tv Crimes of the Century CNN July 29, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT
>> on january 20th, 1981 ronald wilson reagan was sworn in as the 40th president of the united states. >> i ronald reagan do solemnly swear. >> as with most new administrations reagan's first couple of months are rocky. >> this is the 70th day of reagan's presidency. things were not going particularly well. he had the lowest approval rating of any president in the first term. it's monday, and he has one big event. that's to deliver the speech to the afl-cio. >> it's 2:00. kind of gray day in washington. ronald reagan's motorcade has
just arrived for his speech at the washington hotel which is behind us. this is the special entrance back here, the v.i.p. entrance, that reagan walked in at 2:00 p.m. when he aefshed. >> the government's first deed doout is to protect the people, not run their lives. >> the event is covered by all the major networks. for abc news photographer hank brown it's a routine job. >> it's a privilege to travel with the president wherever he goes. we wanted to get the picture of the president walking out of the holtz and getting in the limo. >> 15 feet from that door was a rope line. >> all that the cameramen, everybody is laughing. >> it was unsecured. no id checks. people thought it was a press line. it wasn't. anyone could be behind that line. >> you see hinckley's face about three rows back. totally passive. no reaction at all.
>> i got my camera up, aimed it at the door. the president was coming out. i could see it through the viewfinder, even now. >> reagan is walking towards his limousine, and secret service agents are stick arounding him as he goes towards the car. >> 15 feet from him john w. hinckley jr. he pulls out his .22 caliber revolver and unleashes six shots in 1.7 seconds. 1.7 seconds is the time it takes you to say 1.7 seconds. it's that fast. >> the press secretary -- >> brady is seen here between reagan and secret service agent jerry parr. >> the second shot it's tom, a d.c. police officer in the back.
third shot goes high, hits that building across the street right there. the fourth shot hits timothy mccarthy, secret service agent square in the chest. he is not wearing a bullet proof vest. he falls to the ground. the fifth shot hits the armored bullet proof window of the car. as reagan and parr flash behind it diving in. the sixth shot goes across the drive. no one knows where that sixth shot went. it slapped off the side of the car, slipped through a gap between the door and the door frame. >> i thought it was firecrackers. the next thing i knew one of the secret service agents behind me just seized me here at the waist and plunged me head first into the limo. >> the agent is 50-year-old jerry parr, head of reagan's secret service detail. >> i'm sure i hit my radio or my
gun or something hit him in the back. >> and i said, jerry, get off. i think you have broken a rib. >> jerry parr is looking out the window, and he is pulling out this way. he says three men down. a bullet mark in the left window. he knows there's been an assassination attempt, and that limo is alone. >> parr checks reagan out really quickly. reagan thinks he is okay, but he rubs a hand up under his coat. i felt around his belt with my hands. no blood. rubbed my hand under his arm. no blood. >> raw hyde is rated secret service, and on this day there's no better code name for a president than rawhide for ronald reagan. >> back to the white house. >> rawhide is okay.
>> we interrupt. there's been a late development. shots reported fired outside the hotel where the president spoke. here's bernard shaw from our washington bureau. >> my apology. details are very sketchy at this moment. we don't know precisely what happened. we don't know the sequence. first of all, the president is safe. >> safe, yes. but not okay. >> his back and chest and side. didn't feel so good. >> just then i coughed. i had a handful of bright red frothy blood. >> he said i think i've cut the inside of my mouth. i looked, and it was pretty profuse. >> parr knows this is big trouble. he has a decision to make. do i head back to the white house, the safest place known in the universe, or does he avert to george washington hospital, the nearest trauma center where there's not an ounce of security? >> do we want to go to the emergency room, george washington. >> that's a roger. >> ronald reagan's life
literally on this day hung in the balance of a split second and -- i'm not exaggerating. >> george washington fast. >> hustle, hustle, hustle. >> outside the hotel the scene was chaotic. in the bed lamb the shooter is tackled. >> get him out of here. get him out of here. >> at the same time an ambulance was arriving. i immediately went back to filming the scene. i had to preserve history. it brought tears to my eyes. i see brady lying here. i still think about delahamte.
