Alec Baldwin accidentally kills crew member with prop gun

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I see that we are still committed to arguing about this despite a complete and total inability to come to a consensus. I lament that my attempts to play peacemaker by hoping to move this conversation to a place of agreement to practices we can all get behind for the future has failed so spectacularly!



I haven't brought it up, but I've also seen where one professional armorer actively discourages actors to mess with a gun after it's handed to them, because that actor may accidentally cause the gun to jam or misfire, injuring the one holding the gun. I don't know how common this attitude is however among professional armorers.
I've had what I would consider to be a beginner-intermediate level of gun training. I bring up this question because if it were me, I would actually be nervous to open a gun after a professional told me it was safe if I were using it for a stunt.

If it were my personal gun, then I feel I would have the responsibility to become very familiar with it, how it looks when correctly loaded, etc. But as, essentially, a piece of equipment that had been checked by not one but two other (supposedly more expert) people? I wouldn't want to mess with it for fear I'd screw something up.



Registered User
The comparison is sound, it just pulls the rug out from under your preferred narrative.
On the contrary, it puts matters in perspective. It only undermines what you imagine my narrative is, which is why I have been laboring to clarify his level of blame.

A professional handed Baldwin a gun that Baldwin does not own that he declared safe, unable to fire.
And Baldwin had his own personal responsibility to double check, which is Rule #1.

A rental car service hands a driver a car that the driver has never driven and declares the car safe, unable to perform outside of the driver's control.
There is no rental car in my comparison. How many times do I have to state this? The problem in my comparison is inattention while driving (car in otherwise sound condition, functioning as it should) as opposed to inattention to handling a gun (which fires a bullet, functioning as it should). Are you giggling, just a little bit as you keep banging on about rental cars?

Should Baldwin have trusted his professionals
To the point of not checking for himself? To the point of not taking a few seconds? To the point of breaking Rule #1 of safe handling? No, no, and no.

that they weren't lying to him?
Lying? No. Realizing that they may have been mistaken? Yes.

Should a rental car driver be ultimately responsible for trusting the professionals not to lie to them?
Again, there is no rental car in my analogy.

Now we are working with YOUR analogy to a rental car. And I have already established the disanalogy in this comparison upthread.

The comparison in this analogy is a different from my own analogy (to inattentiveness while driving).

Guns are deadly weapons. They are known deadly weapons. When a gun functions as designed, it will kill. When a car functions as designed, it will NOT kill. There is a rule of gun handling which prudentially assumes that a gun will operate as designed and that it is (until proven otherwise) "ready to go" (i.e., loaded). There is no such corresponding rule with cars.

Checking a car under a lift is laborious, time consuming, and requires expertise. Checking to see if a gun is unloaded, is easy, takes very little time, and requires minimal expertise. Modern cars are loaded with machine intelligence to keep people safe. The car keeps track of itself and will indicate problems with warning lights, etc. Modern cars have active and passive restraints. If you fail to put on your seatbelt, however, that is something you will be blamed for (click it or ticket), so there is responsibility here too. And if there were an easy five-second check to confirm that a car was absolutely safe, why wouldn't you perform that check?

Over a long period of time, owner operators are expected to do things like check their oil and tire pressure. They are expected to know their blind spots and to adjust their mirrors. Before taking a long trip into a hot desert, a driver should make sure they have a full tank and water to drink, just in case.

Ultimately, what you're suggesting, is that the operator is responsible for verifying the safety of the thing they are operating, as opposed to the people whose job it is to not hand people dangerous instruments.
When that thing is a gun? You're right. I am not just "suggesting," but insisting and demanding.



Registered User
But as, essentially, a piece of equipment that had been checked by not one but two other (supposedly more expert) people? I wouldn't want to mess with it for fear I'd screw something up.

If so, you should not be handling that item at all. You should not accept that item to be handed off to you if you are afraid of it and cannot check it for safety.


Your best bet would be to stop the person and ask them to demonstrate the manual of arms for the gun and to repeat the demonstration. After visually confirming (with the other person handling the weapon) that all the chambers are clear, you may safely handle the weapon. Knowing that the weapon is safe, your next step is to perform the checking procedure with the expert still present. If you are unable or unwilling to do this, you have no business with that item. And if the person who is the expert refuses to help in this manner, you have no business with that person.



