in order to prevent them from happening again, but alas!

[NPR]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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