West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Queries / * Is it that easy to shoot the President?

Several people have raised questions about the secret service in #22 "What Kind of Day Has It Been" and #23 "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen". We assume that Aaron Sorkin knows the Secret Service isn't inept and was just using poetic license in order to set up the situation he needed for his story. However, since people have questions and concerns about the facts of the matter, we will pass on several of the notes we received on this subject:
Mike Davidson wrote: "I just wanted to point out the discontinuties . . . . in. . . assasains sniping White House officials, including members of the first family, [with] pistols from three stories up and at least a hundred yards away. And they tend not to load the pistols more than two seconds before the shooting. And the Secret Service doesn't clear out surrounding buildings. And the Secret Service doesn't have sharpshooters on the roofs of surrounding buildings, to shoot at any attackers."
Shawn Brogan wrote: ""My best friend is in the Secret Service. But I really did not need him to confirm that there is no way that anyone other than govt agents would have had access to any building close enough to harm the President. This was one of the few hokey scenarios so far."

What was the speech Bartlet gave Zoey in "Mr. Willis of Ohio" on what the Secret Service feared --- that predicted her kidnapping almost exactly?
Several people have suggested that we make note of the prediction in "Mr. Willis" that so closely corresponds to what later happens in "25". Mike Girts even sent us some of the following transcript. Also Peter Vetsch and Chris Rake thought this information should be included in the site.
After Zoey is accosted by guys in a bar, Bartlet tries to tell her just how dangerous the situation is, "Look, the Secret Service ---"
"The Secret Service should worry about you getting shot," Zoey says.
"They are worried about me getting shot. I'm worried about me getting shot. But that is nothing compared to how terrified we are of you. You scare the hell out of the Secret Service Zoey, and you scare the hell out of me too. My getting killed would be bad enough, but that is not the nightmare scenario. The nightmare scenario, sweetheart, is you getting kidnapped! You go out to a bar or a party in some club and you get up and you go to the restroom and somebody comes from behind and puts his hand across your mouth and drags you out the back door. You're so petrified you don't even notice the bodies of a few Secret Service agents laying on the ground with bullet holes in their heads. Then you're driven away in the car. It's a big party with lots of noise and lots of people coming and going, and it's a half hour before someone says: 'Hey, where's Zoey?' It's another fifteen minutes before the first phone call. It's another hour and a half before anyone even THINKS to shut down all the airports! Now we're off to the races! You're tied to a chair in a cargo shack somewhere in the middle of Uganda and I am told that I have 72 hours to get Israel to free 460 imprisoned terrorists. So I'm on the phone pleading with Ben Yamin and he's saying: 'I'm sorry, Mr. President, but Israel simply does not negotiate with terrorists, period, it's the only way we can survive.' So now we got a new problem because this country no longer has a Commander-in-chief, but a father going out of his mind because his little girl is in a shack somewhere in the middle of Uganda with a gun to her head! Do you get it?!"
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