i see his face. i still see mccarthy being lifted up off the ground and being thrown back by the bullet. >> within minutes of the shooting president reagan arrives at george washington hospital he insists on walking in. >> the nurse met me, and i told her i had no trouble breathing. >> the president was at the point where we in minnesota say he was ready to crash. >> the next thing i knew that's when my knees began to turn to rubber, and i wound occupy a gurney. >> if he had gone to the white house, they would have dragged him out of the car and found out he was in big trouble, put him back in the car, go to -- it would have taken ten, 15 more minutes. he didn't have that time. there's a nurse there trying to get the president's blood pressure, and she can't detect it. she can't feel his blood pressure.
he is not doing so good, and she's thinking, oh, my god, he is going to die. i'm going to lose the president of the united states. >> i didn't know i was shot. >> i really do believe that he was minutes away from not making it. >> the shot that got me careened off the side of the limousine and hit me while i was diving into the car. it hit me back here under the arm, and then hit a rib and that's what caused an extreme pain and then it tumbled and turned and went tumbling down to within an inch of my heart. >> first lady nancy reagan is in the solarium at the white house when she gets the news. >> george was head of my detail. he said there's been a shooting, but don't worry. the president is all right. george kept saying you don't have to go. he is all right. he hasn't been hurt. i said, george, i'm going. we better get the car because i'm going.
>> she comes into the e.r., and the first thing ronald reagan says to her is honey, i forgot -- >> as he preps for character, he stays in character and jokes with his doctors. >> he looked at me and says i hope you are all republicans. i'm a notorious liberal democrat, and i said, mr. president, we're all republicans. >> the surgical team is led by dr. benjamin aaron. >> as the main head surgeon digging through reagan's chest trying to find this bullet fragment worried it slipped into an artery and shoot into the president's brain and kill him. dr. david adelburg reached his hand into the president's chest, gently cupped the president's beating heart in his hand and held it aside. a 31-year-old surgical intern held the beating life of the president of the united states in his hands. >> while reagan is in surgery, the suspect, john w. hinckley jr. of ever green, colorado, is being questioned.
>> he admitted who he was. he made no attempt to hide who he was. >> the fbi and secret service have two questions. why did he do it? and did he act alone? >> he said to them at the time you'll understand why i did this when you see my room. >> according to sources, john hinckley jr., the accused gunman, may have trade to kill mr. reagan because of an infact wags with a young actress. çñ
a complete mystery to his captors. >> when i walked in the room john hinckley is just sitting quietly on a seat, showed no emotion. >> secret service agent steven coalo is among the first to see hinckley. >> he told me that his wrist hurt because of the handcuffs that were placed on him and that his throat hurt. someone hurt his throat when they arrested him. well, certainly in my mind it was not typical that he was complaining about himself after he had just shot a number of people. >> as investigators begin to question hinckley, white house press secretary jim brady's wife, sarah brady, is at home with their 2-year-old son. >> we were sitting in our rec room watching television when they announced it. >> the president did not appear to be hurt according to united press international. >> i thought to myself, oh, that's great. never dreaming that jim would
even have been with him for some reason. but the phone range immediately. it was a friend of mine, and she had heard that jim had been shot. >> the white house immediately sends a car to take sarah to the hospital. >> for some reason i just thought he has been away. it never dawned on me that he was badly hurt or killed. i just kept thinking he was shot in the arm. >> it was very obvious that he was seriously injured with gunshot wound to the head. he was alive. >> he probably should not have made it, but he got exceedingly great medical care from a doctor named art -- >> with her husband on his way to surgery, hospital workers usher mrs. brady into a secure waiting room. >> mrs. reagan came in, and she came over to me, and we hugged each other, and she said i am so scared, and i said i am too.
