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Legal Analysis: Alec Baldwin Situation Beginning to Look a Lot Like Manslaughter

Legal Analysis: Alec Baldwin Situation Beginning to Look a Lot Like Manslaughter

The more we learn about the facts of this case, within the context of New Mexico criminal law, the more this shooting looks increasingly like a crime—specifically, felony involuntary manslaughter.

Welcome to today’s Law of Self Defense content! I am, of course, Attorney Andrew Branca, for Law of Self Defense LLC.

Today I’d like to share with some updated legal analysis of the Alec Baldwin on-set shooting of Halyna Hutchins, a 42-year-old mother and the director of cinematography for Baldwin’s in-production Western movie “Rust.” Ms. Hutchins, tragically, died as a result.  (Also injured by the shot was director Joel Souza, who survived.)

Spoiler:  The more we learn about the facts of this case, within the context of New Mexico criminal law, the more this shooting looks increasingly like a crime—specifically, felony involuntary manslaughter.  So, today let’s explore that possibility in further detail.

Last Friday we shared some analysis immediately after this tragic event just the day prior, and during which there remained considerable uncertainty and speculation regarding relevant facts surrounding what happened.  Given the “fog of war” circumstances on Friday, rather than advance towards a “right answer” as to the likely legal consequences of the shooting, we instead framed our analysis in terms of at least asking the “right questions.”

Accordingly, we explored last Friday whether this tragic shooting might best be characterized as an accident, in the technical legal sense, or mere negligence giving rise to only civil liability, or perhaps recklessness giving rise to criminal culpability—specifically, involuntary manslaughter.

Since last Friday, however, it appears that certain facts have been established that have moved us hard towards the right side of that continuum and towards a conclusion that this tragic event looks increasingly like felony involuntary manslaughter.

Relevant Facts Assumed to Be Established

The relevant facts we’re presuming to be established for purposes of this analysis include:

  • That it was Alec Baldwin who was manipulating the gun that fired the projectile that killed Ms. Hutchins.
  • That the gun discharged because the trigger was depressed by Baldwin (and not because of some defect in the weapon).
  • That the muzzle of the weapon was directed towards Ms. Hutchins by Baldwin when it was fired (e.g., she was not killed by an unpredictable ricochet).
  • That the gun contained a live round, the bullet of which struck and killed Ms. Hutchins.
  • That Baldwin had the opportunity to inspect the weapon for live ammo before he directed it at Ms. Hutchins and pressed the trigger, killing her.
  • And, of course, that there was no justification for the shooting of Ms. Hutchins (e.g., this was not an act of lawful self-defense—which it clearly was not).

Separately, we are assuming for purposes of today’s analysis that Baldwin did not intend to injure Ms. Hutchins. If such intent to harm were established, we’d obviously be looking at a much more serious criminal charge than mere involuntary manslaughter.

Assuming, as we are, these facts to be established, it would certainly appear that they are more than sufficient to justify a criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter under New Mexico law and to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt on that charge.

New Mexico Involuntary Manslaughter Statute: § 30-2-3. Manslaughter.

The relevant New Mexico statute on involuntary manslaughter is § 30-2-3.  Manslaughter, which addresses both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.  Our focus here, of course, is on involuntary manslaughter.

In the context of involuntary manslaughter, § 30-2-3 reads in relevant part:

Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. … B. Involuntary manslaughter consists of manslaughter committed in the … commission of a lawful act that might produce death … without due caution and circumspection.

Ms. Hutchins is obviously killed.  We have stipulated that the killing of Ms. Hutchins was not justified (e.g., it was “unlawful”) and without malice (without intent to cause harm), so that meets the conditions of the first sentence of the manslaughter statute, and satisfies the definition of manslaughter under New Mexico law.

The possibility of voluntary manslaughter appears to be off the table here, given the lack of evidence of a “sudden quarrel” or “heat of passion”  required for that crime by § 30-2-3.  So that leaves us to consider the possibility of involuntary manslaughter.

The key, then, is to determine whether Baldwin’s pointing of the gun at Ms. Hutchins and pressing the trigger without first ensuring that the gun did not contain live ammo, was the commission of a lawful act which might produce death and that was done “without due caution and circumspection.”

Inherently Dangerous Instruments: Yep, Including Guns

That means we have to understand what “due caution and circumspection” means—and particularly in the context of an inherently dangerous instrument, such as a firearm.

It is common knowledge that firearms are dangerous instruments, so the law presumes that we all possess such knowledge. In the case of Baldwin, he actually sits on the board of a gun-control organization whose existence is premised on the fact that guns are dangerous, so he can certainly be presumed to possess this knowledge.

Items are inherently dangerous when they can readily cause death or serious bodily injury to people if used carelessly.  Guns clearly qualify, as already noted. Also in this category of inherently dangerous instruments would be explosives, heavy equipment, and dangerous drugs or chemicals.  Use of these items takes particular and specialized care if death or serious bodily injury is to be avoided.

It happens that inherently dangerous instruments are often exceptionally useful.  Guns, for example, are exceptionally useful, compared to the available alternatives, for purposes of defense and hunting.  Explosives are exceptionally useful for mining and road construction and demolition.  Dangerous drugs are exceptionally useful for human health and dangerous chemicals for various industries.

Balancing Inherent Danger with Social Utility: Strict Liability

So, society wants to realize the value of these various inherently dangerous instruments—but also wants to balance that value against the considerable risk of harm these inherently dangerous instruments might cause.

That balance is achieved by imposing the following rule—anyone making use of an inherently dangerous instrument is strictly liable for any unnecessary harm that they cause, no excuses, period.  The burden is placed on the person using the inherently dangerous instrument to ensure that they take whatever steps are required in order to not cause unnecessary harm—and if they do cause unnecessary harm, they bear absolute responsibility for that harm, no excuses.

What this all boils down to is that for any category of inherently dangerous instrument there will have been rules developed for the safe use of that instrument—follow the rules, and the value of the instrument can be realized without much risk of serious harm.  Fail to follow the rules, and serious harm becomes quite likely—and, again, the user then bears absolute responsibility for having caused that harm, no excuses.  (If safe use of an inherently dangerous instrument would not be possible even if safety rules were followed, that instrument would simply be prohibited from general use.)

Four Rules of Gun Safety, or “Due caution and circumspection”

What this means in the context of firearms, a particular class of inherently dangerous instruments with a considerable potential for causing unnecessary death and serious harm to others, is that there exists a series of safety rules for their responsible operation.  These rules are well established and widely recognized—and there are only four of them.

Phrased in the context most relevant to the facts of this case, the four rules for safe gun handling are:

  1. All guns are presumed to be loaded until the gun handler personally verifies otherwise—and that verification becomes invalid the moment the gun leaves the handler’s control.
  2. Never point the muzzle of a firearm at anything you are not willing to kill or destroy.
  3. Never press the trigger of a firearm unless you intend for it to fire a bullet from the barrel.
  4. Know your target, and what is beyond your target.

That last safety rule is intended to recognize the dangers presented by bullets that can penetrate objects and proceed onward to strike unintended people and things, as well as to help prevent hunters from shooting each other because of mistaken identification as game, so that one isn’t particularly relevant to our analysis here.

The first three safety rules, however, are intensely relevant to the facts of this case.  As the safety rules for safe gun handling, they define what is meant by the statutory element of “due caution and circumspection” in the context of handling firearms.

The Beautiful Redundancy of Gun Safety Rules

One interesting facet of the gun safety rules is that they are redundant, in the technical sense of meaning that violating any single one of them will not necessarily have a bad outcome. Indeed, a bad outcome in the sense of death or serious bodily injury can really only happen not if one of those three safety rules are violated, or even two of them, but instead requires that the gun handler manage to violate all three of those gun handling safety rules.

Merely mistakenly believe a gun does not contain live ammo (e.g., in fact it is loaded), but neither point it at anyone nor press the trigger, and no harm results.

Merely point the muzzle at someone, but first ensure the gun does not contain live ammo and do not depress the trigger, and no harm results.

Merely press the trigger, but first ensure the gun does not contain live ammo and don’t point the muzzle at anyone, and no harm results.

Break all three of the safety rules, however—mistakenly believe your gun containing live ammo is unloaded, point the muzzle at another person, and press the trigger—and you have a very bad outcome, indeed.

That’s precisely why the safety rules exist—so when handling an inherently dangerous instrument in the form of a gun, bad outcomes—death and serious bodily injury—can be avoided.

So how does one handle a firearm “with due caution and circumspection”?  By adhering to those safety rules when handling the firearm.

When is a person handling a firearm failing to do so “with due caution and circumspection”? When they are handling that firearm in a manner that violates one or more of those safety rules.

Based on the apparent facts of this case, it appears incontestable that Alec Baldwin violated all three of those primary gun handling safety rules when he engaged in the conduct that killed Ms. Hutchins.

First, he pointed the muzzle in her direction—presumably directly at her.

Second, he pressed the trigger in the manner designed to fire the weapon.

Third, he failed to first ensure that the weapon did not contain a live round.

The result:  the unintended discharge of the bullet into Ms. Hutchins, killing her.

That, in a nutshell, certainly appears to be the “commission of a lawful act which might produce death … without due caution and circumspection.”

And that, as we’ve already seen, is the statutory definition of involuntary manslaughter under § 30-2-3.

NM Jury Instruction 14-231 Involuntary Manslaughter

Another angle from which we can inspect this question of whether Baldwin’s conduct qualifies as involuntary manslaughter under New Mexico law is to take a look at the relevant New Mexico jury instruction: 14-231 Involuntary Manslaughter.

While jury instructions are not, technically speaking, authoritative sources of law themselves (those are statutes and court decisions, or case law), jury instructions are a useful amalgamation of the statutory language and how the courts want that language applied to real people in real cases.  Because they are instructions intended for a jury of laypeople, and not legal experts, they also tend to be written in plain English.

