President Ronald Reagan was a good ol’ boy who enjoyed packing heat around his property, but after discharging his weapon to scare away a heron one day, the Secret Service decided they better hold onto his guns.
Secret Service Agent John Barletta recounted the tale, explaining that it all started at Rancho del Cielo when President Reagan took a pot shot at a heron snacking on his beloved fish. The gunshot triggered panic amongst the Secret Service agents. Barletta tried calming them down, but his word choice only made things worse.
“I was trying to tell them that it’s the President doing the shooting, everything’s OK, but it didn’t come out that way, and it just caused more excitement,” said Barletta. “His codename was Rawhide. And I said, ‘Rawhide shot.’”
Eventually everyone figured out that the President had not been shot, but was the one doing the shooting.
“I supposed I should have told you was going to do that, huh?” President Reagan said to Barletta.
According to Barletta, President Reagan enjoyed his little getaway ranch and the two often rode horses together.
“You can ask anybody who rides a lot,” said Barletta. “You throw a leg over a horse, and it’s like the tension just flow right out of the tip of your boot. You’re at peace. At least I am, and he was. He definitely was. He would mount up and he would go ‘Ahh’ and sigh like, ‘This is home.’”
After President Reagan discharged a firearm unannounced, the Secret Service took possession of the Commander in Chief’s guns. But the heron who was eating President Reagan’s fish? He never returned again.
Check out the full story on CNN.
(This article was a submission by freelance writer Brent Rogers)