>> while surgeons worked to save the shooting victims, suspect john hinckley is transferred to the fbi's washington field office for questioning. two senior fbi agents are assigned to conduct the interview. as a courtesy, they invite secret service agent steve kolo to sit in. >> i was there in a liaison position at that time. keep in mind, the secret service could not be part of the investigation because technically the secret service is at fault any time one of our protectees has been shot or injured. >> before the questioning begins, the agents inventory hinckley's personal possessions. >> they opened the wallet, and there was a picture. the belief was that the picture of this attractive woman came with the wallet because she was somewhat recognizable as, like, a young starlet, but none of us knew her name. there was a piece of paper that
was stuck in the bill fold section that had a telephone number on it. one of the fbi agents said, oh, that's a connecticut telephone number. it meant nothing to me at the time. >> when the interview begins, hinckley doesn't react well to the questioning by his fbi interrogators so they ask agent colo to step in. within minutes hinckley opens up. >> he told me about the different doctors that he had been to. he talked about dropping out of school. he talked about his relationship with his parents and how annoyed they were with him. so i asked him how would he explain his issues? he said i have no direction in life. i decided to take a long shot, so i said to him i saw the piece of paper with the telephone number. the number that goes to connecticut. when i said that to him, he all of a sudden became animated. here was a guy who was almost stoic in his answers and all of
a sudden now he is twitching, and he says if you know about that, you know about everything. and i knew i hit on a really important fact, and i had no idea what he was talking about. so i said to him i know, but i have to hear it in your words. he said, well, that telephone number goes to yael university. it goes to jody foster's room, and, bingo, that was the picture in the wallet. >> back at the hospital dr. kobreen is removing bullet fragments and damaged tissue from jim brady's brain. the surgery is slow, delicate, and dangerous. >> at one point they're hearing on the radio that jim brady has died. someone rushes in to tell they're reporting that brady is dead. the doctor said what do they think i'm operating on, a corps? that's what he said. >> and they kept it totally away
from us because we had no television or anything like that, which is really good. >> but a lot of people did hear, including friends who are watching tv with the brady's 2-year-old son, scott. >> when they announced his death, they showed his picture. scott said, oh, there's my daddy and went up and kissed the screen. of course, he didn't -- he didn't know -- >> after five hours the doctor emerges from the operating room. >> the minute i saw his face, i knew it was successful. i mean, it was a miracle. >> against all odds, jim brady survives, though he will be permanently disabled and wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. the other victims also undergo surgery and survive. secret service agent tim mccarthy was hit in the chest and d.c. policeman tom delahante was shot in the back.
that evening fbi agents searched john hinckley's washington d.c. hotel room. >> hinckley had laid out this was the bizarre thing. really bizarre. he had laid out there from the morning's newspaper and the president's schedule. he had beside that a statement really in the form of a letter to the actress jody foster. >> in his letter hinckley writes i am doing all this for your sake, jody. i am asking you to please look into your heart and at least give me the chance with this historical deed to gain your respect and love. i love you forever, john hinckley. >> it was when we read the letter from the hotel room that we finally put the pieces together. >> it looked to all of us gut feeling this is a lone gunman, and there was the motive, to impress this actress. >> we can understand political motives, but here we have a motive of love.
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>> president reagan had just delivered a fairly well received speech at the hilton washington hotel. then shots. >> within 24 hours of the assassination attempt the fbi and secret service are digging deeply into john hinckley jr.'s background. sfwoo leads were going out all over the country. we literally took his life apart to track him off every receipt he ever had. we wanted to know where he had been and what he had done as far back as we could go.
>> what they found was a long trail of despair, deceit, and delusion. hinckley had a seemingly normal childhood growing up in an affluent suburb of dallas, texas. he played sports as a boy and did well in school, but as he grew older, hinckley began to withdraw. his parents chalked it up to shyness. >> from the time hinckley graduated from this high school, highland park in 1973 until his arrest there was also a personality change. he had become quieter, more intro veteraned, somewhat of a recluese. >> in 1973 he moved to evergreen, colorado, with his parents. they hoped he would go to college. he did for a while, attending texas tech off and on for a few years, but never graduating. mostly he spent time in his room alone writing gloomy poems and playing his guitar. ♪
>> dreamed of being a songwriter, musician spshgs so for a summer he spent some amount of time out in l.a. pretending he was going to sell his music to companies and all this stuff. >> certainly had a grandiose view of himself, an exaggerated view of his accomplishments as a composure and musician. >> he sat and watched tv in his apartment. he didn't go anywhere. >> he seemed like such a lost soul. he goes out to hollywood expecting something and just ends up in a room by himself and going to see this movie over and over. the taxi driver movie. taxi driver movie. >> investigators soon realized that the movie "taxi driver" is a central influence on hirnkly's life. so much that hinckley even adopts the persona of the lead character played by robert deniro. that of a disturbed vietnam vet named travis bickel.
hinckley begins dressing in army fatigues, like bickel. he begins drinking peach brandy, like bickel. and he becomes obsessed with guns and assassination, like bickel. >> he saw that movie 15 times, "taxi driver." a very violent movie. he becomes obsessed with jody foster in this movie. >> jody foster plays a 12-year-old prostitute named iris. >> he felt the relationship with jody foster was real, not something that is based on her role in the movie. he was just one of these warped fwiz. >> while the fbi investigates hinckley, ronald reagan is recovering at george washington hospital, which has been transformed into the seat of government. >> the white house is always wherever the president is. everything had moved there. decisions were being made and the staff was over there. it was so strange.
