Alec Baldwin accidentally kills crew member with prop gun

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this was not accident
the producers were too greedy to pay professionals and hired cheaper help who were not trained on safety procedures
the producer disregarded the inherent risks of weapons
now everyone are crying innocence and claim accident death when in fact it was murder
sincerely such people give bad reputations to low budget movie business
i hope all those producers get life time jail sentences ASAP



Registered User
this was not accident
the producers were too greedy to pay professionals and hired cheaper help who were not trained on safety procedures
the producer disregarded the inherent risks of weapons
now everyone are crying innocence and claim accident death when in fact it was murder
sincerely such people give bad reputations to low budget movie business
i hope all those producers get life time jail sentences ASAP

It's starting to look like this was a real mess.



https://www.latimes.com/entertainmen...walked-off-set



I stand by my assertion that anyone waving around anything that could possibly injure someone is also responsible to be sure it will not. And I don't agree that someone who might be anti-gun would NOT be gun-safe. I could envision such a person being MORE diligent about such things due to their feeling guns are horrifically dangerous.

That doesn't mean I don't feel absolutely horrible for Mr. Baldwin. I do. He's getting my prayers over this, for sure. But anyone who touched that thing and pointed it at someone should have found a way to be sure that it was safe to do so. Cardinal rule of dealing with firearms of any sort.
For the record, I wasn't inferring that Baldwin's anti gun stance would make him more dangerous around guns with live ammo (or even make him more safe)... I was pointing out that there's a likelihood that if he's anti gun then he hasn't spent a lot of time around real guns with real bullets, so relying on him to check the gun for safety as Corax said, makes little sense.

Don't take this the wrong way, but you don't know how guns work. You can't just spin the cylinder of a revolver when it is locked up, nor is this how you inspect to see if they are loaded. ...
Then you just made my point for me, if I don't know how to check a 19th century revolver for safe handling, what makes you think Baldwin would know? Besides the gun was suppose to be fitted with blanks, unless he's psychic he's not going to know that the weapons master left a live bullet in it.

...
Finally, remember the empathy you have today for Baldwin (who once tweeted this https://www.the-sun.com/wp-content/u...33-1.jpg?w=960) when you hear of a gun enthusiast who makes a mistake in their hobby and negligently discharges a weapon. We have all done things behind the wheel of a car that could have killed a family, if for no other reason than that we were distracted for a moment. I think Mr. Baldwin is now quite tragically in a moment where he does know "how it feels to wrongfully kill someone."
Oh, he not only has an anti-gun stance, he has had no mercy for the mistakes of others.

https://www.the-sun.com/wp-content/u...33-1.jpg?w=960
That's the second time you said something like this. Who cares what his gun views are? I don't....Nor do I care what comments he made in the past about accidental shootings, it bears no meaning on this tragedy.



I stand by my assertion that anyone waving around anything that could possibly injure someone is also responsible to be sure it will not. And I don't agree that someone who might be anti-gun would NOT be gun-safe. I could envision such a person being MORE diligent about such things due to their feeling guns are horrifically dangerous.
But what does that mean in the context of a film set where a designated prop person is responsible for that safety?

If a prop person hands an actor a gun and says it's ready to use, what further action is the actor supposed to take? Asking "Are you sure?". Making the prop person recheck the gun every time it's handed to them? (I know a beginner-level amount about guns and I can load/unload/fire a shotgun or a rifle and the same for a musket, but I would actually be hesitant to open or mess with a gun that had been handed to me by a professional).

Now, that said, I'm seeing reports that this film set had already had TWO OTHER GUN MISFIRES prior to this happening. If that's true, it puts this all in a very different light. This is all starting to sound less like a horrible accident and more like a case of unethical negligence that ran the range from the prop people to the producers and that a serious injury/death was in the air.



But what does that mean in the context of a film set where a designated prop person is responsible for that safety?

If a prop person hands an actor a gun and says it's ready to use, what further action is the actor supposed to take? Asking "Are you sure?". Making the prop person recheck the gun every time it's handed to them? (I know a beginner-level amount about guns and I can load/unload/fire a shotgun or a rifle and the same for a musket, but I would actually be hesitant to open or mess with a gun that had been handed to me by a professional).