Indeed, they are often written in a “fill-in-the-blanks” kind of format to make them easy to use consistently from trial to trial, and that’s precisely how New Mexico structures its uniform jury instructions.

Here’s how jury instruction 14-231 on involuntary manslaughter would be read to the jury if the blanks were filled in with relevant facts from Baldwin’s shooting of Ms. Hutchins [that content placed within brackets]:

For you to find the defendant guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the state must prove to your satisfaction beyond a reasonable doubt each of the following elements of the crime:

  1. [Alec Baldwin] [pointed a loaded firearm at Ms. Hutchins and depressed the trigger, firing a bullet into her] ;
  2. [Alec Baldwin] should have known of the danger involved by [Alec Baldwin’s] actions;
  3. [Alec Baldwin] acted with a willful disregard for the safety of others;
  4. [Alec Baldwin’s] act caused the death of [Ms. Hutchins];
  5. This happened in New Mexico on or about the 21st day of October, 2021.

The “know of the danger” and “willful disregard” portions of the jury instruction correspond to the “due caution and circumspection” language of § 30-2-3The matter of “willful” merely refers to the fact that whether to first inspect the gun to ensure it did not contain a live round was within Baldwin’s control—there was no outside force compelling him to not safety check the firearm before he pointed it at Ms. Hutchins and fired it.

So, again, it seems incontestable, based on the evidence as it appears to be, that Baldwin’s conduct meets the legal conditions for the crime of felony involuntary manslaughter.

“Hey, Andrew, Any Case Law On This?”

But wait, we’re not done yet. Having looked at the relevant New Mexico statute and jury instruction on involuntary manslaughter, we ought also to consider whether there’s any New Mexico case law (appellate court decisions) that would seem to apply to this question of whether handling a loaded gun in such an unsafe manner that you unintentionally kill someone meets the legal standard for the crime of felony involuntary manslaughter.

And, as it happens, there is indeed New Mexico case law precisely on this point.

That case law is a decision out of the New Mexico Supreme Court itself, State v. Gilliam, 288 P.2d 675 (NM Sup. Ct. 1955).  For any of you who may be concerned that Gilliam, a decision handed down in 1955, is “out of date,” be not afraid—case law is perfectly valid law until there is a Constitutional, statutory, or later court decision that modifies or reverses the applied legal standard. Valid case law does not simply “expire”—and I used my office’s professional legal database resource, Lexis, to ensure that Gilliam remains good law in New Mexico.

The decision was an appeal of a criminal conviction at a jury trial, in which the defendant had been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by the act of unsafely handling a gun with the result that it discharged and killed the victim.

The NM Supreme Court ruled in that decision, in relevant part that:

It could have made no difference to the trial of a charge of involuntary manslaughter as to who loaded the gun … . All that it is necessary to establish for involuntary manslaughter by the use of a loaded firearm is that a defendant had in his hands a gun which at some time had been loaded and that he handled it … without due caution and circumspection and that death resulted.

So, it doesn’t matter who loaded the gun—meaning, all this talk about whether the live round in the gun came from this source or that source or some other source is largely irrelevant for purposes of determining whether Baldwin’s shooting of Ms. Hutchins was involuntary manslaughter under New Mexico law.

All that matters in the context of involuntary manslaughter through unsafe handling of a firearm is that “the defendant had in his hands a gun which at some time had been loaded and that he handled it without due caution and circumspection and that death resulted.”

Clearly Baldwin “had in his hands a gun, which at some time had been loaded.” And as we’ve already demonstrated, by so thoroughly violating the well-established, and mandatory, rules of gun safety he also “handled it without due caution and circumspection.”  And, finally, we all know for certain the tragic outcome of this conduct that Ms.Hutchins’ “death resulted.”

Again, it’s hard to see how Baldwin’s fatal shooting of Ms. Hutchins, based on the facts as we believe them to have been established, could fail to qualify as involuntary manslaughter under New Mexico law.

What About Things Other People May Have Done Wrong?

I see a lot of hand-wringing attempting to assign blame for this tragedy to, it seems, everybody other than Baldwin. Frankly, the intensity of these efforts suggests to me that they are part of an orchestrated crisis management initiative put into play on Baldwin’s behalf—and that’s a smart move by Baldwin if, in fact, that’s what he’s done. It’s why such crisis management firms exist.

It is, indeed, possible that other people also bear some responsibility, perhaps even criminal responsibility, for this tragedy.  Perhaps safety rules were broken, professional duties were failed, or adequate resources to ensure safety were not provided.

None of that, however, at all diminishes the responsibility, under law, for Baldwin to handle that inherently dangerous instrument, the gun, with due caution and circumspection—and that he failed to do when he pointed the gun at Ms. Hutchins and pressed the trigger, without first personally ensuring that the weapon did not contain a live round.

Whatever mistakes others might have made previously, had Baldwin broken even one less of the fundamental gun safety rules—had he not pointed the gun at Ms. Hutchins, or had he not pressed the trigger, or had he assumed the gun contained live ammo until he personally determined otherwise—Ms. Hutchins would not have died from that bullet on that day.  Her fate ultimately rested entirely in the hands of Baldwin. And, it appears, he failed her and failed the law of New Mexico.

But He’s an Actor!

Another bit of handwringing I’m seeing a lot of is the notion that the rules should be different for Baldwin because he’s an actor, and actors often point guns at each other in various roles, it’s what they do.  They’re … different.

First, the reality that actors do often point guns at each other in various roles, and that they do it almost invariably without unintentionally shooting someone, is a credit generally to Hollywood’s safety practices, and only highlights to an even greater degree why adhering to “due caution and circumspection” are so vital when handling firearms.

When the safety rules are followed, no harm results. When Baldwin willfully violates the safety rules, Ms. Hutchins dies.

The death of Ms. Hutchins is not a “Hollywood problem.” Hollywood has a pretty darned good safety record in gun handling. It’s an “Alec Baldwin problem.

From more of a legal perspective, however, there’s nothing about being an actor that entitles someone to create an unjustified risk of killing someone, disregarding that risk, and then killing that person.  There’s no involuntary manslaughter “freebie” for actors.  If they kill someone recklessly, they are as guilty of involuntary manslaughter as is the fellow down the street who drunkenly runs over the nun in the crosswalk.  There’s no special “actor” court.

So, WILL Baldwin Be Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter?

Having said that there’s no special “actor” court, any charging decision is ultimately at the sole discretion of the local prosecutor.  And while such charging decisions should always be—but sometimes aren’t—based on adequate legal merit to believe guilt can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, in high-profile cases such as this one charging decisions often become political in nature as well.

Should the local prosecutor choose to not charge Baldwin, then he’ll likely never face a trial on the felony charge of involuntary manslaughter.  That would be a lucky break, indeed, for Alec Baldwin.

If, on the other hand, the prosecutor decides to charge Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter, on the evidence as we believe it to have been established, it looks like a walk-away conviction to me, at least on the actual legal merits—juries are, as always, dangerous and unpredictable creatures.

OK, folks, that’s all I have for you on this topic.

Until next time:

Remember

You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict.

Stay safe!

–Andrew

Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. Nothing in this content establishes an attorney-client relationship, nor confidentiality. If you are in immediate need of legal advice, retain a licensed, competent attorney in the relevant jurisdiction.

 

 

 

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Comments

Colonel Travis | October 25, 2021 at 6:52 pm

I’ve read a little about that prosecutor, she is definitely not a bulldog. Refuses to prosecute certain crimes. If Baldwin checks all the necessary boxes for an indictment and she still refuses? Would be nice if the people in that area revolt. Good luck with that.

This country has been descending into lawlessness too fast. Half the nation applauds.

    “I know what you’re thinking. Did he commit six crimes or only five. And in all this excitement, and my being star-struck by Alec, along with getting his autograph and a selfie with him, and us two being Democrats, I’m pretty sure no crime was committed.”

    This case brings to mind two famous cases: OJ Simpson’s who walked on account of his stardom, basically. And that of Robert Blake’s, who at the very end of his trial said to the press: ‘Do you want to be innocent? Get a good lawyer’. This is our state of affairs with celebrities in this country. No brains whatsoever.

Alec Baldwin has been a persistent and vocal critic of PDJT. He’ll get nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

Two points The Twilight Zone helicopter case was an acquittal and Baldwin is not a White Supremacist Republican. No charge for Baldwin, but big bucks civil liability?

Good explanation of the legal aspects – thanks! I did notice that at the end of your article Ms. Hutchins’ name was misspelled a couple of times. I hope you can correct it out of respect for the victim.

So it’s up to the prosecutor to prosecute.

Is he/she a Dem? An active Dem? Because if so we should know what to expect.

Prominent Dems are not prosecuted for wrongdoing. Different rules apply to them. Recent examples are too numerous to begin listing.

But if there still is a justice system Baldwin should have the book thrown at him. As an example and a high profile ‘teaching moment’ about gun safety. Because as a very vocal anti-gun activist who thinks guns are too dangerous for common folk to own, he should have known better. He ignored every single gun safety guideline. Resulting in the death of an innocent woman by his own hand.

I haven’t found out what type of handgun it was…. However, I think that there is an added level of negligence if the pistol is a single action revolver requiring cocking the hammer versus double action of just pulling the trigger. The single action actually takes two actions to fire.

George_Kaplan | October 25, 2021 at 7:25 pm

If the script required Baldwin to point the gun in the direction of those shot, is he still responsible for shooting in their direction?

And I’m still unclear on how an actor is expected to recognise blanks from live ammo. Is this specialised knowledge? Yes the odds are better for him than the average person – regularly uses blank ammo, sits on a gun control board, but is that sufficient?

I’m not trying to excuse Baldwin, I’m just cautious that too many folk would be happy to see him ‘hang’ for it regardless.

    TargaGTS in reply to George_Kaplan. | October 25, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    A couple things. First, they weren’t rolling film when it happened. They were rehearsing, known as ‘blocking the scene’ in the industry. They were essentially determining what the best positioning for the actors should be and what the relative camera position/distance should be.

