Candidate Ronald Reagan was opposed to tax breaks for the oil companies and this pissed off Texas oilmen such as John Hinckley, Sr., as well as a friend of his who was running against Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush. John Hinckley, Sr., worked hard rounding up other Texas oilmen to get behind the Bush campaign and defeat Reagan.
Hinckley and Bush may have discussed the topic, maybe not, when they and their spouses dined together, which they did on numerous occasions. If so, the anti-Reagan diatribes would have been pretty heated, because guys in Hinckley’s business at Hinckley’s level aren’t known for holding back. The abuse they unleashed in their own homes and clubs against Ronald Reagan, as the Hollywood cowboy swept through the primaries, must have made Reagan’s ears burn. And John Hinckley, Jr.’s.
A few months later, with Reagan elected and oilman/Hinckley friend/CIA asset George H.W. Bush in the Vice-Presdency, did John Jr. decide to shoot Reagan to prove a point to his father and his father’s friends? Assassinating Reagan would put Bush in the White House and that was something his powerful father and all his oil tycoon friends had been unable to do.
Was shooting Reagan a rite of passage in John Jr.’s mind? Did he think he’d be a hero in his father’s circles? Or was it exactly as John Jr. said: he only shot the President of the United States to impress teen actress Jodie Foster?
Footnote: In Denver, Scott Hinckley, the would-be assassin’s brother, was scheduled to have dinner at the home of Neil Bush, the Vice-President’s son, on the day of the attempt on Reagan’s life. After the assassination attempt, they called it off for the sake of appearances.