Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The History of American Politicians
Shot by Crazy People

It is the nature of this country that crazy people have easy access to guns and frequently politicians end up getting shot by them.

In this list I am excluding duels (at least four deaths), wars (one Civil War Senator), and any attack without guns or where no shots were fired.
The Lincoln conspirators.
 Abraham Lincoln (President) 1865: Booth was deluded into thinking that killing Lincoln and other cabinet officials would reverse the course of the war.

James Hinds (R-AR) 1868: A post Civil War carpetbagger politician. Shot by the Ku Klux Klan.

Thomas Haughey (R-AL) 1869: Shot following a fist fight with a supporter of another Republican.

James Garfield (President) 1881:
Assassin Charles Guiteau, an unemployed lunatic, thought he was personally responsible for Garfield's election and expected to be named ambassador to France. Didn't get it. He paid extra for an ivory handled revolver because he wanted it to be museum quality after the assassination.

William McKinley (President) 1901:  The third president assassinated in 36 years. His killer was a reclusive anarchist who felt killing McKinley would end capitalist excesses.

John Pinckney (D-TX) 1905: A public meeting to discuss Prohibition devolved into a Texas riot, 75 bullets fired in less than a minute.

Theodore Roosevelt (Presidential candidate) 1912: Shot in the chest by a saloon-keeper who said that the ghost of William McKinley told him to do it. Roosevelt was shot while giving a speech and, being a tough SOB, he finished the speech before seeing a doctor.

Franklin Roosevelt (President) 1933: This one missed but killed the mayor of Chicago who was standing next to the President. The shooter was another anarchist who said he planned to kill every government leader then every businessman.

Sen. Huey Long (D-LA) 1935:
Huey "Kingfish" Long was a cutthroat politician who scored successes by how many careers he ruined. He was gerrymandering a judge off the bench when he was approached by the judge's son-in-law who, of course, was carrying a gun. Long was either shot by him or the wild shooting of Long's bodyguards.

The Capitol Shooting (1955): No one was killed, but five congressmen, two Republicans and three Democrats, were shot by Puerto Rican nationalists who wanted to end American ownership of the island.

John Kennedy (President) 1963: Officially killed by Lee Harvey Oswald who was too crazy for the Russians to keep him as a defector.

Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-NY) 1968:
Five years after his older brother was assassinated, Bobby was killed by a man lashing out against the existence of the state of Israel.

George Wallace (Presidential candidate) 1972: After Arthur Bremer failed to get close enough to Richard Nixon he turned his attention the third party candidate because he was desperate for fame. Any famous victim would do.

Sen. John Stennis (D-MS) 1973: Shot and wounded during a mugging.

Gerald Ford (President) 1974: A follower of Charles Manson, Sara Jane Moore, missed Ford from a range of 40 feet when someone bumped her arm as she fired. She was the second Manson girl in 17 days to try to kill Ford; Squeaky Fromme's gun misfired. (Actually, Sara was associated with the Symbionese Liberation Army. It's hard to keep these wackos connections straight.)

Leo Ryan (D-CA) 1978: Killed by People's Temple followers prior to their mass suicide.

Ronald Reagan (President) 1981: Seriously wounded by a lunatic who thought that would impress actress Jodie Foster.

Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) 2011: Seriously wounded by a man notable for his bizarre behavior who thought women did not belong in politics.

This exhausting list doesn't include the many governors, judges, and state representatives shot over the years in our American shooting gallery.

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