    So, there shouldn’t have been anything in the chamber including a blank much less a ‘live round.’ Had Baldwin exercised even a modicum of observation and caution, he would have – should have – seen the ammunition in the cylinder and been alarmed by it. Incidentally, in movie-speak, when they say ‘live,’ they’re referring to blank ammunition. There would be no reason for an actual ‘live round’ to ever be used in filming or on the set, ever.

      Olinser in reply to TargaGTS. | October 25, 2021 at 8:02 pm

      Not QUITE accurate.

      There ARE a lot of movies that film and use real gunfire for some shots – usually when they’re filming shooting up buildings or cars for realistic effect.

      However, recording of such scenes is ALWAYS done by TRAINED PROFESSIONALS (often stunt men hired specifically for that purpose), not jackasses like Baldwin, such scenes are shot with the entire area shut down except for the gunfire being filmed and stays shut down until ALL live rounds are accounted for and off the set, and such scenes are shot with guns that ARE NOT USED ANYWHERE ELSE in filming. No film ANYWHERE should EVER have the same gun being used alternately with live rounds and blanks.

      The accurate statement would be, “there would be no reason for an actor on a set to be given a gun with an actual ‘live round’, ever”.

        Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Olinser. | October 26, 2021 at 12:25 am

        Sorry, i don’t know exactly where that myth originated but there is no film production company that would ever use real weapons & live ammo in any situation. And any “professional” that would advocate their use on a movie set is a professional I certainly wouldn’t want to work with.

        The accurate statement would be, there is no reason whatsoever for there to be real, functional weapons and live ammo on a movie set, ever.”

        And this incident is a good illustration why that’s true.

      Colonel Travis in reply to TargaGTS. | October 25, 2021 at 8:11 pm

      If that’s the case, why on earth are they using a gun that is capable of firing in rehearsal? There is no need for that.

        James B. Shearer in reply to Colonel Travis. | October 25, 2021 at 8:46 pm

        “If that’s the case, why on earth are they using a gun that is capable of firing in rehearsal? There is no need for that.”

        It seems to me you would want to rehearse with the same gun you are planning to use when filming.

          Colonel Travis in reply to James B. Shearer. | October 25, 2021 at 9:02 pm

          Why? This isn’t a life and death situation. I usually train with the guns I use because I have to be able to use them if the SHTF. But I’ve also trained with dummy guns when it’s not necessary to use my own.

          Who cares if you’re point a Colt or a hot dog at someone in rehearsal?

          Colonel Travis in reply to James B. Shearer. | October 25, 2021 at 9:07 pm

          And if they must use a certain gun in rehearsal (maybe there are times when they have to) why is it a working gun? How hard is it to get a completely non-functioning version of anything?

          James B. Shearer in reply to James B. Shearer. | October 26, 2021 at 12:01 am

          “Who cares if you’re point a Colt or a hot dog at someone in rehearsal?”

          Reportedly he was practicing a “cross draw”. If you want that to look good I think you would want to use the actual gun (or at least a gun).

          Maybe he should have practiced his cross-draw in front of the mirror.

          “Reportedly he was practicing a “cross draw”. If you want that to look good I think “…you would want to use the actual gun (or at least a gun).”

          Decades ago the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Glynnco, GA had revolvers (sort of dates this) for trainees to practice drawing the weapon. These revolvers had no barrels (don’t recollect if the cylinders were still in the frame) and were clearly not functioning weapons, They were good for the purpose, same grip, same fit to the holster (less the barrel) and similar weight. A weighted dummy gun (plastic moulded to the same shape and weight as a real handgun) just some obvious color plastic so everyone knows it is a dummy.

          I agree with the Colonel. I have been in firearms training classes where the instructor would use a solid plastic handgun unless he was specifically going over specific parts of a pistol or revolver, and then it was always cleared first.

          You can purchase properly weighted solid plastic guns that would be suitable to rehearsal, if that’s what you want.

          Here’s a perfect example of a pistol (not a western style revolver but you can find them, too).
          https://www.opticsplanet.com/blueguns-sig-p320-carry-firearm-weighted-simulator.html

        IDK. I have read that in other productions, it’s standard practice to do just that; rehearse/block using ‘weapons’ that are clearly identifiable (colored) as props/non-functioning dummies not unlike the kinds of weapons uniformed services use when training in hand-to-hand combat.

          Brave Sir Robbin in reply to TargaGTS. | October 25, 2021 at 10:38 pm

          Eve the military uses dummy firearms for many training events. Your first introduction is usually in boot camp where you march and parade around with a dummy or demilitarized (inert and nonfunctional). Even fairly advanced training often involved dummy weapons. Live weapons are normally reserved for live fire. Beyond the safety considerations, live weapons have to be checked out, checked in, removed from a secure storage facility, and meticulously cleaned when returned to storage. Using inert and dummy weapons is safer and easier if not going to a live fire training event. I do not see why a real weapon would be used when “blocking a scene.” Doing so is simply a poor safety and security protocol.

        Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Colonel Travis. | October 26, 2021 at 12:30 am

        .<blockquote.If that’s the case, why on earth are they using a gun that is capable of firing in rehearsal? There is no need for that.

        Because someone monumentally screwed the pooch and brought at least one functional weapon onto the film set along with the live ammunition that went with it.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Colonel Travis. | October 26, 2021 at 2:18 pm

        Wild speculation alert!

        Why is there any need to have a firing gun on a movie set when the scene doesn’t require an operational weapon? There was no reason to not have a real firearm modified to only chamber blanks. Unless they needed a shot looking down the barrel, when the camera could see what appeared to be live bullets in the chamber.

        This makes me think (rare, I know). I had already surmised that the gun had been used just previously for live fire. There is now a report saying the gun had been used by the crew for “plinking” earlier that day. This is where live ammo was introduced to the gun. We now know at least one round of live ammo was left in the gun. So next the armorer wants dummy rounds in the gun for the shot (to enable the camera to see what appear to be live rounds in the chambers). She puts them in one at a time (this is almost certainly a gate-loading revolver – the cylinder does not swing out). She does this until she rotates the revolver to a full cylinder, and does not realize that the cartridge she’s looking at is a live round that had already been in the gun. But in its condition, looking through the gate or down the chambers, the gun now appears to her as if it is full of dummy rounds. (The mistakes here would have been not clearing the gun first and then either miscounting or not counting the dummy rounds as they were inserted.)

        If this is so, even if Baldwin had checked the gun on-set, he would have presumed the rounds were the dummies necessary for the shot. The dummies would have been necessary during rehearsal to make sure the lighting illuminated them so the camera would pick them up.

        Just speculation, but this would explain how an “obviously” loaded gun was brought to the set and the trigger was pulled, while not expecting it to fire a real bullet. (“Obviously” is in quotes here, because checking the status of a gate-loading revolver isn’t as easy or as sure as checking a modern revolver.)

        One of my pastimes is watching videos about air disasters. What strikes me about many of them is that they often occur as a result of a chain of circumstance and very minor mistakes. This accident may be of a similar nature.

      As you say, they were blocking the scene, reportedly. Not only should Baldwin not have cocked and fired his weapon, but the cinematographer and director shot by Baldwin would have, during actual filming, been far back, behind safety glass watching the take on the monitor. This should not have happened. That it did is, to my mind, on Baldwin. Not because he’s a loathsome human being but because he didn’t respect or even seek basic knowledge of gun safety. Due to his leftist lunacy? Sure, whatever, but that doesn’t matter. If you are an actor working with guns, you have a responsibility to be fully trained in firearm safety. Period. If he had been, that poor woman would still be alive. His anti-gun bias and view of guns as “props,” ironically and tragically, led to him killing this woman in cold blood. There is no excuse for it.

        henrybowman in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | October 25, 2021 at 9:23 pm

        I find it especially delicious that Baldwin is on the board of this gun
        “safety” organization, and not just a spokespuppet-to-order.

    According to various sources, there are supposed to be specific rules in place regarding guns. One is that the actor never actually point a gun at another person (they fudge this, reportedly, with camera angles and more recently, CGI). No live ammo is allowed on any movie set (yet this set not only reportedly had live ammo but actors used it for “target practice” during down time).

    Another actor in the film, Jensen Ackles, reportedly mocked the slack gun safety protocols on the set mere days before the fatal incident. Ackles, who was in a show called Supernatural, handled guns throughout the show’s decade-plus run, but he was reportedly just told on Balwin’s set to “pick one” off the table and use it. No ammo check, no nothing. He was making fun of it at some Supernatural panel because it was so crazy and lax. Obviously, he couldn’t know what would happen.

    Also, this wasn’t a shoot (argh, no pun), it was reportedly a rehearsal. Say “bang,” don’t point your weapon at a cinematographer and actually pull the freaking trigger. I’m sorry, there is NO excuse for that. None. Anyone who is even remotely familiar with firearms knows you never ever point a gun or rifle at another human being (much less cock it, then pull the trigger) unless you intend to kill that person. Even if you think it’s empty, you don’t. People who know gun safety know it so well they have to fight that inner voice just to successfully run a paintball course with their friends as “targets.” You just never ever do that, and it’s hard to turn that off.

    Like you, I’m not sure (er, have zero idea) what happens on Hollywood sets, but between Ackels’ mockery of the gun safety on that set and the following input from actors, Baldwin should indeed ‘hang.’ (He won’t. Some minion will take the fall, but he was not only an actor–proudly–untrained in gun safety but a co-producer who fired the fatal shot against all protocols and procedures.) https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2021/10/25/robert-davi-adam-baldwin-and-nick-searcy-respond-to-the-latest-news-on-the-alec-baldwin-shooting/

      (yet this set not only reportedly had live ammo but actors used it for “target practice” during down time).

      They’ve a lot of down time for target practice now.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | October 26, 2021 at 12:37 am

      ,

      Some minion will take the fall . . .

