John Hinkley Wasn't Scared of Secret Service, Terrified of NYC Crime

AP Photo/Steve Helber

If you're of a certain age, you probably remember when President Ronald Reagan was shot. 

The gunman was apprehended immediately, then we saw a bizarre case where the would-be assassin was inspired by the movie Taxi Driver and wanted to impress actress Jodi Foster. He was, in time, declared not guilty by reason of insanity--a plea that doesn't typically work, so you know he was...troubled.


He spent years locked up, but now he's out and free to roam about the country. Since he got out of the mental institution, he's become a folk singer. He apparently has a pretty decent following, which led him to consider a gig in New York City.

A gig he has since canceled due to being afraid of the crime in the Big Apple.

This is a different kind of cancel culture.

Even President Ronald Reagan’s failed assassin-turned-folk singer is too afraid to step foot in the Big Apple — calling it a “cesspool of crime” after canceling an upcoming gig.

“I’m afraid of New York City and I just don’t want to go there right now,” John Hinckley Jr. — who tried to kill Reagan in 1981 — told The Post days after pulling the plug on a June show scheduled on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Hinckley announced the performance on X last week but pulled out because “he said New York is a ‘dangerous mess’ and ‘had a bad vibe,'” the event organizers told ticket holders for the unannounced venue in a bizarre email obtained by The Post. 


Hinckley claimed his fans urged him not to perform because of violent crime across the city. 

[They] started contacting me and telling me not to go to New York City because it’s so dangerous,” he told The Post by phone Thursday. “They’re saying, ‘Don’t do it, John. Because you won’t be safe.’

“I watch the news like everyone else and I see how dangerous New York City is with everything going on, so I told the guys who were putting on the show not to do it,” the 68-year-old added. 


Now, this is a guy who didn't blink about taking on the Secret Service up close and personal, but he's scared about crime in New York City.

Doesn't that really just sum things up perfectly?

To be fair, Hinkley wasn't exact sane when he tangled with the Secret Service and he's arguably more sane now, so the situations are a fair bit different. Still, the fact that heavily gun-controlled New York City, with all its gun-free zones and heavy restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms is so dangerous that a would-be presidential assassin is afraid to go there is the kind of imagery you just can't ignore.

And Hinkley isn't out of line for his concerns, either. 

Remember, this is the city where gun control works so well they started putting armed National Guard troops on subway platforms. We already had ample signs that gun control wasn't working. This is just the proverbial icing on the cake.

What's next, the Son of Sam saying he's glad he's in prison where he's safer than the streets of New York?

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