>> it's turmoil around here, and i thought intensive care, everybody would be whispering, but it's like grand central station. >> everything was very surreal for a couple of days there. i mean, it just it was like living in a movie. >> has the president been told of the condition of his press secretary? >> he is not aware of the number of people who were shot and injured at this time. >> it isn't until reagan asks his staff if anyone else was shot that he is told about officer delahante, agent mccarthy, and press secretary jim brady. >> he called me down and said he was so sorry and i told him, you know, that jim was doing what he loved to do the most, and i kind of tried to reassure him. he was very emotional about it, of course. >> reagan also wants to see the secret service agent who took a bullet for him. tim mccarthy.
>> reagan looks at him, and maybe he senses something in mccarthy. mccarthy, reagan, brady, and delahante. what did this guy have against the irish? >> he handled it very well, and as he said to us in his interview, he didn't know what had happened. he still managed to make jokes about it. >> everybody but john hinckley jr. fifteen percent or more on car insurance. yep, everybody knows that. well, did you know some owls aren't that wise? don't forget i'm having brunch with meghan tomorrow. who? meghan, my coworker. who? seriously? you've met her like three times. who? (sighs) geico.
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>> this hour john hinckley jr. pleads not guilty on charges he tried to kill president reagan and both his lawyer and his fwraeed he is competent to stand trial. >> the issue of sanity became paramount to the teams assigned to prosecute and defend john hinckley. >> facing a judge for the first time hinckley stood while the clerk read the 13 count indictment. among the spectators were hinckley's parents. they watched intently as the clerk asked their son how do you plead? in a clear, loud voice, the 26-year-old hinckley answered not guilty. >> you know, hinckley is an interesting person, but not interesting at the same time. >> there didn't seem to be much there. you could not form a rapper with him.
he seemed to have little expression of emotion. >> dr. will carpenter, a research psychiatrist at the university of maryland was hired to give an expert opinion in hinckley's defense. >> i believe that i spent about 44 hours evaluating him. most of that would have been in interviews with him. he was self-centered, but he wasn't narcissistic. it was more like kind of a loner who doesn't have much else going on, and then went to grandiose ideas, including delusional ideas. >> he made up a whole girlfriend for his parents. for a year. she didn't exist. >> it's very much to manipulate his parents so that he could be off and doing what it was that he intended to do without their interfering. >> in the summer of 1980 hinckley read a story about jody foster. the 18-year-old actress was taking a sabbatical from hollywood to attend yale university.
hinckley told his parents he was going back to college, but at yale, not texas tech. >> so he makes up a whole elaborate ruse to his parents about how he is going to go to yale for a writing class that doesn't exist, and the whole time he has been stalking foster. he find out where she lives. slipping notes under the door. he is on the phone with her, and he taped these calls. >> who is this? oh, no. oh, no, not you again.
>> he started to yell at the recorder. hang up, hang up, because this is what we would tell our wife or our daughter. you hang up right away. >> just sad and pathetic calls. he is reaching out to this woman he idolized and wanted to be part of. he gets in his mind, you know, if i hit the president of the united states, she'll love me and she'll want me. she'll know who i am. so he starts talking to jimmy carter. >> it was just a month before reagan was elected. he and president carter were campaigning hard for every vote. >> in october 1980 john hinckley gets within arm's reach of jimmy carter at an event in dayton, ohio. >> one week later hinckley is in nashville, tennessee, still stalking carter. when hinckley leaves, airport police find several guns in his luggage. >> he was arrested. never fingerprinted and photographed for carrying a
weapon and the information was never sent to the secret service. >> they took the weapons. he paid a fine. that was the end of that. >> within days hinckley is in dallas where his sister lives shopping for more guns at rocky's pawn shop. he buys two revolvers for $98, including the one he will use to shoot president reagan. >> he purchased it legally at the time. caliber .22. it's a light weight snub-nosed handgun. >> had he actually gone to firing ranges. he had been trained, or given himself training. >> john hinkley took a lot of target practice. he took a lot of target practice. >> he never shot at moving targets. when jerry is moving that president towards the open limousine door. >> on december 8th, 1980 john hinckley's fragile world begins to crack when he hears shocking news from new york city.
