Left Wing Assassins

Reprinted with permission from: ModernConservative.com

Guns don't kill presidents, Democrats do.

Politically motivated presidential assassinations come from only one side of the political spectrum.

By Christopher Cook

Sara Jane Moore, who attempted to assassinate President Ford, has been released from prison.

The caption under her photo reads...

"Sara Jane Moore, shown here in a photo from 1975, said she was blinded by her radical political views at the time, convinced that the government had declared war on the left."

We have been pointing out for a long time that political violence is part of the left's stock and trade, and that political violence perpetrated by Republicans is almost non-existent.**

With that in mind, the news of Sara Jane Moore's release—and a recognition of her motive and political identity—got me to thinking. Of our list of presidential assassins and would-be assassins, what were their political persuasions and motivations?

In the interests of time, I have chosen to use Wikipedia as my first source. Wikipedia has a few problems with both bias and reliability, but if you know how to navigate and use their list of citiations, you can usually get relatively decent information.

So let's just proceed down the list together. I am doing this as I write, so I do not know what the final results will be. Let's get started.


President: Abraham Lincoln (R)
Assassin: John Wilkes Booth
Political identity and motive:
Booth was a Democrat, angry that Lincoln had freed the slaves and preserved the Union.

President: James A. Garfield (R)
Assassin: Charles J. Guiteau
Political identity and motive:
Guiteau was frustrated that he did not receive a political appointment in the Garfield administration, and he believed "that God had commanded him to kill the ungrateful President." Since we can assume that God did not, in fact, command him in this way, we must deem Guiteau mentally unstable.

President: William McKinley (R)
Assassin: Leon Czolgosz
Political identity and motive:
Czolgosz was an anarchist who believed that "there was a great injustice in American society, an inequality which allowed the wealthy to enrich themselves by exploiting the poor," and that he had to do something about it. Mimicking the assassination of King Umberto I of Italy, done for similar reasons, he shot and killed McKinley. Oddly, Czolgosz had earlier voted Republican, but the assassination motive was clearly as described above.

President: John F. Kennedy (D)
Assassin: Lee Harvey Oswald
Political identity and motive:
Defector to the USSR. Earlier attempted to kill General Edwin Walker, who was "an outspoken anti-communist, segregationist and member of the John Birch Society." Controversy about the assassination continues to persist, and Oswald was killed before any real digging could be done, so we are primarily left with his identity (as a defector to the USSR) as the prime indicator.



President: Andrew Jackson (D)
Would-be assassin: Richard Lawrence
Political identity and motive:
Lawrence was mentally ill, suffering from polymorphous delusions.

President: Theodore Roosevelt (R and Bull Moose)
Would-be assassin: John F. Schrank
Political identity and motive:
Schrank was mentally ill; he claimed "that it was the ghost of William McKinley that told him to perform the act."

President: Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
Would-be assassin: Giuseppe Zangara
Political identity and motive:
"In the Dade County Courthouse jail, Zangara confessed and stated: 'I have the gun in my hand. I kill kings and presidents first and next all capitalists.'" From Zangara's own words, much can be taken. However, he may also have been mentally ill. (Perhaps anyone who wants to kill a president is a touch deranged.)

President: Harry S Truman (D)
Would-be assassin: Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola
Political identity and motive:
Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola were members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. Puerto Rican Nationalists, represented by Marxist terrorist groups such as FALN, who were responsible for scores of bombings in the U.S.; they were arguably the most active terrorist group in U.S. history. (Interesting side notes: President Carter freed Collazo in 1979, and President Clinton pardoned several FALN terrorists. Il n'y a aucun ennemi du cote gauche?)

President: John F. Kennedy (D)
Would-be assassin: Richard Paul Pavlick
Political identity and motive:
Pavlick was anti-Catholic, and he was also upset by "the close 1960 U.S. Presidential election, in which Kennedy had defeated Republican Richard Nixon by 118,000 votes." However, "Judge Emmet C. Choate ruled that Pavlick was unable to distinguish between right and wrong in his actions." He was kept in a mental hospital for three years. Will this be the closest we get....?

