Would-Be Reagan Assassin: “I’m a victim of cancel culture!”

Last updated on: | Author: ProCon.org | MORE HEADLINES
Cite this page using APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian style guides
President Reagan waves to onlookers outside the Washington Hilton Hotel immediately before being shot by John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, 1981, 2:27 p.m.
Source: Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library

John Hinckley Jr., whose attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981 garnered him 41 years 2 months and 15 days under supervision (mainly in a mental institution), says his new music career is a victim of cancel culture.

Hinckley posted to X (formerly Twitter), “With all of my concerts canceled, it’s a fair statement to say I’m a victim of cancel culture!” 

In a follow-up interview, he told the New York Post, “It keeps happening over and over again. They [music venues] book me and then the show gets announced and then the venue starts getting backlash. The owners always cave [to the negative pressure], they cancel. It’s happened so many times, it’s kinda what I expect. I don’t really get upset.”

On March 30, 1981, Hinckley (25 years old at the time) “fired six shots from a .22-calibre revolver at Reagan as he left a Washington, D.C., hotel. One of the bullets entered Reagan’s chest, puncturing a lung and lodging one inch from his heart; another critically wounded Press Secretary James Brady. Rushed to George Washington University Hospital for emergency surgery, Reagan joked with doctors as he was being wheeled into the operating room: ‘I hope you’re all Republicans.’” 

Hinckley also shot and wounded Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahanty. Brady, confined to a wheelchair after the shooting, would go on to campaign for gun control reform and found the Brady Campaign.

1. Do you think Hinckley is a victim of cancel culture? Or is he facing the consequences of his actions? Explain your answers.

2. Is cancel culture good for society? Why or why not?

Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Ronald Reagan,” britannica.com, Mar. 23, 2024

John Hinckley, twitter.com, Mar. 21, 2024

Kelly McClure, “Would-Be Assassin Turned Musician, John Hinckley Jr., Says He’s a Victim of Cancel Culture,” salon.com, Mar. 21, 2024

Steven Vago, “John Hinckley Jr., Who Once Tried to Kill Ronald Reagan, Claims He Is a Victim of ‘Cancel Culture’ after Concert Nixed: ‘Keeps Happening,’” nypost.com, Mar. 20, 2024