I find myself somewhat ambivalent on writing about this subject. On the one hand I have no interest in Alec Baldwin or in what happens in his life. On the other hand, as a gun owner and gun writer I feel like this particular event is important and needs to be addressed. Finally, since I’ve already written about it twice, what the hell, I might as well write a third article on the subject.
For those not familiar with what happened, about two years ago while on location in New Mexico filming the movie Rust, Alec Baldwin negligently discharged a firearm on set killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. See my previous articles here and here for some background.
It’s taken the authorities in New Mexico two years to finally hold Baldwin accountable for his action which resulted in the death of an innocent woman and the wounding of another individual. Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. To be sure others contributed to the tragedy, but Baldwin pulled the trigger and should be held accountable.
The trial will likely shed some light on the contributing actions of others. Whoever retrieved the gun from storage failed to check it clear as did the person who handed the gun to Baldwin. Finally, Baldwin failed to confirm the condition of the firearm that he pointed at his cinematographer eventually pulling the trigger. All these people share responsibility in the death of Hutchins.
Baldwin for his part refuses to accept any responsibility for the shooting. He believes someone is responsible but insists that he is not. He also claims to have not pulled the trigger. Anyone who owns a SAA pistol (I own two) knows that it is not possible to fire that style gun without fully cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger. The FBI lab confirmed the gun was in good working order, so Baldwin pulled the trigger.
Obviously, the killing wasn’t intentional, hence the involuntary manslaughter charge, but Hutchins is still dead, and Baldwin killed her. Some argue that Baldwin is not responsible because he’s not a gun guy (he’s actually a raging anti-gun guy) and therefore has no knowledge of guns. But he is an actor working on set with real guns and therefore has a responsibility to know how to safely handle them.
The film industry has been making films involving guns for over 100 years and deaths and injuries are extremely rare. This is so because the industry has practices and protocols in place that allow firearms to be used safely. It’s when the practices and protocols are ignored that problems occur which is likely what will come out in Baldwin’s trial.
In spite of being charged with manslaughter for the negligent killing of a co-worker, Baldwin will complete filming Rust in the lead role. This says a lot about Hollywood. Woke celebrities won’t work with those having conservative values, believe men cannot become pregnant, or stand respectfully for the national anthem but have no problem working with a man who negligently kills an innocent woman and accepts absolutely no responsibility for the taking of her life. Industry experts say people are more likely to go see the movie because of Baldwin. Go Hollywood! Go America!
In the words of an accomplished prevaricator and former press secretary, lets circle back to why this subject is of interest to gun owners. Millions of gun owners go to the range every day, they follow the four universal safety rules, and have a great experience. Those who violate one or more of those rules risk having a different experience. Baldwin broke all four.
If an average gun owner unintentionally shot and killed someone they likely would be charged and held accountable in much less than two years and even though the killing was unintentional prison time would be the likely result. It will be interesting to see if a famous celebrity suffers that fate. Will the system treat others that contributed to Hutchins’ death impartially or will the 24-year-old armorer or assistant director suffer more of the blame than the big star who actually pulled the trigger? Time will tell.
The trial will be interesting and just as it’s difficult to drive past a bad car wreck and not look it will be difficult to not follow the trial, at least a little bit. My cross to bear is that there’s likely one more Alec Baldwin article in my future, the horror. So, grab the popcorn Virginia, the show is about to begin.
©2023 Joseph T Drammissi
This article and more of Joe’s work covering the Second Amendment and other topics can be found on Substack at https://getagrip.substack.com