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Presidential odds

October 24, 2008

Re "Common man," Opinion, Oct. 19

Ian Strock's quiz about the "average president" could have included one item that has ominous implications for our current election: How many 20th century presidents were hit by gunfire or were targeted by gunshots fired at them? The answer: William McKinley and John Kennedy were killed; Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan were wounded, and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford were targets of armed assassins. FDR was attacked in 1933. Ford holds the distinction of being twice a target.

If we consider presidential candidates, there's the shooting of Robert F. Kennedy. We would then also add George C. Wallace, shot and paralyzed in 1972. Those are terrible odds -- more than 40%. Let's pray that the 21st century will be different.

John B. Ashbaugh

San Luis Obispo

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