Reality Check. Serving as an elected official is one of the safest occupations in American life. Listed Below is American politicians that were assassinated since the Signing of the Constitution of the United States of America.
That is if you are counting 31 people who have been assassinated in 230+ years of existence.
|Spencer Pettis||–||Missouri||August 28, 1831||Thomas Biddle||Both Pettis and Biddle sustained fatal gunshot wounds during a duel on Bloody Island in Illinois.|
|Jonathan Cilley||Maine||February 24, 1838||William Graves||Cilley was shot by Graves, the Whig Congressman from Kentucky‘s 8th district, during a duel on the Marlboro Pike in Maryland.|
|John Montgomery||–||Pennsylvania||April 24, 1857||Unknown (disputed)||Multiple people staying at the National Hotel in Washington, D.C., died of National Hotel Disease during this time period. It is disputed whether the “disease” was an attempt to poison hotel boarders or simply a case of accidental food poisoning.|
|John Quitman||Mississippi||July 17, 1858|
|September 13, 1859||David Terry||Broderick and Terry, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, took part in a duel in San Francisco. Broderick was shot and died three days later.|
|October 21, 1861||7th Brigade, 4th Division of the Confederate Army of the Potomac (under the command of Nathan Evans)||Baker died during the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, while assigned command of a brigade in Brigadier General Charles Pomeroy Stone‘s division, guarding fords along the Potomac River in Virginia. The Confederate soldiers were commanded by Brigadier General Nathan George Evans.|
|Cornelius Hamilton||–||Ohio||December 22, 1867||Thomas Hamilton||Hamilton was killed by his mentally ill 18-year-old son, Thomas, in Marysville, Ohio.|
|James Hinds||–||Arkansas||October 22, 1868||George Clark||Hinds was killed in Indian Bays in Monroe County, Arkansas, after being shot in the back by George A. Clark, a member of the Ku Klux Klan and the secretary of the Democratic committee of the county.|
|John Pinckney||Texas||April 24, 1905||Unknown (riot started by J. N. Brown)||A political event in Hempstead, Texas, turned violent when one of the participants, J. N. Brown, began shooting. Other attendees began to shoot as well and a riot broke out. Pickney, his brother Tom, and Brown were all killed at the scene.|
|September 8, 1935||Carl Weiss (disputed)||Long died two days after Weiss fired a handgun at him at close range inside the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. More recent evidence suggests that Long’s bodyguards may have accidentally shot and killed Long when they open fire on Weiss, who was killed at the scene.|
|Thomas Schall||Minnesota||December 19, 1935||Lester Humphries||Schall was hit by a car being driven by Lester G. Humphries as he was walking across the Baltimore–Washington Parkway in Cottage City, Maryland; he died three days later. Humphries was arrested for reckless driving.|
|Robert Kennedy||New York
|June 5, 1968||Sirhan Sirhan||Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after giving a speech for his presidential campaign; he died about 25 hours later.|
|Leo Ryan||California||November 18, 1978||Peoples Temple (under the direction of Jim Jones)||While on an official visit to Guyana to investigate the activities of the Peoples Temple cult led by Jim Jones, Ryan was shot multiple times while boarding an airplane leaving Jonestown.|
|Larry McDonald||Georgia||September 1, 1983||Soviet Far East District Air Defense Forces (under orders from Anatoly Kornukov)||McDonald was a passenger on board Korean Air Lines Flight 007 which was shot over the Sea of Japan near Sakhalin island by Soviet interceptors per the orders of General Kornukov, Commander of Sokol Air Base.|
|Date of incident||Perpetrator(s)||Incident|
|May 22, 1856||Preston Brooks||Representative Preston Brooks, a Democrat from South Carolina‘s 4th district, assaulted Sumner with a cane on the floor of the Senate in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The attack followed Sumner’s verbal attacks on pro-slavery politicians.|
|Josiah Grinnell||Iowa||June 14, 1866||Lovell Rousseau||Grinnell was assaulted with an iron-tipped cane by Rousseau, an Unconditional Unionist Congressman from Kentucky‘s 7th district, on the east portico of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., in retaliation for derogatory statements he made earlier. Grinnell was pummeled on the “head and face until the cane broke,” and was heavily bruised.|
|Alvin Bentley||Michigan||March 1, 1954||Rafael Cancel Miranda,
Andres Figueroa Cordero,
Irving Flores Rodríguez,
|In an event known as 1954 United States Capitol shooting incident, armed Puerto Rican nationalists shot and wounded five representatives from the Ladies Gallery of the House of Representatives in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.|
|Gabrielle Giffords||Arizona||January 8, 2011||Jared Loughner (alleged)||Giffords was shot in the head during the 2011 Tucson shooting, which occurred at a constituency meeting held in a supermarket parking lot in Casas Adobes, Arizona.|
In all of the 230+ years of the United States only 4 Federal Judges have been assassinated.
John H. Wood, Jr.
John H. Wood, Jr. was appointed by President Richard Nixon to the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. He was assassinated on May 29, 1979, by Charles Harrelson in the parking lot outside Wood’s home in San Antonio, Texas. Harrelson was convicted of killing Wood, having been hired to do so by drug dealer Jamiel Chagra of El Paso. Wood — nicknamed “Maximum John” because of his reputation for handing down long sentences for drug offenses — was originally scheduled to have Chagra appear before him on the day of his murder, but the trial had been delayed.
Richard J. Daronco
Richard J. Daronco was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In April 1988, Judge Daronco presided over a bench trial in a sex discrimination and sexual harassment case, in which the plaintiff represented herself. On May 19, 1988, Daronco issued a written decision holding in the defendant employer’s favor and dismissing the case. On May 21, 1988, Charles L. Koster, a retired New York City police officer and the father of the unsuccessful plaintiff, shot and killed Judge Daronco while the judge was doing yardwork at his home. Koster then committed suicide.
Robert Smith Vance
Robert Smith Vance was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Vance was killed at his home in Mountain Brook, Alabama on December 16, 1989, when he opened a package containing a mail bomb. Vance was killed instantly and his wife, Helen, was seriously injured. After an intensive investigation, the federal government charged Walter Leroy Moody, Jr. with the murders of Judge Vance and of Robert E. Robinson, a black civil rights attorney in Savannah, Georgia, who had been killed in a separate explosion. Moody was eventually convicted of the murder in both federal court and in Alabama state court. Prosecutors speculated that Moody’s motive for killing Judge Vance was anger that the appeals court on which Vance sat had refused to expunge a prior conviction of Moody’s, though Vance had not been directly involved in that decision. Moody remains on death row in Alabama.
John Roll was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Roll was fatally shot in the 2011 Tucson shooting, which occurred on January 8, 2011 outside a Safeway supermarket in Casas Adobes, Arizona, when a gunman opened fire at a “Congress on Your Corner” event held by Democratic U.S. House Representative Gabrielle Giffords; Roll later succumbed to his injuries, as did five other people. Fourteen others were wounded including Giffords. Roll attended Mass earlier that morning and had decided to attend the event about an hour before the shooting. Roll lived in the area, and a Giffords staff member suggested that Roll “had simply gone to the Safeway where the shooting occurred to shop.” Jared Lee Loughner was taken into custody and charged by federal prosecutors with Roll’s murder. Evidence gathered by federal investigators indicates that Rep. Giffords was the main target, and that Loughner may not have known he was shooting a federal judge.
Reality is, serving as a political figure in this country is an extremely safe occupation. So the next time some asshole says we need to take your guns away because it is not safe for our leaders tell them to prove it. The facts are on the side of those that support the 2nd Amendment.
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