      I’m putting my money on the Assistant Director that allegedly handed Baldwin the loaded gun and told him “cold gun”. Seems that the unnamed A.D. would make a perfect fall guy for Baldwin.

    henrybowman in reply to George_Kaplan. | October 26, 2021 at 5:13 am

    Note that according to news reports, Baldwin did not intentionally pull the trigger of the gun – that is, he was not rehearsing his shooting. He and the crew were reviewing camera and positioning angles for his body, and he intentionally drew the gun, but did not intentionally pull the trigger. Whether or not he actually did pull the trigger or had a faulty gun will be up to forensics to determine.

      jagibbons in reply to henrybowman. | October 26, 2021 at 9:25 am

      Doesn’t matter if the trigger pull was accidental. A single-action revolver has an extremely light trigger pull when the hammer is cocked. The hammer shouldn’t be cocked during blocking or anytime other than when the gun is going to be “fired” (however that term is defined on a movie set).

      Even a true AD (if such a thing exists) can be non-life-threatening if the universal rules of safe gun handling are followed.

      barnesto in reply to henrybowman. | October 26, 2021 at 1:59 pm

      He was using a single action revolver. In order to make the gun fire, one has to cock the hammer before pulling the trigger. Cocking the pistol is, in fact, an intentional action. Also, pointing the firearm at the cinematographer is an intentional action. Even if, as you’re saying, they were reviewing camera and positioning angles, as no time should the gun have been pointed at a person. There’s no camera angle where a gun is pointed directly at the camera. Meaning, he had to purposely point it at her. Finally, to respond to whether the gun was “faulty” or not. Again, single action revolver. Hammer has to be cocked. It’s a two step process. Even if the gun had a “hair trigger” the cocking ahead of time is what makes the gun go bang. No cocking the hammer, no firing of gun, hair trigger or not.

    CommoChief in reply to George_Kaplan. | October 26, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    Blank ammo has much less weight than standard ammo; it doesn’t have the bullet just the case, primer, powder and wadding. The difference between the two is easily discernable with minimal training. Very noticeable.

    For example a .357 mag bullet. The common weight is 110 to 200 grains depending on the shooters choice of target animal or purpose. For the uninformed the bullet is the projectile that impacts the target.

      RandomCrank in reply to CommoChief. | October 27, 2021 at 6:42 pm

      It was a Colt .45. Weight is 42 oz unloaded. Shoots a 230 grain (half ounce) bullet. I am no fan of Baldwin’s, but even if the cylinder was fully loaded — which it seems not to have been — the weight differential vs. blanks would be 3 ounces. I am a shooter, and I very strongly doubt that I could tell the difference by weight alone.

      Gun was supposed to be loaded with dummy rounds, not blanks. Dummy rounds are loaded with real bullets. The purpose of the camera shot was to show the real bullets in the cylinder as it rotated when he cocked the hammer.

Thanks for clearing this up as we so far know the case.
I have great concern we live in a two tier justice system these days, the Left side can get away with murder and not talking about Alec Baldwin.

Bob is correct. From the pictures I’ve seen, the gun is a Single Action Army (SAA) revolver (very period appropriate for the 1880’s) and requires cocking before it can fire.

    TargaGTS in reply to Tim1911. | October 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    How does he not see that shiny ammo in that enormous cylinder at any point before he cocks weapon and pulls trigger?

      henrybowman in reply to TargaGTS. | October 25, 2021 at 9:05 pm

      Because in a historic single-action gun, the rear of the cylinder is typically completely and monolithically shrouded. All you see is gun. To inspect the chambers, you have to open the loading gate, pull the hammer to half-cock to unlock the cylinder rotation, and then rotate the cylinder by hand until you have inspected every chamber. See photo here. The loading gate is the hinged piece of metal to the right of the “finger divot,” which is to the right of the hammer. The photo makes it clear how much everything is shrouded. The operation of “pulling back to half-cock” can be risky if you slip, on an authentically old gun without hammer safeties.

      Even double-action revolver cylinders are almost always at least partially shrouded to the rear (second photo). You can peek around it sometimes, from way off to the side, but not from an aiming stance.

        Apparently an exception is my Colt Cobra. You can clearly see part of the rounds from the rear.

          RandomCrank in reply to txvet2. | October 27, 2021 at 6:47 pm

          A Cobra is not a single action machine. It appears that you are unfamiliar with SA-only revolvers. Henry Bowman is correct not only about SA revolvers (they are loaded through a loading gate, as opposd to swinging out the cylinder, which makes checking the load take longer.)

        bastiatfan in reply to henrybowman. | October 28, 2021 at 12:51 am

        It depends on the gun. Your linked photo is of a Ruger Single-Six .22, which has counterbored chambers that completely enclose the head of the cartridge, and a very small gap between the rear of the cylinder and the frame. That, combined with the small diameter of the .22 compared to the size of the cylinder does make the .22 cartridges very hard to see. However, a Colt Single Action Army .45 has a larger gap between the rear of the cylinder and the frame and the cartridge heads are not enclosed. The very large .45 Colt cartridge rim extends nearly to the edge of the cylinder. A mere glance at the rear of the cylinder from the side of the gun will show that fat cartridge rim in a loaded SAA. The next round to be fired will be at the 10 o’clock position when viewed from the rear, and will rotate into the top firing position when you cock the hammer.

          bastiatfan in reply to bastiatfan. | October 28, 2021 at 1:15 am

          I should have said, a glance at the the rear of the cylinder from the side will tell you if a CASING is in the cylinder; it won’t tell you the status of that casing (empty, blank, or live round). For that you need to open the gate and unload the gun.

          henrybowman in reply to bastiatfan. | October 30, 2021 at 1:36 am

          Here’s a photo of the genuine 1892 item (click 2 and 4 for rear-ish views). You be the judge of whether a person behind the gun, shooting the gun, is going to see anything.

      Fredlike in reply to TargaGTS. | October 25, 2021 at 10:07 pm

      The Colt single action revolvers have a plate covering the back of the cylinder so you have to open the loading gate to clearly see the cartridges, You can see them from the side, I think, but much less clearly. I have not used a Colt of that vintage only seen pictures. Certainly for rehearsal, even if it was to be loaded with blanks for the actual filming, it should have been empty.

    Arminius in reply to Tim1911. | October 27, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Yes, The guy was firing a single action. You don.t make a western otherwise. How do you do this? There were other guns. But they don’t look like westerns.

When the story first broke, I thought there was some chance Baldwin MIGHT not have been primarily culpable. But, as the details have become available (presuming they’re accurate), it’s clear he’s screwed…or at least, should be screwed.

Having said that, I’ll be really surprised if he’s prosecuted.

Time will tell if Baldwin is classified a Democrat “hero”, or a “burden”, thus no longer viable. Perhaps there will be another ruling on plausible cause.

Fifth rule of gun safety: never give Alec Baldwin a gun.

…too soon?

Under the fourth-degree felony “the maximum penalty under New Mexico law would be a fine of $5,000 or an 18-month prison sentence,” said Nash.

“That Baldwin had the opportunity to inspect the weapon for live ammo before he directed it at Ms. Hutchins and pressed the trigger, killing her.”

Yep. Sorry B-B-B-Baldwin.

James B. Shearer | October 25, 2021 at 8:52 pm

Regarding inherently dangerous instruments, are cars considered inherently dangerous instruments? They don’t seem to be subject to a strict liability standard, that is you can be careless while driving and kill somebody without being criminally charged.

    henrybowman in reply to James B. Shearer. | October 25, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    I’m pretty sure your statement is not at all accurate, under analogous circumstances. Care to give an example?

      James B. Shearer in reply to henrybowman. | October 26, 2021 at 12:12 am

      “… Care to give an example?”

      You rent a car. One tire is dangerously worn. You don’t check the tires. It blows out on the freeway and causes a fatal accident.

        henrybowman in reply to James B. Shearer. | October 26, 2021 at 5:18 am

        Having a car with a tire that’s ready to blow is analogous to having a gun with a spring that’s ready to snap. In both cases that’s a inherent vice of the object, not a failure of the operator.

          goomicoo in reply to henrybowman. | October 26, 2021 at 11:14 am

          The car in this case was a rental. When I rent a car I “assume” it’s safe to drive. Hence the comparison to this case.

          The_Mew_Cat in reply to henrybowman. | October 26, 2021 at 1:06 pm

          I assume a rental is safe to drive too. But that does not mean it will function exactly as you expect. I rented a pickup truck recently and it did something unexpectedly that almost caused me to lose control of the car. While rounding a sharp curve at about 30 mph, some automatic mechanism activated brakes and made me swerve. The computer must have detected a wheel slipping and activated some of the brakes. Fortunately, there was nobody else on the road. Recent model vehicles have a lot of automatic mechanisms that you may not be familiar with.

          The Mew Cat: That would likely be the Lane Keeping Adjustment System (LKAS) System. It is intended to keep you from straying out of your lane, but it misreads constantly on winding and/or hilly roads and either tries to swerve “back” into a lane (especially when breaking over a hill or on a curve) or even slams on the brakes if it “thinks” the car is too far out of its lane or if you’re too close to the car in front of you. In the future, if you encounter it again, you can generally disable it through the “Settings” tab on your head-up display.

          henrybowman in reply to henrybowman. | October 26, 2021 at 3:22 pm

          “The car in this case was a rental. When I rent a car I “assume” it’s safe to drive. Hence the comparison to this case.”

          There are four basic rules of gun safety:
          Always keep a gun pointed in a safe direction.
          Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot it.
          Always keep your gun unloaded until you’re ready to use it.

          Let’s stipulate Baldwin gets to ride on #3 for some “rental exception.”
          He still blew #1 (the most important one) big time, and probably #2 as well.
          #1 and #2 are ENTIRELY dependent on the operator, not the owner.

          #1 is #1 specifically because if you obey that one, you can screw up ANY of the other ones and still not cause a tragedy.

