A few bars of "Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers plays while images of events from the 1990s flash on the television screen, ending with the text graphic "The 90s: That Was the Decade That Was."
Female Talking Head Welcome back to "The 90s: That Was the Decade That Was." As we continue with our look at the most significant political event in America during the last decade of the 20th Centur--the attempted assassination of President Josiah Bartlet--we must note that several key White House staffers, as well as the President's youngest daughter Zoey, were caught in the crossfire. Mercifully, the President was not injured but one White House staff member died on the scene in Rosslyn, a victim of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.
Footage of emergency medical technicians working to resuscitate an unidentifiable person lying on the ground, with bystanders looking on, some hugging each other and crying.
Male Talking Head 21-year old Charles Young, Personal Aide to the President, known as Charlie to his friends, was assumed to be the primary target of the so-called "White skinheads" who conducted the deadly attack. Charlie and Zoey Bartlet had been dating for several months, and anonymous sources inside the Secret Service revealed that both had been receiving hate mail...
Footage of Charlie's presence near the President at various events, followed by footage of Charlie and Zoey having lunch at an outside cafe in Georgetown.
Male Talking Head...There were unconfirmed allegations that Zoey's personal bodyguard had recognized one of the Rosslyn shooters from a previous public appearance of Zoey's.
Footage at the shooting scene of Gina Toscano, Zoey's Secret Service bodyguard, protectively lying on top of Zoey and Charlie, waving her gun and screaming something unintelligible.
Female Talking Head Charlie was survived only by his younger sister, Deena, and his maternal grandparents. His mother, a former District of Columbia police officer, had been killed in the line of duty a few months before Charlie joined the White House staff. At President Bartlet's insistence, the funeral for Charlie was held at the National Cathedral. The President himself delivered the eulogy via remote satellite hookup from his home in New Hampshire...
External shot of the Cathedral, then footage of Charlie's sister and grandparents sitting inside on the front pew.
Female Talking Head...Numerous celebrities from all walks of public life attended the filled-to- capacity event.
Footage of a famous female talk show host, a star professional basketball player, and several recognizable film and television actors spotted in the crowd of people entering the Cathedral.
Male Talking Head Civil rights leader the Reverend Jacob Marcus Jameson delivered what was considered an impassioned but controversial sermon, which not only extolled the virtues of a young man that he admittedly did not know personally, but also included calls for increased federal gun control and anti-hate crime legislation.
Footage of Reverend Jameson standing in the pulpit, speaking with highly animated body gestures.
Jameson...We cannot, must not, stand idly by and watch the lives of our African American youth, our Latino youth, our Asian American youth, our Native American youth, and all other young people in America be cut short by needless violence and uncontrolled hatred...
Camera shots of various people in the cathedral nave nodding in agreement. Camera shots of Josh Lyman, Toby Ziegler, and Sam Seaborn, seated together and looking on somberly.
Jameson...The time has come today to tell the gun lobby, the hate groups, the Congress, and the Administration, "Protect our children, or prepare to protect yourselves."
Male Talking Head President Bartlet and members of the White House inner circle were reportedly incensed that Reverend Jameson had used the solemn occasion to deliver what they considered to be an ill-timed political jab, particularly in the aftermath of an attempted assassination of the President.
Footage of Josh Lyman leaving the funeral, stopped by reporters wielding microphones.
Josh It was a deeply moving and fitting tribute to a fine young man who died honorably in the service of his president and country. I am saddened not only by the death of a cherished friend, but also by the inappropriate use of this occasion to pursue certain political agendas.
Footage of Josh waving off questions and entering a waiting SUV.
Female Network Reporter (standing on the steps of the Capitol) Nevertheless, via a relatively smooth and speedy bipartisan effort, significantly stricter laws were passed by overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress within 27 days after the Rosslyn shooting. These laws not only tightened controls on the sale of handguns, but also provided harsher penalties for use of handguns in the commission of serious crimes; for illegal ownership; and for the commission of so-called "hate-crimes."
Footage of congressional members voting in the House and Senate chambers. Camera shot of Deena Young and her grandparents sitting in the visitor's gallery overlooking the final vote.
Male Talking Head Despite allegedly feeling blindsided by the chain of events instigated by Reverend Jameson at Charlie Young's funeral, President Bartlet made a public statement from his New Hampshire home supporting the new legislation, and Acting President Hoynes hosted a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden to sign the bills which had come to be called "Charlie's Laws."
Footage of Hoynes sitting at a desk in the Rose Garden, signing papers and then handing the signature pens to Deena Young and her grandparents. Camera shots of Leo McGarry, Josh Lyman, Reverend Jameson, the U.S. Attorney General, and various congresspersons standing nearby, observing.
Male Network Reporter (standing on the steps of a courthouse) As expected, pro-gun organizations and civil liberties groups filed lawsuits to have most aspects of "Charlie's Laws" overturned. The cases, eventually heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, were all unsuccessful.
Female Talking Head Coming up next, we look at the courses of the lives of the other White House staffers who were present at the Rosslyn shooting.