You ready? You look ready
Because some people in this very thread have denied that Baldwin has any responsibility at all. Indeed, there has been a rush to shift the blame to anyone or anything else. And this is... ...curious.
I haven’t read everything in here so I can’t speak to this, but I quoted it because it got me thinking about how this is being spun in the news. No one is talking about gun safety within the context that Corax is saying, which I tend to agree is curious.

Where are the experts being interviewed about the three rules of gun safety?



I haven’t read everything in here so I can’t speak to this, but I quoted it because it got me thinking about how this is being spun in the news. No one is talking about gun safety
On a movie set, a gun is a piece of equipment, not a personal weapon. There are professionals on set whose job it is to ensure that the equipment is prepared for use in a way that will not pose a risk to those using it or in the proximity of people using it. Just like an actor should be able to trust that if they are smashing a bottle over someone's head, and not one but two people have said it is a safe prop, they should be able to trust that. Someone who (for whatever reason) is actually going to inject themselves with a syringe should be confident that there's saline inside if the safety experts have said it is.

There have been some big news stories lately in general about the injuries to actors and crew because of corners being cut when it comes to safety or cast/crew being put in difficult situations. One of the young actors on Riverdale was in a car accident and it was revealed they were working ridiculously long days. Ruby Rose had a severe back injury and a PA was paralyzed because of on-set incidents on the Batwoman set. The same assistant director in this incident had a previous incident where he got an actor to do a stunt and a piece of something flew up and hit the actor in the face, almost in the eye. I think that it's a mistake to put this incident in a different category just because the equipment being used was a gun. It's part of a broader pattern of cast/crew safety being put to the side in favor of pushing out a product faster.

Putting the emphasis on the fact that it was a gun does the disservice of making it feel like it's in a different category from these other incidents, when I think they're all part of a bigger problem of willful neglect. It's not an issue of gun safety, it's an issue of safety, period.



The problem in my comparison is inattention while driving (car in otherwise sound condition, functioning as it should) as opposed to inattention to handling a gun (which fires a bullet, functioning as it should).
Baldwin wasn't given a gun that functions "as it should", he was given what he was told was a nonfunctioning gun. Your analogy on attentiveness breaks down because this accident doesn't appear to have been the result of Baldwin's inattention, but the inattention of those who were responsible for that gun. The state of the gun prior to possession is what's at issue here. As I pointed out, actors are not currently required to verify the temperature of the guns they are handed by those whose job it is to do that. The professionals that have worked on American movie sets over 30 years have been consistently reliable in this duty, with only two mishaps (both of which have evidence of professional negligence). You can disagree with that and say we should require actors to always double check their weapons. That's fine and your opinion. Baldwin doing what he's done for decades in trusting his crew doesn't make him reckless, especially when there are glaring issues with these specific individual crew members having a pattern of negligence and what appear to be very questional vetting standards by this particular production.


When a car functions as designed, it will NOT kill.
And yet there have been more car accident deaths on movie sets than gun accidents over a comparable period. Car deaths are still exceedingly rare, but they are deadly and require full-time professionals on set to make sure they are safe.

Thankfully, the two people most immediately responsible for this death, due to their individual inattentivity, Halls and Gutierrez-Reed, are probably going to jail and will hopefully never see another film set again.



Registered User
On a movie set, a gun is a piece of equipment, not a personal weapon.
Doesn't matter if it is a personal weapon, it is still a weapon, a deadly weapon, and not just a workaday piece of equipment. The labor being performed to deny this point is rather telling.

There are professionals on set whose job it is to ensure that the equipment is prepared for use in a way that will not pose a risk to those using it or in the proximity of people using it. Just like an actor should be able to trust that if they are smashing a bottle over someone's head, and not one but two people have said it is a safe prop, they should be able to trust that. Someone who (for whatever reason) is actually going to inject themselves with a syringe should be confident that there's saline inside if the safety experts have said it is.
There are varying levels of responsibility in these examples. They are not all the same. If there are real knives and prop knives on set (with retracting bladed for stabbing), the actor should check the function of the prop knife to not only make sure that it is functioning, but also a prop knife.

Apart from explosives and other items that are only handled by specialized crew, guns are categorically more dangerous than bottles made of sugar. Guns are the most deadly item which are regularly handled by actors.

