Alec Baldwin speaking at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International, for "The Boss Baby", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. / Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

ANALYSIS – From the moment news broke that actor and outspoken anti-gun liberal, Alec Baldwin had accidentally shot and killed a crew member on the movie set for his troubled, low-budget western-themed film, ‘Rust,’ opinions and spin have been flying fast from every direction.

It was clear that the Baldwin PR machine quickly moved to focus the blame on anyone but Baldwin.

First the focus was on the young, inexperienced set ‘armorer’ Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who in fact is responsible for gun safety. She should have checked and cleared the gun – declaring it ‘cold’ before allowing it to be handled by anyone on set.

I wrote about that in my initial piece.

Following that, focus has also been directed at Assistant Director Dave Halls, who is also responsible for safety on the set, and reportedly handed Baldwin the loaded gun used in the fateful scene.

He says he believed it was ‘cold.’

Then there is the prop master who is also responsible for gun safety.

While there are mixed reports about the details involved in the gun’s handling, all of these persons are the most responsible for gun safety on set.

Meanwhile, almost every gun owner in America has been opining that Baldwin is ultimately responsible because he violated the basic rules of gun safety — not checking the gun to see if it was loaded and pointing at a person he didn’t intend to shoot.

As a gun owner and former Marine Corps officer the gun safety rules are part of my DNA, but how well do they apply to an actor on the set of a movie?

My take has been that actors are given prop guns to use. Sometimes the prop guns are fake, other times they are real but modified to only fire blanks.

In this case the gun was a real old western revolver.  And it was supposed to be loaded with fake bullets (dummy rounds) that look real but have the gunpowder removed with small holes in the casing. However, at least the one bullet fired turned out to be real.

Even if trained in gun safety, how is an actor supposed to check a revolver to see if each individual bullet is fake or real? Or if there is an obstruction in the barrel?

I don’t have an answer to that, and though I’m not an attorney, it’s likely one of the biggest reasons I think Baldwin can use that as a factor in mitigating any culpability for firing the deadly round.

But Baldwin shouldn’t get off that easily.

The biggest issue to me as I noted in my earlier piece is – why were there live rounds on set? Why were crew members firing this gun with live rounds for fun earlier? Why were there earlier reported accidental gun discharge incidents on the set?

To me this is all outrageous, unprofessional, and possibly criminal. Conditions on set were clearly unsafe.

There is no place for live rounds on a movie set. And Santa Fe police said they found 500 rounds, including live rounds, blanks, and dummy rounds on set.

And there is no place for idiotic crew members to be firing guns used in the movie with live rounds.

While he may not be ultimately charged with manslaughter, as a Producer of this film, Alec Baldwin bears responsibility for allowing the horribly unprofessional and unsafe conditions on the set which ultimately led to the death of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

It was Baldwin’s movie after all. The buck should stop with him. ADN

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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OldMan
OldMan
1 month ago

I doubt his criminal negligence will be prosecuted, and with no conscience other than his self-love, he won’t even feel guilty

Bemused Berserker
Bemused Berserker
1 month ago

The question is “will Baldwin be charged” and not “should Baldwin be charged.” In a system of Judiciary where strict adherence to the Law is upheld regardless of status, money, fame or whatever, Baldwin, and several others would be charged, because the crime committed is Criminal Negligence Resulting In Death and/or Injury.
Hiring/Paying someone else to be your Safety Nazi does not exonerate personal responsibility.
The facts are thus, a movie production under low budget, skipped many, not just one, but many of the long established Safety Protocols designed and implemented to prevent just this kind of accident from occurring. People of questionable competence were hired, and the fact that there wasn’t an insistence by the “Armorer” that these Protocols be followed tells me all I need to know of Ms. Reed’s training, qualifications and competence. Obviously, being the daughter of an Armorer, does not make you an Armorer.

Under our current corrupted Judicial system, I seriously doubt Baldwin will be held to the standards we peons would be held too. At the end of the day, money/influence will change hands, and we’ll be left with just another example of our Two Tiered System of Justice, the US operates on.

“Rules for thee, but not for we, the privileged few.”

Arjay
Arjay
1 month ago

See my post above

Gene Ralno
Gene Ralno
1 month ago

“…how well do they apply to an actor on the set of a movie?” In my opinion, you might cut a bit of slack for a rank amateur like Baldwin — if he were not such a loud and arrogant braggart, outspoken bully and unforgiving of those who support the 2nd Amendment. For him, I’d say he was the star and primary magnate for this production. And as such, he’s primarily responsible for the well being of all his employees. I hope they throw the book at him and after he’s served his time, he moves to Patagonia.