Now, that said, I'm seeing reports that this film set had already had TWO OTHER GUN MISFIRES prior to this happening. If that's true, it puts this all in a very different light. This is all starting to sound less like a horrible accident and more like a case of unethical negligence that ran the range from the prop people to the producers and that a serious injury/death was in the air.
Oh yeah, there were texts sent among crew members about guns firing randomly a few days prior, and yet here we are.

I agree with the gist of your point though that this does go a tad beyond reasonable precaution.



The Adventure Starts Here!
But what does that mean in the context of a film set where a designated prop person is responsible for that safety?

If a prop person hands an actor a gun and says it's ready to use, what further action is the actor supposed to take? Asking "Are you sure?". Making the prop person recheck the gun every time it's handed to them? (I know a beginner-level amount about guns and I can load/unload/fire a shotgun or a rifle and the same for a musket, but I would actually be hesitant to open or mess with a gun that had been handed to me by a professional).

Now, that said, I'm seeing reports that this film set had already had TWO OTHER GUN MISFIRES prior to this happening. If that's true, it puts this all in a very different light. This is all starting to sound less like a horrible accident and more like a case of unethical negligence that ran the range from the prop people to the producers and that a serious injury/death was in the air.
I think gun safety supersedes movie set protocol. I certainly wouldn't want anyone pointing a weapon at me on a movie set unless I myself had checked it. I would NOT hesitate to check a gun handed to me by a "professional." The chart Corax posted is pretty much the one we used in the gun safety course I took. *Always* assume a gun is loaded until you personally check it. Always.



You ready? You look ready
I stand by my assertion that anyone waving around anything that could possibly injure someone is also responsible to be sure it will not. And I don't agree that someone who might be anti-gun would NOT be gun-safe. I could envision such a person being MORE diligent about such things due to their feeling guns are horrifically dangerous.
They’d need to know manual of arms to stay safe. If they are anti-gun with lack of experience I am nervous around those types when firearms come out. They are just as dangerous as people who love guns and treat them like toys.*

I’m uneasy around anyone with a firearm until I know how they established their manual of arms training.

This is just conjecture: what’s to say that this wasn’t just the result of negligent safety standards and poor trigger finger discipline on the part of an actor?



A colleague was so alarmed by the prop gun misfires that he sent a text message to the unit production manager. “We’ve now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe,” according to a copy of the message reviewed by The Times.

“The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company, " Rust Movie Productions said in a statement. “Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down."
So I suppose the producers do not consider these texts, or the walk-outs that resulted, as "official complaints"? I hope these crew members, and that unit manager, has preserved these texts. This is beginning to look like criminal negligence for the producers (which Baldwin was one) and it'll be interesting to see who was responsible for some very crucial decisions that specifically led to an environment of carelessness and disregard. I'm sorry that Hutchins didn't join in her collegues in walking out.



Unless Baldwin is shown to have been a force behind this push to rush the production at the cost of safety, I don't hold him primarily responsible. Most of my prayers are for Hutchins' family however. I will echo one slight point from Corax which in this scene involving the unholstering of a weapon, not firing of a weapon, in a rehearsal not 'action', I don't understand why Baldwin's finger should have ever been on the trigger.



I think gun safety supersedes movie set protocol. I certainly wouldn't want anyone pointing a weapon at me on a movie set unless I myself had checked it. I would NOT hesitate to check a gun handed to me by a "professional." The chart Corax posted is pretty much the one we used in the gun safety course I took. *Always* assume a gun is loaded until you personally check it. Always.
But there's a difference between a "normal" situation involving a gun (like being at a firing range) and a situation where a specialty weapon is (supposedly!) being prepped for you by a professional.

I agree that I personally wouldn't want to point any weapon at a person or have a weapon pointed at me unless someone had shown me that it was safe. But that would involve me asking the prop person to demonstrate that it was safe, not me myself fiddling with the gun.

And if you're not overly familiar with guns (or with the particular type of gun being used, if it was a historical weapon) and/or what blanks are supposed to look like when loaded properly, you might not totally know what you're looking at.

What would we all be saying if it turned out that an actor had been given a weapon, decided to pop it open by himself to check how it was loaded, and then when putting it back together something got messed up/misaligned and that caused injury/fatality? We'd all be saying "What a moron! Only the propmaster/armorer should have been prepping the weapon! Who does this guy think he is?!". And if the actor was a gun novice, the critique would only be more scathing.

