A New York City concert venue hosting a performance this summer by John Hinckley, Jr. — the would-be assassin of former President Ronald Reagan — said in a now-deleted tweet that “Hinckley didn’t f*** up a billionth as many lives as the Reagan admin did.”
What’s the background?
Hinckley seriously wounded Reagan in a 1981 shooting on a Washington, D.C., sidewalk; he was found not guilty by reason of insanity and institutionalized at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., for more than 30 years.
A judge ruled in 2016 that Hinckley no longer was a danger to himself or the public and could live with his mother full-time in Williamsburg, Virginia. His mother died last summer.
In September, the court ruled that Hinckley would be “unconditionally released” in June 2022 after several years of gradually loosening restrictions on him.
In the meantime he created a YouTube account to help launch his music career, and last week Hinckley announced his July 8 performance at the Market Hotel in Brooklyn.
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After Hinckley tweeted the news about the show, one commenter tweeted at the Market Hotel, saying, “Better cancel this. What are you thinking[?]”
The hotel replied, “The man served 40 years in prison / mental health treatment, paid his debt to society. Several darlings of indie music had mental health issues + committed violence / tried to kill people. Daniel Johnston for instance attempted murder more than once and tried to crash an airplane.”
The commenter came back with, “Something about trying to kill a president makes this one different, hope you lose money!” and later added “that asshole changed a lot of people’s lives for their life, he is a piece of s**t!”
The hotel then offered the following, which has disappeared from the thread but is preserved for posterity on the Internet Archive: “Ha! Hinckley didn’t f*** up a billionth as many lives as the Reagan admin did. And Hinckley at least faced some comeuppance for what he did. He served 40 years, acknowledged his actions, expressed remorse, was out of his mind incapacitated when he did his crimes and got treatment.”
Hinckley tweeted Tuesday that his Market Hotel show is sold out; the following day he told followers to “stay tuned for more dates added to The John Hinckley Redemption Tour.”
Hinckley, 66, lives alone and is required to attend individual and group therapy sessions while doctors monitor him. He’s federally barred from owning a gun and cannot contact Reagan’s descendants or actress Jodie Foster, with whom Hinckley was obsessed at the time of the shooting.
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