          A real “gun safety expert” would know the very first safety rule.

    Maybe. But if you kill somebody while driving carelessly you can be criminally charged. Any failure to charge is at the discretion of prosecutor. Point is if you kill somebody by driving carelessly you expose yourself to prosecution.

    No, that analogy is flawed. The common purpose of a car is to travel from point a to point b. The common purpose of a firearm is to discharge a projectile down range to impact the chosen target, animal, person and put a hole in it.

Excellent analysis. One more fact: this was an actual gun, not a prop gun as reported in the general media..

Although not relevant to the legal charge, it’s interesting that Alec Baldwin wants to ban guns, yet he supports the use of guns for himself, in movies. I can’t help smiling when I hear our national celebrities talk. Bill Gates, an environmentalist, owns four private jets that he has uses to fly to climate-change conferences. We are often told by left-wing billionaires that we need to distribute wealth, but they will not distribute all of their wealth while they are alive. Hollywood actors are almost universally socialists, but for many if not most, the government-run schools are not acceptable for their children. These same actors liven in exclusive neighborhoods, preferring to live above the equality that they preach. It just goes on and on. Is there any celebrity who isn’t a phony baloney?

    DaveGinOly in reply to ruralguy. | October 26, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    Any object intentionally placed on-camera at a movie set is a “prop” whether it’s real or not. When Hollywood says “prop gun,” they only thing you can discern from that is that it looks like a gun, not whether is or is not an actual gun.

Not to disagree with Andrew, but the law is irrelevant in this case. Alec Baldwin is Hollywood royalty. For that reason alone he won’t be prosecuted.

For those of you claiming that actors don’t know this stuff, that’s not an acceptable default: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCzDQvX0hAY

Will Smith gets it.

James B. Shearer | October 26, 2021 at 12:15 am

There have been comments about civil liability. A comment on another site suggested that since this was a workplace accident it would be subject to worker’s compensation rules which would limit damages. Anything to this?

    That is a good question. “Gross negligence’ is usually the standard that is set for superseding (if that’s the right word) the scheduled worker’s comp payouts. I don’t know for certain if criminal negligence would equal or surpass ‘gross negligence’ in this context. I suspect it would.

James B. Shearer | October 26, 2021 at 2:00 am

“Know your target, and what is beyond your target.”

As long as we are talking about celebrity shooting accidents, should Dick Cheney have been charged when he shot (non-fatally) another hunter in 2006?

It seems like you aren’t giving due consideration to the environment in which the shooting occurred. It’s not just that “he’s an actor”, he’s an actor on the set of a film production that employed a dedicated armorer so that accidents like this one don’t happen. He was specifically told the gun was unloaded by one of the people responsible for confirming the gun was safe to handle. In that context, I already have a reasonable doubt that Baldwin had the necessary culpable mental state at the time of the shooting that would allow me to reach a guilty verdict.

    jagibbons in reply to TexasJack. | October 26, 2021 at 9:27 am

    That’s the point of the first rule. It doesn’t matter what you are told about a gun. It is the handler responsibility to verify. That includes Baldwin as the handler of the firearm at that time. There may well be additional criminal or civil liability for the armorer and propmaster and whoever else. But, that doesn’t absolve Baldwin (as Andrew so clearly articulated).

      DaveGinOly in reply to jagibbons. | October 26, 2021 at 2:32 pm

      Here is my response, replying to some of the phraseology used in the article. Sorry for the length, I’m terribly verbose sometimes.

      “Personally ensuring that the weapon did not contain a live round” is good gun-handling advice. It is one of the rules of safe gun-handling. But the “rules” of safe gun-handling are not “laws”. Just because a gun-handling “rule” was violated, that does not necessarily mean that Baldwin acted without “due caution and circumspection.” My argument follows.

      The particular rules of safe gun-handling are for individuals or small groups, and are not necessarily applicable to a larger workplace, such as a movie set, where there are persons assigned (and paid for) responsibility for a variety of tasks, including the safety of other crew persons (hence there are armorers, pyrotechnicians, animal handlers, stunt coordinators, riggers, etc.). Other crew members rely upon, and defer to, the experts with regard to their respective fields of responsiblity and knowledge. (Although any crew person can halt production when a safety hazard is noticed, not all hazards are obvious, and not even all obvious hazards are noticed by those not responsible for safety.)

      I would argue that by relying upon the armorer (or some other person who had responsibility for firearms safety), Baldwin did not “act with a willful disregard for the safety of others” because in the particular workplace experts have the responsibility for safety with regard to firearms. Experts are not hired and paid so that the responsiblity for firearms safety can then be the responsibility of every other person on the set. If that were not so, why have any safety experts of any kind if the actors (and other non-experts) are going to be held responsible for safety? There “was no outside force compelling him to not safety check the firearm,” but there were experts and processes upon which Baldwin relied that he believe assured on-set safety. Such reliance upon safety experts is likely a common and regular procedure on a movie set.

      I’m not saying that the practice isn’t deficient, I’m just saying that it is what it is. Baldwin was relying on the expertise of others, no matter how much knowledge he has himself; he was on-set as an actor, not a safety expert. It was not his responsibility within the context of the particular workplace. In this instance, “due caution and circumspection” could mean having professionals present whose purpose is to assure clear weapons are provided on the set, and that loaded weapons are not so delivered unless they are necessary (and, in which case, they are handled differently and under different workplace rules).

      Note that I’m not saying that actors (or others) can escape responsibility for their actions on-set when they do “act with a willful disregard for the safety of others.” For instance, if Baldwin had any reason to believe the gun wasn’t clear, then he would be culpable because his actions would have constituted “willful disregard for the safety of others,” because the danger posed by a firearm not known to be unloaded are obvious. It can be argued that Baldwin did not know that the gun was unloaded, but this is where reliance upon designated safety personnel comes in, especially if he was explicitly informed that the gun was not loaded.

      I wrote above about the “danger posed by a firearm not known to be unloaded,” but does the law require the knowledge of a fiream’s status to be personal? Or is personal knowledge only one of the “rules” of safe gun-handling? Does the law not admit of reliance upon others who are experts, when such experts are on the scene with the responsibility for firearms safety in that workplace? Does reliance upon on-site experts constitute “reckless” behavior?

      Somewhere up the chain of the firearm’s custody there is a person who was responsible to make that gun clear, and who did not do so. This is a fact, no matter who is responsible for the result of this lapse.

        CommoChief in reply to DaveGinOly. | October 26, 2021 at 2:50 pm

        Dave,

        For arguments sake lets accept that as true. Unfortunately, one report indicates that there was a break between Baldwin being handed/told the firearm was ‘cold’ and his discharge.

        So the sequence was not:
        1. Firearm was checked by another person
        2. Firearm was declared ‘cold’
        3. Firearm placed in Baldwin’s hand
        4. Baldwin discharged firearm

        That sequence was interpreted, according to one report, with a prolonged break. No one reestablished that the firearm was not loaded with standard ammo or that it merely contained ‘blanks’ before Baldwin discharged the firearm.
        ‘Blanks’ killed Lee in a prominent episode not long ago. Many of these film industry safeguards were established in response. Even those were not followed here.

        IMO, individual responsibility, duty to care, can’t be outsourced with a firearm. NM statute and case precedent, cited by Branca, seems to agree with that opinion rather forcefully.

I have a feeling a lot of this will end up moot as far as criminal charges are concerned.

A little research:

FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT
District Attorney – Mary Carmack-Altwies
Serving Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba Counties

https://www.nmdas.com/judicial-districts/first-judicial-district/

An SJW DA who ran on a platform of restorative justice. In other words, a District Attorney who believes certain people shouldn’t be sent to jail.

Baldwin has nothing to fear. I’ll be surprised if he’s even charged.

    henrybowman in reply to JohnC. | October 26, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    In a perfect world, the dead lady’s fiancee would turn out to be the local Bratva captain, and Mary would need to make a choice between doing her damn job and sitting down to a meal of boiled Pomeranian.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 26, 2021 at 7:04 am

Andrew: Thanks for the detailed expert dispassionate analysis.

I don’t watch much cable news. But any station that wanted to educate their viewers (rather than push an ideological agenda) would invite you on. Well done.

A Hollywood prop-master, Scott Reeder, has a YouTube channel where he talks about his industry and how props are used in movies. It long predates this tragedy. Yesterday, he finally made a short video addressing what happened. It’s elucidating. Pros – actual movie-making professionals and not twentysomething nobodies who have no experience doing the job – do have best practices to prevent this. Clearly, none – literally none of them – were followed. Sad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP1X5L-AufQ

Maybe it is my distant past as a cop. Maybe it is my past as in reliability engineering. Maybe it is Baldwin’s connection to Epstein. Maybe it is the many “suicides” around the pedophile/deep state people. Too many “errors” line up here for me. Was Hutchins doing some research that needed to be stopped?

Long ago I stopped accepting coincidental events as innocent and isolated and starting looking for patterns and asking “What if…?” questions. Something does not seem right with this whole picture: Loaded firearm, pointing it at a specific person and discharging it, convenient “Soros” DA, Baldwin/Epstein connection…

Don’t you think that 99% of Hollywood actors would never have checked if the gun is hot or cold?

Is there anywhere in the equation for a “reasonable actor” standard? Meaning, is it reasonable for actors to assume that when you are handed a gun on the set it is a cold gun?

    CommoChief in reply to Coll Doll. | October 26, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    No. You can’t outsource personal responsibility and your legal duty to care. It’s nice that the film industry has additional procedures in place to attempt to increase safety on set. Firearms require individuals who have control over the firearm to follow the basic and universal rules. Every time one picks up or is handed a firearm the first step is to determine if the firearm is loaded. Millions of law abiding, responsible gun owners do this every day.

      DaveGinOly in reply to CommoChief. | October 26, 2021 at 3:03 pm

      “Millions of law abiding, responsible gun owners do this every day.”