It was someone's job to make sure that the weapon was unloaded before it came on set. To me, this is no different than if an actor got into a car that was supposedly safe and then it turned out someone had failed to do something critical with the brakes or the steering and the actor accidentally drove into someone. Would be all be saying "Never drive a car unless you personally inspected the brakes?" I don't think so. Uma Thurman was seriously injured in just such a situation. Is she to blame because she didn't independently verify the safety of the course she was driving?



Like some others, I don't like Baldwin very much, but I also doubt that it was his fault. At the "best" someone screwed up very seriously in the prop department. At the worst someone did have malignant designs. I don't know why a movie studio would EVER have live ammo anywhere in the prop department, so my suspicions start to nag me. Because a perpetrator who put real bullets in the gun would not have any way of knowing who might get shot, it almost seems like some sort of deliberate sabotage of the movie or Baldwin rather than targeted murder.

After all the dust settles, I can see an old-school murder mystery being written about this, a movie-movie.



Registered User
Then you just made my point for me, if I don't know how to check a 19th century revolver for safe handling,
It's not hard to learn. Anyone who picks up a firearm has an obligation to become familiar with the manual of arms for that weapon, especially before pointing that weapon in the direction of another human being, cocking the hammer, and pulling the trigger. This is 101 stuff.

what makes you think Baldwin would know?
The decades of experience that Mr. Baldwin has in handling guns in films. He started playing make believe with real guns in the 1980s. Between you, me, Baldwin and a person off the street, I would expect him to be the most qualified.

He must bear some of the blame. The argument that he is an innocent in all of this, does not square with the known facts of the case. And as facts are coming out, it's looking worse.

Besides the gun was suppose to be fitted with blanks,
Doesn't matter if it was supposed to be fitted with jelly beans. If you pick up a real gun, you (personally) have a real responsibility. You have a deadly weapon in your hands and you (personally) have a responsibility for safe handling, including knowledge to the manual of arms, checking to see if it is loaded, and following the 4 Rules.

This is like the responsibility you have when you have sex. Your good buddy can avow to you that the girl at the party is of age, but if you have sex with her without further inquiry, that's still statutory rape if it turns out she is underage.


And this detail does not otherwise help his side of the case. A blank can kill within 20 feet. As a professional actor who regularly handles guns, he should know this. Moreover, why would be shooting blanks on a prep/practice day? Why would you point it at a person, cock the hammer, and pull the trigger if you thought it had a blank in it?!?!!

unless he's psychic he's not going to know that the weapons master left a live bullet in it.
You don't have to be psychic. You do a five-second safety check. That's it. A five-second check.

Your friend at the party, even if he is an "age master," does not get you off the hook for statutory rape.

Please remember this in your own life. If someone ever hands you a gun, even a good friend or expert, and they tell you it is "unloaded," assume that it is loaded until you check for yourself. If you don't know how to check, don't pick it up. And if you do pick it up, keep it pointed in a safe direction and do not touch the trigger at any point in time.

Experts make mistakes.



That's the second time you said something like this. Who cares what his gun views are? I don't....Nor do I care what comments he made in the past about accidental shootings, it bears no meaning on this tragedy.
By his own publicly asserted standards, he bears responsibility.

Mr. Baldwin obviously knows that guns are dangerous. He knows that a person who handles a gun has a tremendous responsibility.

And yet, until just now, he has never had to take responsibility. Someone else has always taken it for him. Armed security guards, a cop acting as sentry at a red carpet, security cameras, heavy doors, gated communities, private planes, layers of staff. On movie sets he has apparently relied on other people to take this responsibility for him. He outsourced his responsibility to a prop master to make sure he was safe with a deadly weapon. He knows guns are dangerous, but didn't take it upon himself to follow the rules of gun safety that apply to everyone.

He screwed up. It's a tragedy. This does not make him a monster. But he did screw up. I feel bad for him. I think that the personal punishment he feels will exceed any the state could bring to bear on him. But he still screwed up.



You ready? You look ready
The decades of experience that Mr. Baldwin has in handling guns in films. He started playing make believe with real guns in the 1980s. Between you, me, Baldwin and a person off the street, I would expect him to be the most qualified. .
Decades of bad experience = mistake bound to happen. Go and watch his older movies and you’ll see he rests his finger on the trigger all the time. Hollywood is not known for getting trigger discipline right.

