He says he came across this fascinating fact about President Ronald Reagan while doing research for his tenth novel, The President’s Shadow. Brad Meltzer, the best-selling author of political thrillers, claims that Reagan always carried a gun with him wherever he went. Specifically, says Meltzer, the heat that the 40th President of the United States packed was a .38 caliber pistol.
And how did a novelist and comic book writer come to learn of what he called “Ronald Reagan’s biggest secret” in an article he penned for The New York Daily News? He says he was touring Secret Service headquarters in an effort to gather information for his new book when the surprise bit of presidential lore was dropped on him.
We were talking about Reagan and that day he was shot. Then one of the agents offered this secret: When Reagan was President, he carried his own gun.
“It’s true,” they said. A .38. Reagan used to hide it in his briefcase and take it on Air Force One.
As The Daily Mail notes of the claim by Meltzer, the author did not say exactly when the former president started carrying the firearm, “though it could well have been after the attempt on his life.”
“Reagan was the first serving president to survive an assassination attempt and, surprisingly, later endorsed a gun control law named after [James] Brady.”
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After disclosing the big secret of what Reagan carried around with him, Meltzer went on to describe what a couple of other presidents have had in their pockets. He writes that George W. Bush kept with him every single day an item that reminded him of the horrors of the 9/11 terror attack.
“The NYPD badge of George Howard, a first responder who was killed on 9/11. That badge is now in Bush’s presidential library, but for all those years in the White House, Bush carried it close to him.”
And what about Barack Obama? What does Brad Meltzer say the current president keeps up close and personal? Again, from the Daily News exclusive:
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“He carries his famous BlackBerry, sometimes a small journal, and then loads of items that people give him: military challenge coins, poker chips, lots of knickknacks. His pockets can become a presidential junk drawer. But in the end, no wallet, which is why he’s been known to say, ‘Where’s my money?’”
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