Putting the emphasis on the fact that it was a gun does the disservice of making it feel like it's in a different category
It is in a different category. The actor, Ruby Rose, is not personally responsible for what was done to her on set.

from these other incidents, when I think they're all part of a bigger problem of willful neglect. It's not an issue of gun safety, it's an issue of safety, period.
When it comes to guns, it is first and foremost an issue of gun-safety.

Baldwin erred.



Apart from explosives and other items that are only handled by specialized crew, guns are categorically more dangerous than bottles made of sugar.
On the other more accurate hand, guns are also handled by a specialized crew, designated and licensed weapons masters, until they are needed on set. The vast majority of weapons masters and armorers on movie sets are professionally responsible and have not caused a substantial number of deaths. An actor has to trust his pyrotechnic team to be ready and prepared to put out a proximate flame. Actors have also been reasonably trusting their amorers with not providing loaded weapons.



Guns are the most deadly item which are regularly handled by actors.
Not statistically. But that's a moot point after considering the unlikelihood of an actor accidentally shooting someone with a weapon not being provided and maintained by a couple of reckless ***holes.



Registered User
Baldwin wasn't given a gun that functions "as it should",
Yes, he did. The telos, the design function of that device is to shoot projectiles. To make a gun safe you have to prevent it from doing what it is designed to do from the factory. The telos of the car is to drive. An actor given a car that drives is doing what is supposed to do fresh from the factory.

he was given what he was told was a nonfunctioning gun.
That's why he should have checked instead of killing a woman.

Your analogy on attentiveness breaks down because this accident doesn't appear to have been the result of Baldwin's inattention, but the inattention of those who were responsible for that gun.
First Rule of gun safety, treat every gun as if it is loaded. Baldwin did not do this. He outsourced his responsibility. A person died. A person he shot with a gun that did exactly what it is supposed to do when the hammer hits the primer of a cartridge.

The state of the gun prior to possession is what's at issue here.
The stat of the gun prior to possession is irrelevant. As a matter of procedure, you treat every gun as if it is loaded. It is loaded until YOU prove otherwise. What is at issue is the Baldwin didn't follow the rules.

As I pointed out, actors are not currently required to verify the temperature of the guns they are handed by those whose job it is to do that.
Universal Prudential and Moral Rules > Industry Rules

The professionals that have worked on American movie sets over 30 years have been consistently reliable in this duty, with only two mishaps (both of which have evidence of professional negligence).
This model is only as good as the single point of failure--the prop master who hands off the gun. This incident reveals the failings of this model. A five second check would have saved a life. You can do that five second check AND have a prop master. Or is it OK that Halyna Hutchins died because of that record? Say that I successfully drove safely for 30 years until I accidentally run over that kid in the road while I am lighting my cigarette? Does my safety record, up to this point, prove that I haven't been doing anything wrong?


You can disagree with that and say we should require actors to always double check their weapons. That's fine and your opinion.
No, it is not merely my opinion. This is a matter of procedural logic. This is a matter of moral and prudential obligation.

Baldwin doing what he's done for decades in trusting his crew doesn't make him reckless,
LOL, me being distracted while lighting cigarettes for decades and getting away with it doesn't prove anything. Sure, Baldwin successfully outsourced his personal responsibility for decades. He externalized the cost of safety to underlings for decades, relying on them to be the only responsible party. And he got away with it until he shot and killed Halyna Hutchins.


[quote=Jinnistan;2248991especially when there are glaring issues with these specific individual crew members having a pattern of negligence and what appear to be very questional vetting standards by this particular production.[/quote]

Here's the thing. Given that he was also a producer on this set and that there were already two negligent discharges on the set prior to this incident (which he should have known as a producers) he had an even greater responsibility to check. Did Baldwin not notice when workers walked off the set in protest? Is he just an innocent babe in the woods?



Yes, he did. The telos, the design function of that device is to shoot projectiles.
What projectiles? Oh, you mean the ones that are barred from a movie set that an experienced actor would not assume to be in a gun designated "cold" by an AD?

To make a gun safe you have to prevent it from doing what it is designed to do from the factory.
Like not having live bullets available?

Universal Prudential and Moral Rules > Industry Rules
The problem is that at least two crew members were not following "industry rules", and it appears that every (all?) instances of someone dying from a gunshot on set was the result of someone skirting industry rules. When properly adhered to, industry rules have proven to be remarkably safe. The number of deaths from gun accidents on movie sets are microscopic compared to the accidental gun deaths among allegedly responsible gun users.