      As do I, but I don’t have a paid armorer in my apartment to check the status of my firearms for me. Hiring an expert to take on that responsibility does not “outsource” responsibility, because hiring a safety expert is, itself, a responsible thing to do. Indeed, a movie production company would be irresponsible if it did not hire an armorer and other safety experts. Experts aren’t hired to absolve others of responsibility, but rather to place responsibility upon someone better qualified, through training and experience, and dedicated (not distracted by other duties) to attend to safety, with the purpose of making a workplace more safe, not less. The fault here may be with the hiring of an inexpert armorer, but the fact the AD is responsible for safety makes that his problem.

        CommoChief in reply to DaveGinOly. | October 26, 2021 at 3:59 pm

        That the film industry has put in place additional levels of safety protocol is nice. I am all for safety. The fact remains that the NM statute and the relevant precedent, as described by Branca, makes that irrelevant. The person holding a firearm is responsible for a discharge of the firearm.

        IMO, even where there was a mechanical failure if the person holding the firearm failed to check for the presence of ammunition that returns the criminal liability to them. The manufacturer might have shared/proportional civil liability for the mechanical failure in that event but that doesn’t remove criminal liability for the individual.

        The lack or failure to exercise a duty to care is an individual responsibility with a firearm.

    henrybowman in reply to Coll Doll. | October 30, 2021 at 1:41 am

    Doesn’t matter. Even if my gun is ice cold and I have checked it myself two seconds ago, I still don’t point it at someone, and I don’t put my finger on the trigger.

Has Clint Eastwood weighed in?

civisamericanus | October 26, 2021 at 8:58 am

There may be more here that disperses responsibility. https://www.newsweek.com/asst-director-who-gave-alec-baldwin-cold-gun-has-history-unsafe-work-conditions-prop-maker-1642006 “A pyrotechnician and prop maker said that Dave Halls, who told actor Alec Baldwin that a prop gun was not loaded prior to a fatal shooting on set, had a history of unsafe work conditions.”

This doesn’t mean it is OK to take another person’s word for whether a gun is loaded, only that one of the people involved allegedly had a poor prior safety record and also allegedly told Baldwin it was a “cold” gun.

On the other hand, one NEVER points a real gun, whether “cold” or not, at another person or an object one would not be willing to destroy. E.g. if you just inspected the gun and verified the cylinder is empty, or the magazine is out and the chamber empty, you still treat it as if it is loaded and never point it at another person.

My understanding is that movies use different types of firearms. When a scene calls for an actor to point a gun at another performer, the prop in question is not a real firearm, cannot be loaded with any kind of ammunition, and is not capable of firing anything. When the gun is fired, the camera is usually on the weapon itself and nobody is standing in front of it. They then combine the two scenes to make it look like somebody is being shot. E.g. in The Outlaw Josey Wales, Clint Eastwood (or a stunt performer, the person’s face is not shown) reverses and fires two pistols to kill a pair of bounty hunters, but all you see are the guns firing (presumably blank rounds). The actors who portray the bounty hunters are doubtlessly somewhere else when this happens. A separate section of the film shows them being hit and falling over. They put the two sections of film together to show Wales disposing of the bounty hunters.

My own position is (not engineering or occupational safety advice) that a gun that is capable of firing a live round should NEVER be used in a movie except under firing range conditions (e.g. riddling an inanimate object with bullets, with nobody anywhere near the object). If it can accept a live round with a bullet at the end, it is a real gun and should never be treated otherwise regardless of whether one loads it with blanks.

Another option might be to use something like a starter pistol that can accept a blank round (but not one with a bullet at the end) and also may have some kind of barrier to ensure that nothing comes out of the muzzle under any circumstances. I think there are in fact prop firearms that cannot chamber a cartridge that has a bullet on it.

The bottom line is however that these Hollywood people who want to preach to us about gun laws and gun control seem to have a real problem ensuring gun safety in their workplaces, including off the shelf methods to make accidents physically impossible. The bottom line is that a chain of failures took place that resulted in a death and an injury, and following the basic gun safety rules makes this chain of failures impossible as the author described.

    henrybowman in reply to civisamericanus. | October 30, 2021 at 1:43 am

    I think in this case it isn’t going to disperse responsibility as much as it’s going to multiply it.
    The law doesn’t say that either Baldwin OR Halls had to be responsible for the homicide, it’s quite reasonable to rule “AND” here.

All things considered, Baldwin didn’t practice one bit of gun safety. He needs to be convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter, period. Whether he’ll be charged is up to the local DA, which, if it’s a DemoKKKRAT, he’ll walk. The family of that poor woman he killed should sue him for everything he owns.

Guns don’t kill people. Alec Baldwin kills people.

KEY: Baldwin PULLED THE TRIGGER. That was intentional and totally unnecessary. ESPECIALLY WHEN HE WAS POINTING IT AT PEOPLE.

Blocking the shot, practicing his cross-draw does NOT require the force of his finger to pull the trigger on a revolver.

Careless, ignorant, negligent and culpable.

    Sternverbs in reply to Suzie. | October 26, 2021 at 11:03 am

    He would be culpable, if he was a conservative, concealed carry-NUT, like the left paints every armed citizen who believes in 2A. But, since he’s a liberal, whimpering, it was mostly peaceful protests, stack the supreme court, show me your pronouns dickweed, he’ll skate like Johnny Weir.

    henrybowman in reply to Suzie. | October 26, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    To be fair, we cannot yet say that he pulled the trigger. The armory work on this movie was so incompetent that a faulty gun cannot be excluded. But he did sweep a person with it, which is still inexcusable.

According to reports Baldwin’s stunt double on the set of Rust reportedly fired two rounds of ammunition in an accident a few days before Baldwin’s fiasco.

Baldwin’s stunt double fired the rounds on Saturday after being told the weapon hadn’t been loaded with live ammunition.

So there is a pattern of this type of thing happening here that may have some bearing on the case.

    henrybowman in reply to UserP. | October 26, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    If I were the prosecutor here, I would argue that this history increases the responsibility of the prudent actor to have the “professional” gun work double-checked before trusting.

      DaveGinOly in reply to henrybowman. | October 26, 2021 at 3:11 pm

      What would happen if Baldwin asked the armorer to double-check the gun and the armorer made the same mistake (improper clearance of the gun) that she may have made earlier? Would Baldwin still be responsible because he did not personally check the gun and instead asked the hired expert to do the checking? What if Baldwin had checked the gun and made the same mistake as the armorer? Everyone is presuming the gun was never checked. It is possible that it was insufficiently/improperly checked by an inexperienced armorer. Because a firearm can be improperly cleared (i.e., not actually cleared) would Baldwin, a non-expert, be relieved of responsibility for the weapon’s condition because he “checked the gun personally” (as so many have insisted he had a duty) and his conclusion the gun was safe was simply mistaken?

First allow me to apologize for not reading the comments above as I’m sure they are well written and thought out. Here is my take on the outcome.
Santa Fe is a liberal city in a state that has been inviting the liberal film industry to come and film. There is a snowballs chance in hell that Mr. Baldwin will be charged with ANY crime. He will be painted as the victim this episode along with the person(s) who died and were injured.
Even though he is listed as a producer he will be shielded from culpability and the 1st AD will be thrown under the bus along with the armorer and anyone else associated with her.
Baldwin is anti gun and how dare this happen to him! SARC tag applied.

Anacleto Mitraglia | October 26, 2021 at 11:48 am

There’s another point that apparently the author didn’t analyze, nor did the commenters above me. I read that AB is also the producer of the movie. Shouldn’t he bear also some responsibility re working environment safety? So that if the error was on the guns manager, the buck stops at him eventually?

Anacleto Mitraglia | October 26, 2021 at 12:30 pm

I have another question, for the sake of clarity: is there anyone here that knows what happened after Brandon’s (*) Lee accident? Was anyone indicted, or convicted? Did they changed any laws, or procedures?
Really, it should be foolproof: all it takes is a 1-box checklist: is the gun loaded?
(*) Let’s go, Brandon!

    henrybowman in reply to Anacleto Mitraglia. | October 26, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    In the Brandon Lee incident, the load in the gun was a blank, as it was supposed to be, but there was some unexpected detritus lodged in the barrel that acted as a projectile and killed him. Exactly what this object was is unclear, as press accounts (by the usual liberal idiots who have never pulled a trigger in their lives) garble the explanation into meaninglessness. For example, the NY Post:

    The fragment was apparently part of a dummy shell that became lodged in the barrel — in what is known as a “squib load” — during a previous scene without anyone realizing and hit Lee with virtually the same force as a live round.

    “Dummy” shells can’t be squib loads because squib loads require live primers. It’s possible they are describing a weakened casing fragment left over in the barrel after the firing of a blank (and not “by” the firing of the blank, because it almost certainly would have been blown out then). But to get an accurate explanation you’d have to read the autopsy itself.

What does a walk away conviction mean? That it will definitely be a conviction because of the merits of the case? Or that Mr. Baldwin will definitely walk away from this?

“Selective prosecution” is the key phrase.
In blue paradise of NM, regardless of what the law says, it is doubtful a leftist anti-gun hero like Baldwin will be indicted. Her imperial highness The Guv, her super-majority Legislature, and virtually every bureaucrat, are anti-gun and far left. They have been drinking the 180 proof blue Kool-Aid, and feeding it to the voters for decades.

For Mr Branca: I saw on Twitchy a post which included the supposed written safety precautions for the “Rust” movie production. I will try and find it and forward to you.

A little NRA Gun Safety Training would have prevented this tragedy.

The NRA should lobby the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) to require training of all actors who handle guns or prop guns.

    henrybowman in reply to CaptTee. | October 26, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    This is what happens when people who claim that men can be women, and babies can be racist, and equity is when the unproductive can make legal demands to the wealth and efforts of the productive… when those same people set up organizations with “Gun Safety” in their names, put people like Alec Baldwin on their boards as experts, and work to sap genuine organizations who do literal gun safety training.

