Apparently the same moment that inspired President Ronald Reagan to support one of the biggest efforts in gun control history also inspired him to carry a gun, according to one author.
“In case someone comes after me I want to be prepared,” Reagan reportedly said about his gun.
Even though no one really knew Reagan walked around packing heat — not even his vice president, George H.W. Bush — Meltzer said he learned the detail while researching his new book “The President’s Shadow” with the Secret Service.
“He carried it in his briefcase even when he went on Air Force One,” author Brad Meltzer told a New York Fox affiliate.
Today, every conservative politician has a special place in their heart for Reagan — to the point that he’s become a mythological figure — and they regularly kiss the ring of the great gun gods, but there’s a particular moment that those feelings clash: Reagan supported gun control.
In more recent years conservative politics and gun rights have found an equilibrium. Right-wing thinkers have since found themselves more in line with supporters of gun rights, and gun rights supporters and political groups have adopted Reagan philosophies of more liberty with less regulation.
Reagan supported the efforts of his press secretary, James Brady, who was wounded during the 1981 assignation attempt, the Brady bill to implement background checks for gun sales at gun store, and even a “cooling off” period before handgun.
In an opinion piece he wrote for the New York Times in 1991, Reagan described deaths by handguns accounting for an average of 9,200 Americans each year — similar statistics to today. “This does not include suicides or the tens of thousands of robberies, rapes and assaults committed with handguns,” Reagan wrote.
“This level of violence must be stopped. Sarah and Jim Brady are working hard to do that, and I say more power to them. If the passage of the Brady bill were to result in a reduction of only 10 or 15 percent of those numbers (and it could be a good deal greater), it would be well worth making it the law of the land,” he wrote.
The suggestion seems to undermine the dichotomy that some would perceive to be Reagan’s take on gun politics.
What are your thoughts on President Reagan’s views on guns in the U.S.?