Venue cancels concert with Reagan’s would-be assassin

U.S.

FILE – In this Nov. 18, 2003, file photo, John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington. A federal judge in Washington is holding what is expected to be the final hearing for would-be Reagan assassin John Hinckley before he is released from restrictive conditions he has lived under since he shot the president in 1981. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(The Hill) — A music venue in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday canceled a sold-out show featuring John Hinckley Jr., who was released from court oversight earlier in the day, more than 40 years after attempting to assassinate former President Ronald Reagan.

“After a lot of serious consideration, we are canceling the scheduled event at Market Hotel with John Hinckley,” the venue announced in a social media post on Wednesday.

“There was a time when a place could host a thing like this, maybe a little offensive, and the reaction would be, ‘it’s just a guy playing a show, who does it hurt — it’s a free country,'” the venue posted. “We aren’t living in that kind of free country anymore, for better or for worse.”

The post further stated that Hinckley’s “tour also sends a message that mental health issues and a criminal past can be recovered from and atoned for, after serving one’s debt to society and getting real treatment.”

The venue’s post also said, “Make no mistake: canceling this concert will not deter future assassins and will have no effect on mass shootings, and it certainly won’t reverse the awfulness of what Hinckley did 40 years ago,” it went on to say. 

The statement stated the decision came “after being presented with and reflecting on some very real and worsening threats and hate facing our vulnerable communities.” 

The now 67-year-old Hinckley posted on Twitter Wednesday after his release, saying “after 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FREEDOM AT LAST!!!”

Following the assassination attempt, Hinckley had been supervised in a mental health hospital for decades. 

He was previously acquitted of charges in 1982 by reason of insanity after he shot and injured Reagan outside a Washington hotel. He was 25 and had acute psychosis at the time.

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