A 47-year-old US citizen from the State of Indiana yesterday pulled out a handgun and fired three shots inside the White House Gardens in Washington, DC. The man was situated outside the perimeter of the White House, on the pavement behind the protective iron fence. After he had fired the shots, he was spotted by a Secret Service Agent, who shot him in the knee. The attacker is now in hospital, awaiting surgery, as President Bush must be rethinking his plans to make access to the White House easier for the average citizen. In a country with two hundred and fifty potential assassins walking the streets, armed, security measures will certainly be reviewed. This incident is the latest in a series of attacks against Presidents, the first being Lincoln, the most mediatic being Kennedy, but Reagan was shot and seven years ago, a drug addict tried to crash an aeroplane into the Oval Office during President Clinton’s tenure. Had he managed, the mind boggles to think of the scenes he would have witnessed. White House spokesman Avi Fleischer stated that “The President was never in any danger” because he had been “exercising inside the White House”. However, President Bush had been in the gardens some hours before the shooting and indeed, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook had left the White House minutes before. Once again, a madman walks the streets, armed, and at least recklessly puts lives at risk through misuse of a weapon and at most, wildly tries at assassinate the President of the United States of America. While this can happen anywhere, is it not a coincidence that so often when we turn on our television sets, we see groups of panic-struck Americans running out of buildings? Instead of being paranoid about nuclear attacks from abroad, instead of wasting billions of dollars on its SDI (Strategic Defence Initiative), the USA would do well to look behind its own doors for the hidden danger within. TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU

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