President: Richard M. Nixon (R)
Would-be assassin: Arthur Bremer
Political identity and motive:
Bremer is an interesting case, one that would require more research than we're doing in this admittedly surface analysis. He hated Nixon, but apparently, he also hated segregation and bigotry, and he did shoot Democratic candidate George Wallace. He also clearly had mental instability. Why did he hate Nixon, and also Wallace? He stated "It is my personal plan to assassinate by pistol either Richard Nixon or George Wallace," and that his purpose was "to do SOMETHING BOLD AND DRAMATIC, FORCEFUL & DYNAMIC, A STATEMENT of my manhood for the world to see." These are deep waters, and we'll have to give this one a pass for now.

President: Richard M. Nixon (R)
Would-be assassin: Samuel Byck
Political identity and motive:
Byck "began to harbor the belief that the government was conspiring to oppress the poor." He attempted to join the Black Panthers. However, he was also "diagnosed with manic depression, a mental disorder characterized by both depressive 'lows' and (less frequently) manic or euphoric 'highs.'" He had left-wing motives, but he was also mentally unstable.

President: Gerald R. Ford (R)
Would-be assassin: Lynette Fromme
Political identity and motive:
Insane member of the insane Manson Family.

President: Gerald R. Ford (R)
Would-be assassin: Sara Jane Moore
Political identity and motive:
Revolutionary leftist political activist.

President: James E. Carter (D)
Would-be assassin: Raymond Lee Harvey
Political identity and motive:
Harvey was possibly mentally ill, but also, charges were dismissed for lack of evidence. This one doesn't count.

President: Ronald Reagan (R)
Would-be assassin: John Hinckley, Jr.
Political identity and motive:
Mentally ill, no apparent political motive (despite some absurd references to his connections to the Bush family).

President: George H.W. Bush (R)
Would-be assassin: Operation of sixteen men working for Saddam Hussein's Iraq
Political identity and motive:
Geopolitical attack/act of war.

President: Bill Clinton (D)
Would-be assassin: Francisco Martin Duran
Political identity and motive:
From Wikipedia:
"Duran pleaded not guilty and mounted an insanity defense, claiming that he was trying to save the world by destroying an alien 'mist,' connected by an umbilical cord to an alien in the Colorado mountains. He also claimed to be incited by conservative talk show host Chuck Baker, who spoke on air about 'armed revolution' and 'cleansing' of the government.

In both cases, these are claims made by Duran. We would need more external information to make a judgment.

President: George W. Bush (R)
Would-be assassin: Vladimir Arutyunian
Political identity and motive:
Georgian national who threw a grenade towards President Bush. Not quite sure yet what his motivation was. Pass for now.


Clearly mentally ill (5)

Hinckley, Jr.

Anti-catholic (and possible Republican) motivation, coupled with mental illness (1):


Left-wing motivations, coupled with mental illness (1):


Unclear/more info required/weak evidence--pass (4):


Left-leaning political motivation (7):


Remove the people who are clearly mentally ill, to leave the people who had a political motivation. That gives us an eight (left) to one (right) ratio of political motivations behind presidential assassinations and attempts.

To be fair to the two among that number who also suffered from some mental illness, one from the left and one from the right, we can remove both of them from the figures.

That leaves us with the following:

Of the successful and attempted assassinations of U.S. presidents where there was a political motivation and no blatant mental illness, the political motivation behind the act was left-leaning 100% of the time.

We will grant that this is a somewhat surface analysis, and that detailed research and nuanced analysis may produce slightly different results. But still, don't you find the conclusion of even this surface analysis somewhat striking? It's 100%, after all.

Are you surprised by this result? I'm not. I did not know exactly what the results would be when I began, but knowing the left as I do, I knew it would lean in this direction. That it turned out to be (essentially) 100% is also not a surprise, though it does serve further to reinforce this grim understanding.

You will know them by their fruits.


**This may appear at first glance to be an unequal comparison—the "left" vs. "Republicans." It is not, for you must understand that Democrats are well represented among the left's perpetrators of violence, both historically and in the present day. It's not just a fringe phenomenon. Mainstream people are among the perps. Congressmen. Union members. It's a very old tradition for the Democrats, going all the way back to the terrorist wing of their party, the KKK. But it's also occurring today, in modern times, as you can read here, here, and here. And, if you would like a far more detailed exploration, read the impassioned article I wrote when I first began to really discover this phenomenon: Democrats are more violent. In fact, there's no comparison.

Democrats have hated and been violent towards Republicans since Pennsylvania went for Lincoln, and there's no sign of it abating any time soon.