In releasing his new book “The President’s Shadow” this week, political author Brad Meltzer revealed President Ronald Reagan’s biggest secret while he served in the Oval Office – he carried a .38 revolver wherever he went for self-defense.
Meltzer discovered this revelation while researching his new book at the Secret Service headquarters and did so almost by accident.
In sharing his research experience in a New York Daily News blog post, Meltzer said he saw a replica of the gun Lee Harvey Oswald used to assassinate President Kennedy, the pistol used in an attempt on President Ford and the actual door off of the limousine Reagan was riding in when John Hinckley Jr. shot him in 1981 as the president exited the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.
“It was an eerie keepsake for sure,” Meltzer wrote. “But not nearly as eerie as the next detail they told me. We were talking about Reagan and that day he was shot. Then one of the agents offered this secret: When Reagan was president, he carried his own gun.”
“I couldn’t believe it,” Meltzer recalled. “’It’s true,’ they said. A .38. Reagan used to hide it in his briefcase and take it on Air Force One. Whatever you think of Reagan, you have to admit, he had a black belt in badassery.”
According to On the Issues, a political site which claims to be “non-partisan,” a Secret Service agent once noticed Reagan with his pistol while on his 700-acre ranch outside of Santa Barbara, so he asked Reagan what it was for.
“Well, just in case you guys can’t do the job, I can help out,” Reagan replied. The site also noted that the first time he took a trip as president to the Soviet Union, Reagan had a pistol in his briefcase.
In his commentary on the Mad News Now website, Sean Brown share his view of Reagan verses our current president.
“…this is the type of president we need – one that has a set and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty if needed. Currently, we have a limp-wristed pansy occupying the White House, and our nation has never been in worse shape.
Granted, the simple act of carrying a gun doesn’t make Reagan any more qualified to be president than anybody else, but it is a greater part of his personality and no-nonsense attitude, which is lacking in our current leadership.”