AMERICAN PATRIOT
1 month ago

All kinds of B S going on around this and about the “young armorer” who is the one who is supposed to “Check the gun”, I have not heard the most important questions asked or the most important person named, “Who Is The Person That Loaded The Gun”? “What Were They Doing With ‘Live Ammo’ and Why Did They Load A Live Round Into The Gun ? This Screams of Premeditation for someone to be hurt or killed. Even a person that has never seen a live cartridge before would be able to tell the difference between a ‘Live Round’ and a ‘Blank’, they look Nothing Alike.

Jack
Jack
4 days ago

I believe you have asked some of the most important questions

AMERICAN PATRIOT
1 month ago

CENSORING of comments is a VIOLATION of OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS and is Treason to Violate American Citizens Constitutional RIGHTS .

Corey Young
Corey Young
9 days ago

No, not hear it isn’t.

Gary Von Neida
Gary Von Neida
1 month ago

Teddy (the swimmer) Kennedy was never charged with the death of Mary Joe—-and suspicions of her being pregnant were quashed when she was cremated. Marylyn Monroe who supposedly took a bottle of sleeping pills had no glycerine in her stomach at autopsy although her anus was bruised suggesting another entry point for the sedatives that led to her death—no one was ever charged—-Democrats are hard to charge with crimes if they are powerful enough.

Guest
Guest
1 month ago

They can and should file manslaughter charges on him and the other 3 people. He should have checked the gun and he should know the difference between a live round with the projectile seated in the brass compared to a blank with no projectile and the end crimped or open brass casing with a wad in place of the projectile. Even an idiot like Baldwin should know better. Again I say charge him and lock him up as much as the law allows.

Jack
Jack
4 days ago
Reply to  Guest

How many actors or actresses know the difference between a live round or a blank round?

For that matter, how many people who shoot weapons know the difference between the two?

As someone who spent 26 years in LE and 24 in the military, I did ask a few people and they did not know off hand

Jack
Jack
4 days ago
Reply to  Guest

So let’s apply responsibility to this scenario

If you lend me your vehicle and I hit someone and kill them because the brakes failed; should I be responsible?

Was I supposed to check your brakes before driving? What if I assume you maintain your vehicle?

Should you be held responsible instead of me or along with me because I was driving?

What if you just had vehicle serviced;; should the service center be held liable?

Now apply handing the weapon to Baldwin (Vehicle Driver) and fill in with set safety manager (Vehicle Owner) and armor. ( Vehicle Service Center/Mechanic)

Arjay
Arjay
1 month ago

Just one small correction to your post: “[l]ong established Safety Protocols designed and implemented to prevent just this kind of accident from occurring.”

By calling this tragedy an “accident” makes it sound that it could NOT have been avoided. In fact, IF the properly followed rules for handling ANY FIREARM were indeed followed, this tragedy could have in FACT BEEN AVOIDED!

Arjay
Arjay
1 month ago
Reply to  Arjay

This post should have been under Bemused Berserker comment.

Bemused Berserker
Bemused Berserker
1 month ago

As far as I’m concerned, the entire Production Team is guilty of Criminal Negligence, and Baldwin, as Exec. Producer is a part of that team.

There are long established Industry Safety Protocols intended to prevent just this kind of tragedy. Due to budget, these Protocols weren’t followed.

Ms. Reed may be the daughter of famous Hollywood Armore Thell Reed, but that’s appears to be the extent of her qualifications. This girl has no business around guns. Her description of how she checked to see if a gun was loaded/Unloaded convinced me she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Any RSO would climb all over someone handling guns like she does.

From the interviews, there were enough Red Flags to shut this production down. Where was the Safety Nazis and why did they allow this to go on?

Baldwin the Actor might get a pass (I don’t think he should), but Baldwin the Executive Producer is as culpable as anyone else.

Gene Klosinski
Gene Klosinski
1 month ago

CENSORING of comments is a VIOLATION of OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

Corey Young
Corey Young
9 days ago
Reply to  Gene Klosinski

What does this comment have to do with this discussion?

Good Luck luck
28 days ago

Why did he point the gun at that woman? You never point a gun at somebody unless you are going to us it . Baldwin was the producer. Will he get charged? He should be, but he is a actor and has money so i do not think they will charge him with anything . Plus he is a Democrat, they do not have to go by the laws.

Gene Ralno
Gene Ralno
19 days ago

If you take a gun to a fight, you forfeit your right to self defense. But if you misuse a gun and kill someone, you’ve committed no crime. Huh?!!

Gene Ralno
Gene Ralno
19 days ago

My comment was censored again. I know not why.

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