On the occasion of NRA member and President Ronald Reagan's 78th birthday in 1989, he addressed the issue of gun control with this statement: “I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting … or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.” A refresher: Eight years earlier Reagan was shot during an assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr., along with his press secretary, Jim Brady, who, as a result, was permanently disabled. As a result Reagan backed an assault weapons ban in 1981 as well as the Brady Bill, which established a waiting period for handgun purchases to provide time for background checks. Reagan always believed that there was no need for citizens to carry loaded weapons, yet today NRA supporters might have forgotten his sentiments. One wonders if Reagan still walked the earth today, might he advocate—in light of Columbine, Aurora, and Sandy Hook— for even tighter gun control legislation? Perhaps the guests at Reagan's 102nd Birthday Celebration can answer. Brigadier General Vincent Coglianese conducts the ceremony, and Rudy Guiliani provides keynote remarks. Activities include music by the First Marine Division Band as well as a color guard, a 21-gun salute and placement of a wreath on Reagan's gravesite. Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley; Wed., Feb. 6, 11:30 a.m.; free, but resv. recommended; 805-522-2977, reaganfoundation.org

Wed., Feb. 6, 11:30 a.m., 2013

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