This incident reveals the failings of this model.
Quite the opposite. It highlights how overwhelmingly safe the model has been for the vast majority of film sets that adhere to it. What it reveals is the failings when this model is ignored and laxxed.

Sure, Baldwin successfully outsourced his personal responsibility for decades. He externalized the cost of safety to underlings for decades, relying on them to be the only responsible party.
Relying on paid professionals to do their job? What a monster. Whatever it takes to ignore that these crew members' lack of professionalism is what caused this risk. (And possibly Baldwin if he approved the hiring of people with very questionable professional histories, although I doubt that Baldwin was taking such a hands-on approach in the hiring decisions.)

Did Baldwin not notice when workers walked off the set in protest? Is he just an innocent babe in the woods?
Since I've already addressed this aspect multiple times, I'm going to leave this for you to figure out.



Registered User
What projectiles? Oh, you mean the ones that are barred from a movie set that an experienced actor would not assume to be in a gun designated "cold" by an AD?
Yes, those items it is designed to shoot and which take a few seconds to confirm are not in it.

You never assume a real gun is empty.
Like not having live bullets available?
Like briefly checking to confirm empty, the way every other responsible adult does it.

The problem is that at least two crew members were not following "industry rules", and it appears that every (all?) instances of someone dying from a gunshot on set was the result of someone skirting industry rules.
No, there is more than one problem here. "A" problem is that the crew screwed up. "Another" problem was that Baldwin apparently could not bother himself to check. And so he shot and killed Halyna Hutchins in his derelict ignorance.

When properly adhered to, industry rules have proven to be remarkably safe. The number of deaths from gun accidents on movie sets are microscopic compared to the accidental gun deaths among allegedly responsible gun users.
You can't compare raw frequencies between these two groups. You have to convert this into a meaningful ratio to make a comparison.

There are more guns in America than people. In in three homes in the U.S. has guns in it. The amazing thing is that for all of these tens of millions of owners there are less than 500 deaths from negligent discharges a year.

Alec Baldwin publicly asked the universe "I wonder what it is like to wrongly kill a person" when a cop killed someone. Well, now he knows.

Quite the opposite. It highlights how overwhelmingly safe the model has been for the vast majority of film sets that adhere to it.
Great, let's call the family of Halyna Hutchinsand tell them that that's how the cookie crumbles. F**k it. It's breakage. Sorry, we don't need to perform common sense safety checks, because we've lucked out up to this point. Your mother's life is not worth the five seconds it would have take poor Alec to have to manually clear a gun. You tell them that.

Heck, I'll tell that to the judge. "Yeah, I got distracted lighting my cigarette, but as you can see from my thirty-year driving record, my system WORKS! So, while it is tragedy that I ran over that kid, them's the breaks."



What it reveals is the failings when this model is ignored and laxxed.
People make mistakes. They are not perfect. This is why actors should also perform independent checks.



Yes, those items it is designed to shoot and which take a few seconds to confirm are not in it.
It takes a little longer than that. The gun was obviously not empty. Prop guns use dummy rounds, with no bullet or gun powder in them. I'm not schooled very well on this either, but I hear that the difference can be discerned by a small hole on the side of each casing. If it t'were so simple they may not need to hire full-time positions to keep this straight.


The amazing thing is that for all of these tens of millions of owners there are less than 500 deaths from negligent discharges a year.
Yes, that's almost as amazing as two discharges over 30 years on tens of thousands of film sets.


Alec Baldwin publicly asked the universe "I wonder what it is like to wrongly kill a person" when a cop killed someone. Well, now he knows.
Your biased vindictiveness against Baldwin has been well documented in this thread, thank you.


People make mistakes. They are not perfect. This is why actors should also perform independent checks.
Some people's mistakes are more excusable than others, I guess. Maybe Dave and Hannah should be the ones calling Hutchins' family or explaining their negligence to the judge? Those axes just don't grind so satisfyingly, do they?



You ready? You look ready
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

Literally rule one of safe gun handling. Always. Not “only when not pretending” or “only when not checked by an armorer” or “only when not told cold gun”. Always.

There’s no shot worth getting that involves pointing a gun directly at someone; movie magic is pretty efficient to dupe us on where things are pointed. And if the shot requires pointing it at a camera make sure no one is behind it.