    I’m sorry, but this is 100% deserved, and 100% cautionary to the rest of us.

Ok I’m in the minority here but I can envision scenarios where it would not be appropriate for Baldwin to be charged.

I’m a life-long prosecutor with decent knowledge of firearms and no love for Baldwin. But unless it’s shown that all actors are always expected to examine their prop firearms very carefully as soon as they take possession, and that they uniformly do so, I think there’s a problem with scienter/severe negligence here.

There’s got to be some element of a reasonable person standard in judging whether criminal negligence applies. Actors don’t get a blanket privilege BUT I think that a given situation could mitigate what is reasonably expected from anyone who accidental shoots someone.

For instance, imagine an inexperienced person goes to a gun range. He is assigned an employee to shepherd him through the process to be permitted to actually fire live ammo. The ranger hands him a gun, explains that it’s loaded with blanks and that is because they are going to get the person familiar with handling it, checking to see if it’s loaded, and then getting used to pulling the trigger with a loud explosion.

The person inspects it to see if it’s loaded, sees cartridges that he has been told are blanks, and then due to his inexperience accidentally pulls the trigger as he is in the process of lining the gun up in a completely safe direction. Accident, or criminal negligence?

What if it’s 100% common safety practice on set to rely on the expert who has been hired specifically because they ARE the ones best capable of rendering a firearm safe? They hand you a firearm and say that the firing pin has been removed or that the gun has otherwise been rendered inoperable–it is reasonable to expect the actor to take the gun apart to determine that? Or perhaps too know that although it’s been loaded with blank cartridges, there’s actually a piece of wadding from a prior firing that’s stuck up in the barrel and that you wouldn’t spot unless you always put a dowel or a rod down the barrel each and every time before pulling the trigger?

We are still left with the issue of 1) pointing a gun in a non-safe direction, and 2) pulling the trigger.

What if, however, Baldwin actually had an accident in how he handled this weapon as it pertains to these two precautions? Potentially, a true accident could mitigate what would otherwise be criminal negligence. In rehearsing a cross-draw and fire, I can imagine that it would be necessary and reasonable to keep practicing with the actual weapon. Also, pulling the trigger is all part of that sequence so must be practiced too. It’s not an effective rehearsal to practice the motions up to pulling the trigger but then just say “bang”, keeping your finger away from the trigger the entire time the way that you do when you are practicing firearms safety. You’ve got to be able to get your finger inside the trigger guard and pull the trigger without making awkward or wobbly motions when you are being filmed.

If—IF—Baldwin had good reason to believe that the firearm was completely safe, and then if he unintentionally pulled the trigger as he was practicing clearing the holster with a cross-draw, then that might not add up to criminal negligence.

    henrybowman in reply to RigelDog. | October 26, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    At the end of the day, what you are arguing is that there is a “legal” manslaughter standard, and a lower “actor” manslaughter standard. if you asked me personally to buy that, I’d hand it back to you.
    “Ignorance of the law is no excuse,” right?
    Maybe the wise man examines the liability implications of some risky thing that somebody else is asking him to do, and decides whether he is both willing and competent to take those on.
    Even if I knew for an absolute fact that the gun in my hand was empty because I checked it myself, I would still never aim it in the direction of another person, or put my finger anywhere near the trigger, even when just moving it from one table to another table. Because that is basic gun safety.
    And if your range instructor is competent, he’s going to give that tyro a gun loaded with ONE round only (to avoid the “look what I did!” reflex), point it downrange himself, and then transfer it to the hands of his student while keeping it downrange. Because that is what gun safety requires, and that is what instructor and coach training teaches.

      DaveGinOly in reply to henrybowman. | October 26, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      I believe he’s making the same argument I have made (above) – that in the context of a workplace with people in dedicated roles with specific responsibilities, each is responsible for certain aspects of the work (including safety) and others are not. Everyone in every workplace has to rely upon others to perform their functions. When someone does not, that is always the responsibility of the person who failed to perform properly, and not of anyone downstream. (Although it can be the responsibility of persons upstream, which is why, for instance, military commanders are often relieved for the failures of those in their charge.)

      If a rigger packs your parachute, you don’t take it apart to check his work. It’s not practical, and, as a non-expert, it’s not a safe thing for you to do. (Because 1.) you’d have to repack the chute yourself, or 2.) the rigger would re-pack the chute and you’d be back where you were. People regularly rely upon the expertise of others to keep them and their workplaces safe. The argument I’m seeing repeatedly here is that movie sets are special places where, even in the presence of safety experts, everyone is personally responsible for safety to such a degree that the experts can’t be trusted. Hell of a way to run a business.

    CommoChief in reply to RigelDog. | October 26, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    So by that logic if a woman lies to a man about her being on the pill then he isn’t responsible for child support?

    TargaGTS in reply to RigelDog. | October 26, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    I think I’m more inclined to believe the Baldwin is culpable argument. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t see the merit to your argument. I’ve seen others make the comparison to the break-away glass bottles that are used so often in westerns. What if an actor is handed a bottle by the prop-master, is told it’s the break-away kind, hits his fellow actor over the head and seriously injures him because it was in fact a real bottle? Who’s that on? The prop-master, right?

    Of course, a weapon is probably easier to render ‘safe’ with elementary safety techniques than it is to check what kind of glass you’re holding, real or fake. Still, if the prosecutor in this case were earnest (she’s apparently not earnest), I do think she would have to carefully deliberate her options and if she used her discretion to not prosecute after that careful deliberation, that would be defensible.

    txvet2 in reply to RigelDog. | October 26, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    “”The person inspects it to see if it’s loaded, sees cartridges that he has been told are blanks, and then due to his inexperience accidentally pulls the trigger as he is in the process of lining the gun up in a completely safe direction. Accident, or criminal negligence?””

    One of the FIRST things a competent trainer would do is to emphasize to the tyro that you keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you are ready to fire. Criminal negligence.

      Sian in reply to txvet2. | October 26, 2021 at 5:37 pm

      A gun loaded with blanks is “hot” because blanks can still injure and kill.
      A “cold” gun is completely empty or loaded with inert dummy cartridges, which, if they need to be realistic, are filled with several BBs so they can be confirmed by shaking.
      There is no protocol for live ammo because live ammo should not be present on set under any conditions, save specific second unit shots with limited crew where a specific effect only achievable with real ammo is required.

        txvet2 in reply to Sian. | October 26, 2021 at 6:48 pm

        No argument. I was replying to rigeldog’s example of a tyro at a firing range, not the incident in question.

Joey Williams | October 26, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Last week when Mr. Branca posted his analysis, I said “shame on you”. I felt there was a rush to justice, and that the available information did not warrant any kind of speculation as to the legal situation of Mr. Baldwin.

I am very pleased with the current analysis, which clearly lists the statutes, jury instructions, and the facts as known at this date.

Mr. Baldwin is entitled to the “innocent until proven guilty” that our legal system is founded upon, and I will not condemn him as I am not a member of a jury trying a case as a matter of fact. I will, however, say that the circumstances appear to be very dire, and I believe Mr. Branca’s review of the situation are very appropriate and, regrettably, condemning.

I take no pleasure in this. A woman is dead. But if he pointed his gun at her, even in a joking manner but on purpose, then he killed her. I learned this lesson when I was 11! 11. I don’t want to relive it. It was horrifying. Sometimes we **** up. Hopefully everyone lives through it.

I think, I hope, the statute of limitations have worn our. I once pointed a gun at my little brother. And as soon as i did it I let out an audible gasp. What the f*** had I just done? It’s stayed to me to this day.

One of my favorite gun writers, Dean Grennell.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Grennell

Part of his schtick, so to speak, was as a U.S. Army Air Corps gunnery instructor was to load blanks. He’d go on and on about how his .45 was perfectly safe. Then he’d fire it.. That was the point.

No gun is safe. Handle all guns like you’re juggling live cobras. And I ****ing love snakes. Especially the Ford variety. But they will kill you if you don’t look out.

https://www.ford.com/cars/mustang/?searchid=351051291|1306219965271754|81638811992564|&s_kwcid=AL!2519!10!81638774820029!81638811992564&gclid=741ca4acf6e11de8ef4cc5d53dd1255c&gclsrc=3p.ds&msclkid=741ca4acf6e11de8ef4cc5d53dd1255c

Does it bother anyone else or just me? That Ford mixes up horses and snakes?

https://www.factoryfive.com/type-65-coupe/

Horses will kill you, too. Lethal.

A question both for Branca but also everyone else

Does this case mean we should start demanding laws regulating gun safety measures be followed in the course of filming? I’m not talking about taking guns away from film studios just making it a legal requirement that they observe the basics of gun safety so the next Alex Baldwin if he doesn’t take guns safety seriously will take the fine for not observing it seriously.

    Sian in reply to Danny. | October 28, 2021 at 12:26 am

    laws don’t change just because there is a film crew. Largely, all laws are followed during movie and TV production.

      Danny in reply to Sian. | October 28, 2021 at 10:50 am

      But the penalty for me if I don’t observe gun safety is something bad might happen and I am fully accountable for it.

      It is clear Alec Baldwin didn’t take guns seriously enough to think something bad could happen. If it had been possible for the janitor to call the local authorities and remove millions from Alec Baldwin’s pockets he may have taken that seriously enough to observe gun safety.

Interesting thread. To start, I’d note that, in the 1955 case that Mr. Branca cited, the shooter had been drinking, and the prosecutor used that in his case. The NM Supreme Court ruling is frustrating in its discussion of that, but the bottom line is that the ruling allowed that fact to be used at trial.

None of us was on the jury 65 years ago, so all I can say as a gunner is that if I were on a jury evaluating such a case, the fact that the shooter had been drinking would be HIGHLY relevant to me in making my decision. Mr. Branca erred by not mentioning this fact, which easily could have swung that jury toward a conviction.

