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Killing The President: Easier Said Than Done

In the mid-90’s, Chris Rock famously joked that there could never be a black Vice President because some black guy was liable to kill the President and would be hailed as a hero in the black community for his involvement … Read More

By / November 3, 2008

In the mid-90’s, Chris Rock famously joked that there could never be a black Vice President because some black guy was liable to kill the President and would be hailed as a hero in the black community for his involvement in putting the first black President in office. By 2009, Rock’s joke will have become obsolete for two reasons: a.) The first black President will take office without any overtly related murders b.) Killing the President of the United States is nearly impossible I’m fairly certain that George W. Bush is currently the hardest person to kill in the entire world, save for maybe the Pope and apparently Osama bin Laden. Between the President’s praetorian guard in the Secret Service, his network of decoys and the sheer amount of time he spends traveling, I am venturing to say that there are few tasks more daunting than killing a sitting President. Of America’s 43 Presidents, four have been assassinated while in office: Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy. Other than Kennedy, who was shot while riding in a convertible during a parade, all of the aforementioned assassinations occurred before the advent of reliable metal detectors, and Presidential protection from the Secret Service wasn’t mandated until after the death of McKinley (That’s right, it took three successful shootings before anyone thought to put a guard or two on the President of the United States). In all three cases, the killers simply approached the President they intended to kill and shot him. Today, no one is allowed to come near the Commander in Chief without rigorous screening by Secret Service agents, and President Bush hasn’t appeared in anything resembling a public parade since his limo was egged following his inauguration. During a recent conversation, a friend of mine suggested that the odds of killing the President could be greatly increased by using explosives a large-scale, Oklahoma City-style assault on someplace that the President was scheduled to appear. The biggest problem with this theory would remain getting close enough to inflect mortal damage; bombs aren’t the globular black orbs that appear in Super Mario Brothers or Bugs Bunny cartoons, where you can just light the fuse and toss it at whatever you want to blow up. In order to blow up a building that houses the President, you would still need to get by the Secret Service with a truck or other similarly mobile mechanism for transporting the explosive into the building’s infrastructure. In all likelihood, some yahoo will come out of the woodwork and make an attempt on Barack Obama’s life if he wins the Presidential election; two Tennessee men have been apprehended for allegedly conspiring to do so already. History has shown that people are interested in killing the President, and the racial aspect that an Obama Presidency would introduce would only exacerbate things. However, it is unlikely that anyone could succeed in such a mission, as measures are in place to make the President of the United States of America the safest person in the world.

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