Now add in a negligent prop master and a hair trigger…very bad combo.



@Corax

Hard disagree, that Baldwin the actor is responsible unless his acting contract or California state laws states that it's his responsibility as an actor when using a prop gun.

Now, Baldwin the producer might very well be criminally responsible for creating hazardous working conditions on the set that lead to this tragedy.



This is definitely one of the more interesting and thought-provoking conversations we've had on the board. If there was a prior history of guns misfiring on this set, and Alec Baldwin as a producer knew of these incidents, then I do think, if that is substantiated, he may bear some responsibility if no action was taken to make the set safer. Additionally, if it is standard protocol that an actor should never point a gun at a live person, and the facts indicate that Baldwin did do that in violation of that protocol, then again, he may bear some responsibility for this incident.

However, speaking of him purely as an actor, and not concerning his role as a producer, I don't really think it's his responsibility to have checked the gun to ensure that it was not loaded with live bullets before being fired. I am not a gun owner, and I do not have an affinity for guns. My knowledge of guns is quite low. I have only fired a gun once at a gun range, so those that state that it is standard procedure to always assume a gun is loaded while handling it, and who point out Baldwin did not do that, have far more expertise than I do in this area.

I do think that there is definitely a practical and moral difference between being on a set, where someone is hired to ensure safe handling of firearms, and other circumstances where someone is handling a gun at a gun range, or in their own personal lives. In those circumstances, the affirmative responsibility flows to the person who is handling the gun because there is not someone else responsible for ensuring safety. On a movie set, the production hired an armorer, whose entire job for the production is to ensure that the gun is loaded with blanks and that proper gun safety handling is followed during the production. Therefore, due to that, I think the moral, practical, and legal responsibility really lies with that person and not with the actor handling the gun. I also think that the fact that Alec Baldwin may have had decades of experience handling guns on movie sets actually makes him less rather than more culpable. It is likely true that since he has handled guns before, that he likely does know how they work, and that he may know how to check whether a gun is loaded with blanks or live rounds. However, it is also true that for all of those years, he handled guns without incident. The proper procedures were followed, and there were no accidents, that we are aware of, related to guns for any of his other films. To me, that would give me even less reason for concern than if I were an actor handling a gun for the first time, because as an actor with that expertise, he will have known that there were procedures in place for gun safety that worked successfully, so he really had no reason to have a heightened level of awareness or concern related to gun safety on this production.

I do think that the analogy of a car having faulty breaks and killing someone and a gun being loaded with live rounds are different from each other. It is likely much easier to quickly check the gun to verify the type of ammunition that is in it than it is to independently check whether the brakes on a vehicle are faulty. It also likely takes more expertise to examine brakes to determine if they are working, and more effort to do a road test, for example, for a car, than it would to check the rounds of a loaded gun. Additionally, there is a well known and documented history of car accidents being responsible for countless deaths every year, while the same is not true for accidental discharges of guns during movie productions. For those reasons, I do think that there is both a moral and practical difference between using a car that had faulty brakes and not checking that during a film production, and using a gun and not checking whether it was loaded with blanks.

It is very easy for all of us to kind of sit in hindsight, knowing what happened, and to say that Alec Baldwin, in his role as an actor, should have checked the gun before firing it. But, I think it's also important to keep in mind that almost no one is killed in this way on movie productions. Since Lee was killed, there have been thousands of films and TV shows produced that involve the use of guns, and this didn't happen on almost any of those other productions. When something like this is so exceedingly rare, it's not something that would be top of mind for any actor handling a gun on a movie set, in my opinion, nor should it necessarily be. That may change now, because based on this experience, perhaps it should.



Registered User
Decades of bad experience = mistake bound to happen. Go and watch his older movies and you’ll see he rests his finger on the trigger all the time. Hollywood is not known for getting trigger discipline right.

Now add in a negligent prop master and a hair trigger…very bad combo.
Good trigger discipline or not, I would still expect him to know the bonehead simple manual of arms for a Colt SAO revolver (aka THE revolver Hollywood features most prominently in Westerns). He should have known how to clear the gun. And he should have cleared it.

As for the hair trigger, you can play with the trigger of an SAO revolver all day long and nothing will happen. That's why you can spin them around in dazzling arcs before reholstering them. You have to manually draw back the hammer of an SAO to get access to the trigger as a firing mechanism.

