On the evening of Monday, August 10th, 2020, there was a shooting incident at the White House. While President Trump was giving a press briefing, a 51-year-old man (whom the Secret Service would not identify immediately to the public) walked up to a Secret Service agent while he was at his post, which was located at the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. near the White House.
According to CNBC, the man then told the agent that he had a weapon. Then, the guy ran straight at the officer and got into a gun drawing motion, pulling something that looked like a gun from his clothes. Then, he crouched down into a shooting stance (like you would if you were about to fire a weapon). That’s when the Secret Service agent drew his gun, quickly aimed, fired, and hit the guy in the torso.
While all this was going on, Trump was in a briefing, in the middle of telling reporters and photographers how well the Dow Jones was doing. All of a sudden, he was interrupted by a Secret Service agent in mid-sentence. The agent said something to him in a low voice that the reporters who were listening to Trump couldn’t hear. They both then exited the stage, and are gone for a while.
When they came back, Trump told everybody what happened. “I feel very safe with the Secret Service, they’re fantastic people, they’re the best of the best, they’re highly trained,” he said upon returning to the podium.
One of the reporters asked him if he was scared. “I don’t know, do I seem rattled?”, He calmly replied. “The world has been, you look back over the centuries, the world has been a dangerous place, a very dangerous place.”
And, with that, he went back into his briefing about the current state of the economy.
Initial Thoughts About the White House Shooting on August 10th
When I first read the headline about the White House shooting, I thought somebody was trying to kill the president. I’m sure I’m not alone. To be clear, even with all the negative things Trump has done during his presidency, I myself am a man of God, and I could never bring myself to wish death upon anyone. So, I want to go on record for saying that I’m glad that he’s okay and not injured, and I’m also glad that the Secret Service agents are also safe and well after this shooting incident near the White House grounds.
Also, I want to say that this incident didn’t breach the gate of the White House – -t happened right outside of it. And, White House officials finally told reporters several hours later that the man actually didn’t even have a gun, which makes this shooting incident that much more confusing, as to why it happened in the first place, and with trying to figure out what exactly were the 51-year-old man’s motives that evening.
Past Assassinations (and Attempts) to Kill a U.S. President
People may have been worried about something like an assassination attempt on Donald Trump’s life, not only because there are a lot of people out there that don’t like him, but also because there was a recent attempt on a U.S. President’s life. It was during Obama’s presidency.
According to The L.A. Times, a guy from Idaho named Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez attempted to assassinate President Obama close to the National Mall, but Barack wasn’t at the White House when Oscar was trying to kill him. He told reporters and arresting police that he thought Barack was “the devil” and that he had to be “taken care of”.
There have been several attempts to kill the president in the past. Some were successful, some were not. Richard Lawrence’s gun misfired when he tried to kill President Andrew Jackson, and although President Theodore Roosevelt survived when he got shot by John Schrank in October of 1912, the bullet actually stayed in his body until he died in his sleep (from a pulmonary embolism) almost seven years later.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt must have been fast on his feet when he was speaking in Miami in February of 1933, because he managed to escape alive when Guiseppe Zangara shot at him and missed five times. Then, in November of 1950, a White House policeman got killed when Griselio Torresola tried to kill Harry S. Truman, but the president survived and wasn’t hurt. And, who could forget in February of 1974 when a tire salesman named Samuel Byke tried to steal a plane and crash it into the White House when Richard Nixon was president.
In September of the following year, somebody tried to kill President Gerald Ford, twice. Lynette Fromme tried to shoot him with a pistol on September 5th of 1975, and on the 22nd Sara Jane Moore pulled out a revolver on him. What a bad month for him! Then, in May of 1979, President Jimmy Carter was informed by Secret Service that Raymond Lee Harvey had a pistol with blank rounds on him when the then Commander-in-Chief was just about to give a speech in California.
President Ronald Reagan got wounded in March of 1981 when John Hinckley Jr. started busting caps at the president and his people in Washington outside of a hotel. A little over a decade later in April of 1993, George H.W. Bush got lucky when those Kuwaiti officials discovered that there was a car bomb that was meant for him. Then, much later on, an accountant named Robert Pickett tried to kill his son, George W., Bush, in February of 2001, when he started shooting a gun at the White House with the President inside.
Osama bin laden tried to kill Bill Clinton in November of 1996, also with a bomb. But, the Secret Service was able to dodge it as they maneuvered the president’s motorcade successfully out of the way and into a different direction.
The presidents who were actually killed in an assassination attempt were Abraham Lincoln (when he got shot by John Wilkes), James A. Garfield (when he was also shot, by Charles Guiteai), William McKinley when he was shot by Leon Czolgosz (which was actually the shooting that prompted the Secret Service to start taking over protecting the president’s life), and John F. Kennedy when Lee Harvey Oswald shot him in November of 1963.