The Obama administration appears poised to spend its last days fighting the right of American citizens to bear arms, and a certain note of hypocrisy is present. After all, some in the hallways of power would like nothing more than to leave you disarmed, but you’ll never see them out in public without a security contingent capable of toppling a foreign regime. However, newly released information indicates that President Ronald Reagan was not in the habit of putting his bodily safety entirely in the hands of others.
While conducting research for a book on Reagan, author Brad Meltzer says he was informed by Secret Service agents that the president carried a .38-caliber handgun in his briefcase when he left the White House. For a leader fond of emphasizing personal responsibility, this is an admirable act of consistency: Even surrounded by some of the best-trained bodyguards in the world, he was his own last line of defense.