He picked up a gun.
He did not safety check it.
He cocked the hammer.
He pointed that gun at another human being.
He pulled the trigger.
He screwed up.
Decades of holding deadly weapons in contempt and never learning safe-handling? That's not really exculpatory, is it? This would be like finding out that Harrison Ford has been flying planes all these years without ever learning how they work.



You ready? You look ready
I’ll be the one to point out that pretty much every argument in here is based on assumptions.

SAO has light pull weight, so you kinda are proving my point. Especially since we have decades of footage of bad trigger discipline.

Until facts are out we all just a bunch of nerds at the water cooler.



Registered User
@Corax

Hard disagree, that Baldwin the actor is responsible unless his acting contract or California state laws states that it's his responsibility as an actor when using a prop gun.
A gun that shoot real bullets is NOT a prop gun. It is a real gun. He didn't shoot a prop person. He shot a real person.

The law does not absolve you of personal responsibility. The shooting took place in New Mexico, so it is New Mexico state law that applies. And even this is at the discretion of officers to arrest and for a DA to charge. The legal argument does not supersede the moral argument; it was once the law that you could hold property in persons. Moreover, no contract can simply confer to you a moral license to rob, drive drunk, slander, etc. He negligently discharged a weapon.

He may duck a manslaughter charge because of his privilege as an actor, but I'll bet dollars to donuts, that he is not going to skate free in civil court.

The producer stuff just compounds the error.

Actors are not babies and they should not be conferred a magical bubble or privilege that absolves them of responsibility when handling a weapon on a movie set.

I like Alec. I think he is a talented actor. I think he has a quick wit. I think he is funny. I think he would be great to have a beer with. I also think that he screwed up massively, and is now paying in a bitterly ironic fashion for the contempt he has shown both to deadly weapons and people who handle them.



...Actors are not babies and they should not be conferred a magical bubble or privilege that absolves them of responsibility when handling a weapon on a movie set...
I bet that he doesn't get into legal trouble from his actions as an actor. I bet he does get into legal trouble from his actions as a producer. It's an important distinction under the law.

You seem focused on blaming Baldwin for his actions as an actor, what about the weapons master who was in charge of safe handling of the gun? I believe she was a 24 year old and on her second movie assignment as a weapons master and left a live round in her gun. What blame do you place on her?



Registered User
I bet that he doesn't get into legal trouble from his actions as an actor. I bet he does get into legal trouble from his actions as a producer. It's an important distinction under the law.
We shall see. I bet that the people who sue him throw everything, the kitchen sink, a bag of chips, and wet spaghetti at him.

You seem focused on blaming Baldwin for his actions as an actor,
First and foremost, I am concerned with how a real person handled a real gun. The unreality of "acting" and "sets" and "props" allows for obfuscation and equivocation of responsibility ("It's all just make-believe"), but at the end of the day he is a responsible person, an adult.

His role as actor only heightens his responsibility as a player in all of this, because a professional actor should be professionally competent. If you act with guns (and he has made a career of it), this extends to professional handling of guns.

what about the weapons master who was in charge of safe handling of the gun? I believe she was a 24 year old and on her second movie assignment as a weapons master and left a live round in her gun. What blame do you place on her?
A lot. She agreed to be the highest authority on the condition of deadly weapons on that set. She put at least one real bullet in that gun. She brought that gun to a set. And it appears that she communicated that that gun was safe.

This really does highlight a problem with the Hollywood model of weapons safety. A single "master" who is absolutely responsible introduces a single point of failure into the safety model. Countless negligent discharges have occurred when one person who "knows" has told another person that the gun was unloaded and safe. This is really really bad practice. This sort of thing is why official rules of gun handling were codified. When it comes to prudential and moral reasoning about the case industry norms and standards don't supersede these rules.

No one (speaking here only of prop master and actor) is really a monster here (at least as far as we presently know) and it would be pointless and even vicious to demand heads on pikes.

These people are going to have to live with this for the rest of their lives. I can't think of a tougher punishment for a human with a conscience. Both, however, share blame in a negligent accident that resulted in the death of person who has been deprived of what was left of the rest of her life. They are both responsible for a negligent discharge and they must both own their role in this event.

If the producers created an unsafe set, however, then real outrage may be warranted for them, even though all share the blame.