>> the news ripped through the air in shock waves. john lennon shot and killed inspect an apartment building where he lived. >> the suspect is identified as mark david chapman. >> hinckley idolized lennon. that new year's eve he locks himself in his room at his parents' house, drinks beach brandy, plays his guitar, and wallows in his own misery. sometime during the night hinckley writes in his diary john lennon is dead. forget it. it's just going to be insanity. i still think about jody all the time. anything i might do in 1981 would be solely for jody foster's sake. i want to tell the world that i love her. getting out of bed in the morning because my back hurt so bad. the sleep number bed conforms to you.
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>> valentine's day 1918. john hinckley, the man who will soon shoot ronald reagan has been in new haven for two days leaving more notes for jodie foster. on one postcard he writes you and i will one day occupy the white house. please do your best to remain a virgin. you are a virgin, aren't you? this time hinckley is not just leaving her notes.
he is contemplating a violent act. >> he had guns with him when he was in new haven stalking jodie foster. he was unsure what he was doing with it. >> spurned once more by foster and feeling suicidal aring hinckley goes to new york city still carrying the guns he bought in dallas. >> we talked about the guns and the whole history of guns, and he described having them with him when he was in new york, and he considered killing himself then. kind of standing on the place where chapman had been outside the dakota. >> but hinckley does not act on any of his thoughts. instead he goes back to ever green, colorado, where his parents live. >> came back. there was a lot of friction about what to do with his life. they recognized he had mental problems, so they sent him to see a psychiatrist. >> hinckley first saw the psychiatrist the previous october.
>> in one of the first sessions he tells the psychiatrist, hey, i'm really interested in guns, and jodie foster. obsessed with these two things. and after that the psychiatrist never asked him another question about those two things. >> at one point the psychiatrist dr. john hopper had told hinckley's parents that their son was simply immature, that he needed to grow up, get a job, and live on his own. the last of 15 sessions takes place four and a half weeks before the shooting. >> the mother of the young man might have kept him home. the brother and the sister would have had him institutionalized, but the family followed the psychiatrist advice as troubled families will do and to put it mildly, it didn't work out. >> this gave him an ultimate mate im. they were supplying the funding for his travels, and they were getting tired of it, and they told him emphatically that he had to clean up his act and get a job, and they were cutting off his funds at the end of march.
he was not capable of taking that as a challenge and then straightening his life out. he was more capable of drifting off as a loner into his own fantasy world. >> so at the end of march he makes the decision that he has to do something. >> six days before the shooting hinckley flies to los angeles and then boards a bus to washington d.c. from there he will go to new haven and commit his act of love for jodie foster. he even writes her another note telling her to wait for him. >> to shoot himself or kill both of them in this orgy of violence. that was his plan. >> on his way to yale hinckley stops off in d.c. he checks into the park central hotel, sleeps, gets up, and goes for a fast food breakfast. >> it was just by chance that that morning he got up at 10:00,
read the paper, and saw the president was going to the hilton to talk to the afl-cio. >> saw the president's schedule on page eight of the washington star newspaper. now i'm going to see how close i can get to the president with my little gun. he wrote foster a note. takes a cab up to the washington hilton hotel, gets there, gets behind the rope lean. sees reagan approaching. pulls out his .22 caliber revolver. >> he thought something magical was going to happen that didn't have anything to do with ronald reagan. it had to do with some union that he was going have with jodie foster. >> by the spring of 1982 a year after the presidential assassination attempt the four victims are all healing. jim brady's recovery is painfully slow, but positive. though losing most use of his left side of his body, he
retains his cognitive ability and sense of humor. >> agent -- continues his career with the secret service. d.c. police officer tom delahant suffered a crippling wound that eventually forced his retirement. president reagan surprised his doctors and the nation healing quickly for a man his age. as for john w. hinckley jr., his life story was a tabloid soap opera played out for a worldwide audience. >> about his alleged assailant, mr. reagan said i hope and pray he can find an answer to his problem, said the president. he seems to be a very disturbed young man. >> even jim brady was compassionate. >> he said, well, he didn't hold any ill will toward him, but then again, he hoped he wouldn't win the irish sweepstakes.
