As most know by now, last week, actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed director of photography Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza on the set of the movie “Rust,” which he is starring in. (Or was – who knows now).
Reports came out and proclaimed, “Alec Baldwin shoots prop gun, killing 1, injuring another on set of ‘Rust,’ officials say” (NBC).
“Alec Baldwin says ‘my heart is broken’ after prop gun he fired kills cinematographer on movie set” (CNBC).
Was it Baldwin’s fault? After all, he did fire the weapon. Or is it solely the fault of the on-set armorer, 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez Reed?
As a human being, I feel for Baldwin, even though by all accounts, he is a mean, spiteful, abusive, leftist S.O.B. But it’s still a burden he will carry for the rest of his life.
Many people seem to think that it is only the fault of the armorer for not doing her job and issuing the handgun with live rounds – that she is the one who should be punished for this egregious oversight. And she should.
Or maybe instead we should blame the gun manufacturer for making a gun that will accept live ammo. Or perhaps blame the unwashed masses in America for even wanting to see guns in movies.
It surely can’t be the fault of Baldwin – right? I mean, it was just a tragic accident after all.
Well, if this is your thinking, you best check yourself.
Handling weapons, from my time in the military to today, I know one indisputable fact about firearm safety. There is no such thing as an AD, or “accidental discharge.” There is, however, something known as an ND, or “negligent discharge.”
If anyone fires a weapon without meaning to, this is not an accident. It’s only out of negligence that this can ever occur. From not checking to see if the gun is loaded to improper trigger discipline and everything in between, it doesn’t matter. It’s on you.
And this is the reason Alec Baldwin should not escape culpability for what he did.
Anyone handling a weapon, of any kind, should have at the very least, been trained in gun safety.
If Baldwin had known and followed proper basic gun safety protocol, the cinematographer would still be alive, regardless of the actions of the armorer.
If he had had even rudimentary training, he simply would not have accepted the weapon the way it was, regardless of what it was supposed to be loaded with.
The proper way should have been a hand off from one person to another after the weapon was confirmed by both parties to be cleared and safe. Then both the actor and armorer, together, should have inspected each round to confirm they were all blank cartridges, while one or the other loaded the weapon while the other witnessed.
Sure, maybe it will take a few extra minutes, but I’m thinking that the loved ones, family and friends of Halyna Hutchins would say it would have been well worth it.
And it also shows, once again, that guns don’t kill people – people kill people – in this case, negligent people kill people.
One more thing. If you are a gun owner, and don’t know, or worse, you do know and still don’t practice proper gun safety, you are a stain on the rest of us and shouldn’t own a gun. Of course, that’s just my opinion.
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