Registered User
It takes a little longer than that.
No, it doesn't. You open the loading gate. You set to half-cock. You turn the cylinder. When you turn through all of them, seeing holes to the other side, you're all set. This is very very simple.

The gun was obviously not empty.
That's why you check.

Prop guns use dummy rounds, with no bullet or gun powder in them.
They were using real guns on set. They were shooting at pop cans with them. Baldwin-the-producer would or should know this, and so should/would Baldwin the actor.

Again, this is why you check.

I'm not schooled very well on this either,

but I hear that the difference can be discerned by a small hole on the side of each casing.
What you are describing is an empty casing. The only way to be safe is to confirm empty cylinders. If Baldwin found the cylinders were not empty, he should have called over the armorer.

If it t'were so simple they may not need to hire full-time positions to keep this straight.
Nah, it's that simple. You hire the full-time person, because it is that dangerous to hold guns in contempt.

Yes, that's almost as amazing as two discharges over 30 years on tens of thousands of film sets.
There were two discharges on THIS set for THIS production before Baldwin killed Halyna Hutchins with the third.

God knows how many lucky negligent discharges there have been on other sets over the decades. Who knows how many people have been injured and hushed up to protect the studio or an actor. An industry that hides systematic sex abuse may hide many things. If we expand our vision to serious injury not resulting in death by guns, there are more than 3 incidents in 30 years. Bruce Willis and Linda Hamilton, for example, have both suffered hearing loss from accidents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...sion_accidents

Also, it was not a prop gun and it did not go off "accidentally."

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politic...-that-n1526441

Your biased vindictiveness against Baldwin has been well documented in this thread, thank you.
As has Baldwin's vindictiveness. As has your own. The only difference is we're not killers.

Some people's mistakes are more excusable than others, I guess. Maybe Dave and Hannah should be the ones calling Hutchins' family or explaining their negligence to the judge? Those axes just don't grind so satisfyingly, do they?
Sure they do. I am not the one argue for an either/or. The both/and works fine for me, right up to the point that posters like you try to apologize for Baldwin has having little to no responsibility.



They were shooting at pop cans with them.
Yes, and they shouldn't have been. We have no indication that Baldwin was aware of this.


You hire the full-time person, because it is that dangerous to hold guns in contempt.
So do all actors who rely on designated crew to verify safe guns guilty of "holding guns in contempt"? I think your prejudice against Hollywood liberals is showing here.


God knows how many lucky negligent discharges there have been on other sets over the decades.
And I'm sure there have been many gun discharges in homes that have not been officially reported. You're uselessly speculating here.


Also, it was not a prop gun and it did not go off "accidentally."
The "accident" in question is the negligence that led to there being a live round in the gun.

As has Baldwin's vindictiveness. As has your own. The only difference is we're not killers.
Just so we're all clear what your motive is here.


Sure they do. I am not the one argue for an either/or. The both/and works fine for me, right up to the point that posters like you try to apologize for Baldwin has having little to no responsibility.
I have identified areas where I believe Baldwin has responsibility. You've clearly have spent far more time using this tragedy to denigrate Baldwin - his politics, his vanity, his privilege - than you have in calling out the "underlings" who "make mistakes".



Other than horribly negligent crew members, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be vindictive about with any of this.



The more I'm learning about Hannah Gutierrez-Reed the more I'm wondering how the hell anybody let her near any kind of weapons anywhere, much less a on a movie set. It's like hiring the Trashcan Man to do your pyrotechnics. Eventually, things will go bad. Got me wondering how insurance plays a role in all this. You'd think an insurance company would like to know who the armorer on set of a movie featuring guns is going to be before providing coverage and that they would do a little bit of background on that person. Now I'm no insurance agent and know even less about insuring a movie set but if the reports about her activities on her previous film are true who would insure her?



Yahoo Movies
'Rust' assistant director David Halls said he 'should have' checked gun more thoroughly before giving it to Alec Baldwin 'but didn't': warrant

that is what i read everywhere but no one shares my view!
the producers fired and removed the professionals on safety procedures
cheap help who were not fully checked on safety procedures training are the responsibility of the producers
not even the lawyers were consulted to cover potential lawsuits in case of unwanted accidents

it amazes me that stupidity prevails even on yoda and members here