Twenty-five years ago today, President Ronald Reagan was shot. Sometimes they say that you only know a person’s character when they are sorely tested. Well, when Ronald Reagan was sorely tested, he engaged in his usual optimistic, self-deprecating banter with those around him. ‘Sorry, honey, I forgot to duck’ he said to Nancy; and ‘I sure hope you’re a Republican’ to the surgeon.
By his manner, the great communicator communicated that random acts of violence are not what is important in life.
What I remember most from the first couple of days after the shooting was a
packed news conference with Reagan’s doctors at the hospital. I remember
an Hispanic reporter, in broken English, praising Reagan’s joking and then
asking Reagan’s doctor, ‘Is he not a manly man?’ The doctor looked
puzzled, and without commenting on the question, moved on. But I thought
it was a good question—with an obvious answer.