Fast forward to Baldwin (who I consider an execrable person, something that makes him guilty only of being a 5-star a**hole), and I can see myself going either way on this one. It would not be an easy decision. To me, it would boil down to the minute details.

When did he cock the hammer? When was his finger on the trigger? What role did he have in the production, e.g. did his “executive producer” title give him authority past his influence as a prominent actor? Regardless of what that title meant, what influence did he exert that’s relevant?

Baldwin relied on the assistant director’s “cold gun” statement, or says he did, and the AD relied on the unqualifed armorer, or so it seems. The fact that I, an experienced shooter, would still have checked the gun, doesn’t necessarily — by itself — obligate Baldwin to have done so.

Thus, I cannot agree with Mr. Branca’s view that this would be a “walk-away conviction” if the prosecutor brings a manslaughter charge. I think such a case could — on the basis of what we think we know right now — quite reasonably go either way. As much as I’d stand and cheer if Baldwin were charged, convicted, and sent to NM’s notorious prison system, it looks far from a slam-dunk to me.

How hard is it really?

I managed to not shoot myself.

Manslaughter? By whom?
I don’t care how you read the law, if there is some liability it is not Baldwin’s. If there is a indictment, it won’t go to trial.
This is a sad situation, involving a monumental ass, but any legal action against Baldwin is destined to fail!

    There is no reading of the law that does not hold Baldwin responsible. He was handed a gun, which he failed to check. He pulled the trigger while it was pointed at other people. He is responsible for the result.

      texansamurai in reply to Sian. | October 28, 2021 at 9:40 pm

      exactly–would not matter if jesus handed baldwin the weapon–regardless of any prior assurance(or not), regardless of his intent(horsing around or just plain stupid/careless), regardless of “movie set” or not, baldwin aimed the weapon at the lady, pulled the trigger and as a result, the lady is dead–end of story

      Haverwilde in reply to Sian. | October 29, 2021 at 5:02 pm

      Movies are fantasies. If someone handed Baldwin a Baby Rattle disguised as a hand grenade, and he threw it and it blew up, would he be held accountable because he “failed to check it”……….? Over the years tens of thousands times, actors have been handed guns, and told to point and shoot. I doubt that even 1% of the actors would have checked, and I doubt that many actors would even know how to check.
      This isn’t going anywhere. There is no way any court would see this Baldwin’s fault. If by chance you find a court that would bring this to trial, he would be found ‘not guilty’ in a matter of minutes.

People say, never forget. Do they mean it?

http://navylog.navymemorial.org/stethem-robert

I still haven’t got payback.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | October 28, 2021 at 2:38 am

    I would never hold anyone to a standard I couldn’t demand of myself. I was reminded of the time I got offered a beat down for being an Iranian. I’m not. But you have a choice. You can beg. Or you can fight..

    Today I’m Iranian,

    PS. Anyone want me to provide links to Krav Maga or Zurkhaneh?

My nephew was shot and killed at 15. Some in my family reacted against guns. But I’m not wired that way. Probably because I’ve been handling guns since I was a child. SOMEBODY pressed the trigger. That SOMEBODY was at fault. The firearm worked as designed.

I suppose every child has a “hunting uncle.” Maybe not. But listen. When I was 11 and my hunting uncle loaned me a single shot 20 gauge I had already been hunting for years. Of course I couldn’t actually own a long gun until I was 18, I looked down and I knew I had the power to deal out death. I was like, “Blank (fill in the blank). Holy (blank) I am the very definition of armed and dangerous.”

Some people who don’t know what they are talking about may not think a break action 20 gauge single shot is much of anything.

Under the supervision of an adult a child could go hunting. I don’t know how to go back 40 years and look this s*** up. Anyway, my Uncle’s dead. Try prosecuting the crime.

The important thing is he taught me not to point guns at people. Unless of course you mean to shoot them.

AlfredCMartino | October 28, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Not sure if this question was addressed among the comments, but how might Baldwin’s extensive history in the industry affect his culpability? In other words, according to IMDB, Baldwin has been filming movies and tv shows for nearly 40 years. During that time, based at least on some of his films, he had to have handled weapons on set before, and been around other actors doing the same. Surely, at some point, he had to have been subject to, or taught, the same proper gun protocols that should been used on the Rust set. Given that, does it make him more culpable?

I was always more a Remington/Ithica fan. But it’s like the Ford vs. Chevy thing. My first vehicle was a Ford Ranchero. My first new vehicle was a 1988 Mustang. My second vehicle was a 1968 Dodge Charger. With the 440 Police Pursuit Special. Not the Magnum, thank you very much. I’m currently driving a 2007 Mustang. I always seem to go back to Mustangs.

The ‘stang had less than 100k miles on the clock.

https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/101046714

“Ithaca ~ Mag-10 ~ 10 Gauge
Used Guns
$1,299.99
SKU: 3”

Who wouldn’t give a testicle for that?

Then there was the 1972 El Camino. My first car would have been an ELCO, but it was burning oil so bad even my 16 year old self noticed. If you can dip your finger in the tailpipe and come out slick with oil, unless you don’t want to do a rebuild you don’t want it.

Wonderful piece.
Does anyone know if the pointing of the gun was skylarking or the rehearsal of a scene or the scene itself? No that it makes a difference, legally, but I can see the AB of this world skylarking with guns

My grandfather had been a WWI sniper. Today, he would be clearly declared PTSD, then it was “shell shock”. He was a serious gun aficionado. Gunsmith, competed at the national level with more than a little success. I have a couple of his trophies.
His rule was: Treat all guns as loaded. “Because they are. An unloaded gun is just a poorly designed club.” He had guns everywhere–and, as far as I know, they were all loaded. Round in the chamber? I honestly don’t know, because I never touched them–unless we were at the “range”–which sometimes was out the window of the top floor of his shop. I shot competition with him one summer–an experience I have always treasured.
Scary? Certainly in retrospect and to some extent, then. I certainly do not recommend such a policy. But–the message was loud and clear.
Not only did you not want him shooting at you, a “home invasion” of his home would have been decidedly a bad idea.
In my house, not only are the firearms unloaded, I generally keep the bolts, magazines, etc. stored in a different location than the firearm. Give me 45 minutes warning, and I can put up a pretty good defense.

So far there has been no mention of what I consider one of the most important considerations. As a life time NRA member who competes in multiple disciplines I have to point out every NRA range I have shot at has standing rules, some of which have been mentioned here. But one important one is a strict prohibition of any fast draw shooting. The reason for this is during a fast draw acceptable trigger finger discipline is very hard to master. Baldwin was supposed to be rehearsing a scene where he was to draw a weapon and point it at the camera. So in addition to not following the rules listed above he was engaging in an act that is prohibited at most ranges because it is so dangerous.

Who amongst us has not heard the expression ‘shot himself in the foot’ which is rooted in how easy it is to make a mistake when performing a fast draw.

It has already been mentioned that in a single action Colt .45lc pulling the trigger does not fire the weapon unless the hammer has been cocked first. So when fast drawing you not only have to remove the pistol from the holster you have to cock the hammer while maintain good trigger finger discipline so you don’t fire the weapon sooner than you wanted to.

If what I have read is accurate Baldwin was suppose to draw the weapon, point it at the camera, and fire. But if he did that he would only have destroyed an expensive Red camera, instead he hit someone behind/beside the camera which brings into question either his aim or that he fired the weapon sooner than expected.

Bottom line is that not only were accepted safety protocols ignored but Baldwin was trying to perform a somewhat difficult stunt while lacking both the skill to perform the stunt and ignoring safe firearm protocols.

As an aside this was a Tier 1 movie which is defined as one that costs less than six million dollars. There were several reports that the producers were actively engaged in cost cutting as much as possible. Several union workers either walked off the job or were order to leave the day of the incident. Both the armorer and the AD who handed the pistol to Baldwin were bargain basement choices with questionable pasts. Seems like this was an accident waiting to happen.

“…My grandfather had been a WWI sniper. Today, he would be clearly declared PTSD…”

Today it would be PTSD. When your grandfather was alive and kicking it was just called life. Life happens to all of us. Just dealing with life will give us all what is now called PTSD. Deal with it.

Be safe! Stay safe! For the sake of all that is holy, stay safe!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X29lF43mUlo

George Carlin – Germs, Immune System

He was a prophet.

If you don’t stay safe you are literally, LITERALLY, killing grandma.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg

How dare you!!!

I’ll be the guy in the Walmart parking lot, doing doughnuts. But stay safe!

I have gone down the rabbit hole on this, and unless someone(s) step(s) forward with credible evidence that Baldwin had been drinking and/or using other intoxicants at lunch before the shooting, he won’t be convicted. Absent intoxication or something equally damning, I doubt he’ll be charged.

It boils down to the revolver, a single-action copy of a Colt .45 Peacemaker. A SA revolver’s cylinder can turn only while the hammer is being cocked. Unlike far more common double action revolvers, a SA cylinder does not swing out.

To inspect the rounds requires that the hammer be manually pulled back to make the cylinder turn; then the trigger must be pulled slowly and carefully in such a way as to not let the hammer strike the primer; then open the loading gate and use the ejector rod to remove the cartridges.

This has to be done six times. It’s somewhat delicate, and takes a few minutes. If I’m the actor (even one who I despise, i.e. Baldwin) shooting a SA revolver, I think it’s reasonable to rely on the people paid to make that inspection. If I am on the jury, as long as the actor I despise wasn’t drunk or high or otherwise reckless, I probably acquit him through clenched teeth.

This one, like so many shootings, boils down to the fine points. Try to trust me when I say that I regard Baldwin as a worthless POS. If I sat on the civil jury, I’d hold him personally liable for eight-figure damages. As much as I’d love to see him packed to one of New Mexico’s notorious prisons, I don’t think it will or should happen. Unless he was drinking or otherwise got high at lunch. If that were to come out, I’d do a 180.

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