Hollywood and Guns – Of Tragedy, Alec Baldwin, and Personal Responsibility
First let’s get the obligatory disclaimers out of the way. I am not being indifferent to the tragedy and suffering of those involved including Alec Baldwin. My intent is not to explain exactly what happened or who is to blame as I wasn’t there and have no more facts than anyone else. My purpose in addressing this subject is to examine the bigger picture of the erosion of personal responsibility in our society today.
Most of you by now are familiar with the fatal incident that occurred on the set during the filming of the movie Rust. Without speculating as to what exactly happened, it appears that several people, for whatever reason, didn’t follow standard practices of which they were likely aware. This resulted in one person being killed and another injured.
Hollywood has made movies involving firearms (many, many movies) since the beginning of the film industry. Accidents are uncommon and fatalities are rare. I know of two other fatalities, one a freak accident and the other negligence. There may be others, but the point is that people who make movies are professionals, they know what they are doing, and they are very good at it.
Randomly pick ten movies and probably seven or eight of them will have at least one scene involving a firearm. Most will have many scenes with firearms. Actors, armorers, prop masters, and the rest of the crew routinely work with firearms. They work safely and professionally following established practices.
Obviously, those practices weren’t followed in this case but why is the reaction so predictable? Why instead of asking how this could happen on a set full of professionals we see a race to shift responsibility and demand the government keep us safe? Consider the following:
- A California legislator proposes a law banning the use of firearms on movie sets
- Some actors circulate a petition to ban firearms in the making of movies
- Gun-control activists use the incident involving Alec Baldwin to push for more gun control (ironic as Baldwin is a rabid gun-control proponent).
Instead of asking the government for protection why not consider accepting responsibility for our actions and the results thereof?
Why not ask how a 40-year veteran actor could not know and follow four firearm safety rules that 150 million Americans know and follow every day? Could it be that rabid anti-gun fanaticism obliterated any desire to even learn let alone practice those rules even though the job often requires the handling of firearms?
Why does “someone handed me the gun” or “I was told it was a cold gun” absolve an individual of any responsibility? No gun-owner that I know would take someone else’s word as to the condition of a gun they were being handed, they would check it clear themselves.
Why the calls for the ban of recreational shooting on movie sets rather than responsible handling of guns? What is wrong with cast and crew who are gun enthusiasts shooting recreationally during down time especially on remote set locations? Halyna Hutchins commented to a friend several days before her death that one of the benefits to working on a western was that she got to ride horses during down time. A rational gun enthusiast working on a film might say the same thing about recreational shooting especially with period firearms.
These very predictable reactions reflect a greater problem in our society, that of refusing to accept responsibility for our actions and the results thereof. Rather than accept responsibility the answer is always new laws or rules, or restrictions.
In the past 18 months we’ve readily accepted mandates regarding vaccines, masks, school, and business closures. Many in our society have chosen to not take responsibility for their own welfare but to pretend that is somehow the responsibility of others. A society cannot flourish if its members choose this path. Such a society cannot survive.
Eventually exactly how Alec Baldwin was able to unintentionally shoot and kill Halyna Hutchins on a movie set will be understood. It will be deemed an accident or negligence or a combination of the two. Blame will be assigned but will responsibility be accepted? Based on the current condition of our society my guess would be probably not.
©2021 Joseph T Drammissi
Let’s Go Brandon!
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