>> hinckley's motive seemed simply surreal. >> none of this was political. it was a way to try to force the recognition that should be granted to him. >> in a surprising move, the judge in the case ordered jodie foster to give a deposition for the trial. it took place march 30th, 1982. the first anniversary of the shooting. by court order hinckley was allowed in the room. when foster denied a relationship, hinckley became enraged. he had to be restrained and removed from the room. >> i received a great deal of unsolicited mail. i never met, spoken to or in any way associated with one john w. hinckley. last fall i received several pieces of unsolicited correspondence signed john w. hinckley or j.w.h., and i threw
john hinckley's trial began on may 4th, 1982. his defense, innocent by reason of insanity. >> under federal law at the time, once the defendant raised the defense of insanity, the prosecution had to disprove the insanity claim beyond a reasonable doubt. >> professional richard bonnie is an expert in law in psychiatry.
>> as far as the prosecution was concerned that the dominant diagnosis was that this was a person with a narcissistic personality disorder that was infatuated with jodie foster, and what he really wanted was to be famous. but he was in touch with reality. as far as the defense was concerned, that he basically had a form of schizophrenia, that he was out of touch with reality, was descending into psychosis, that he was delusional. >> my interpretation of insanity goes back to the old mcnaughton rule. it's very simply, can the individual differentiate right from wrong? and clearly during my interview with john hinckley, he clearly understood the difference between right and wrong. >> the prosecution argued that hinckley had carefully planned the attack.
>> the fact that he was able to travel, the fact that he did look at the schedule, put that type of effort into planning this type of event, that's premeditated activity. >> the defense countered with dr. will carpenter's testimony on schizophrenia. >> in general with illnesses like schizophrenia, people can do most things in life in an ordinary way. so they are not conspicuously crazy. they don't go into mcdonald's and order watermelons. hinckley did not have a lot of disorganization pathology. his was much more the reality distortion, false beliefs, and his belief in those and letting those guide his life. >> it came down to our psychiatrist versus his psychiatrist.
>> john w. hinckley jr. has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on all 13 counts. >> i was surprised at the verdict. >> i think almost everyone was surprised by this verdict. >> i would characterize it as astonishment. >> i think the reason it went in that direction is that the prosecution basically denied mental illness. >> this was a case in which there was much evidence in hinckley's own hand, in his writings, in his poetry and in his essays to suggest that he was in fact degenerating into a psychotic killer by the time march of 1981 rolled around. >> expecting a guilty verdict, hinckley had prepared a statement. "from the start, all i wanted was for someone to love me.
on march 30th, 1981, i was asking my family to take me back, and i was asking jodie foster to hold me in her heart. my assassination attempt was an act of love." after the verdict, hinckley was committed indefinitely to st. elizabeth's hospital in washington, d.c. >> it wasn't until years later that i was assigned to the reagan detail, and we had an opportunity when i was in the limo with the president to talk about john hinckley. his desire was that john hinckley got the necessary help that he needed. and then he said, "but i have to tell you something. it hurt like hell." >> and reagan had a very good way of putting things behind him. and he was very good at kind of separating himself from that moment. and i don't think it bothered him. nancy reagan, it would bother her. she was concerned about every time that they would make mention that john hinckley might be released, she would come to
me and say steve, i just need to make sure that that won't happen. >> in 2003, the year before president reagan died, a federal judge ruled that hinckley was no longer a danger to himself or others and should be allowed limited visits to his mother's home in virginia. to this day, the secret service watches hinckley, tracking his whereabouts, the people he meets, even the books he checks out of the library. >> is he dangerous to other people still? will he do this again? >> i never had any sense that there was any deep remorse, and i don't think that he would be very capable. >> he had mental illness at that time and there are still issues. clearly, i think that he is where he should be. >> in the years after the assassination attempt, president reagan's approval rating skyrocketed.
>> mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. >> he became one of the most popular presidents in american history. during reagan's second term, jim and sarah brady became vocal supporters of gun legislation. their efforts paid off in 1993 with the signing of the brady handgun violence prevention act. it required federal background checks on commercial sales of handguns to individuals. unfortunately, the brady bill came too late for john w. hinckley. several months after the shooting, his father asked him what might have stopped him. hinckley replied maybe if i had to wait a while to buy a gun, had to fill out forms or get a permit first or sign in with the police or anything complicated, i probably wouldn't have done it.
today people are living longer than they ever have before. that's right not only are we getting older but our senior population is multiplying. the number of people over the age of 65 is expected to double. demands for medications, specialists and life prolonging procedures are expected to skyrocket. but what does it mean? more birthdays, more bills, more walks, more walkers, more play, more pills. sure, most of the time old age seems like all coupons and early bird specials but what happens when we can't take care of ourselves.