Avowed anti-Trump and antigun activist Alec Baldwin has “accidentally” shot and killed the cinematographer of his upcoming indie western Rust.
And it’s probably only a matter of time before the #FakeNews media obfuscates this disaster with just such a headline as the one we’ve featured above.
After all, Baldwin’s career has experienced a resurgence in recent years thanks to his endless SNL cameos portraying President Donald Trump as an ignorant, dangerous buffoon.
But ironically, it is Baldwin himself who is the ignorant, dangerous buffoon.
Because, through his unimaginable negligence, Baldwin managed to shoot and kill his latest project’s cinematographer before then shooting – and luckily not killing – the film’s director.
We’ll dismiss with the obvious “longshot” and “blowout” betting puns.
Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun while filming a scene in New Mexico on Thursday, causing the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. …
The production company issued its initial statement on Thursday afternoon, saying, “There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of ‘Rust’ involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.”
Hutchins, from Ukraine, was 42 years old.
Note, of course, that this entire ordeal is being framed as an “accident.”
In the real world, very few unintentional shootings are legally deemed accidents, and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of Americans in prison right now for killing people unintentionally through their unsafe handling of firearms.
In the gun community – the one Baldwin himself so often derides as ignorant, evil, and just plain un-American – we have a saying: There are no accidental discharges. There are only negligent discharges.
Of course, we don’t expect any of the best Vegas political betting sites to offer entertainment odds on whether or not Baldwin will be prosecuted or convicted for manslaughter, negligent homicide, or the like.
Baldwin is Hollywood royalty, after all, and he toes the Democrat Party line with gusto.
Which, incidentally, was exactly what he was doing back in 2017 when he tweeted this out:
Well, he need wonder no longer.
Of course, because Baldwin is an incredible, gutless hypocrite, the above will probably be deleted within the next few days, so we’ve included a screenshot for posterity:
Note: Yes, that’s his real verified account. The trailing underscores may scream “fake,” but it’s legit. We checked.
So what’s going to happen now, and what kinds of odds can the political betting market expect?
Again, Baldwin will skate, despite his obvious culpability here.
But there will almost certainly be a spate of new gun control odds cropping up on the boards, and for this reason:
Baldwin – and his perverse Hollywood compatriots – will not war among themselves over this useful idiot’s woeful lack of common sense and failure to follow industry mandates and firearms best practices.
Instead, the industry will do what it does best: deflect.
You, the gun owner who never killed anyone or even played around like a moron with a gun you didn’t understand or know how to use, will be the target.
You can expect a slew of antigun PSAs as a result of this thoughtless killing, admonishing the American public – that is, the tens of millions of gun owners that practice basic gun safety measures on a daily basis as a matter of course (measures that Baldwin utterly ignored) – that it must be more responsible.
You can expect new “safe storage” bills to be brought to the floors of various legislatures, along with myriad proposals mandating “safety training” for everyone who owns – or wishes to own – a firearm.
Naturally, you will be the one paying for all this safe storage and training, as the government has shown it has zero qualms attaching unconstitutional poll taxes to the Second Amendment (above and beyond those that already exist).
But of course, this isn’t your fault. This is Alec Baldwin’s fault. He’s spent a lifetime talking down to honest American gun owners, mocking and ridiculing them while profiting off endless depictions of gun violence on screen.
Let’s break down everything Baldwin did wrong.
First, Baldwin’s production staff – of which he’s in charge, given that he’s the film’s co-producer – did not adhere to industry standards in procuring and using the alleged “prop gun.”
Indeed, it’s likely this wasn’t even a prop gun at all. After all, prop guns are expensive to lease, while actual guns (of common make and model) are much cheaper to buy.
Also indeed, per the IATSE – the industry prop master union – the gun wasn’t one of theirs. Further, they report that the gun had “a live round” in it.
For the record, Hollywood prop guns are not physically capable of firing live rounds.
Their chambers are disabled to reduce headspacing, meaning that actual firearm props cannot accept live rounds at all. Many prop guns also have barrels that are drawn down in diameter, allowing only the muzzle flash to escape for dramatic effect while preventing projectiles from exiting the barrel.
These safeguards became industry standard after Brandon Lee was killed by a live round on the set of The Crow in 1993.
In other words, real prop guns can only accept blanks, and these blanks are designed to maximize flash while having just enough energy to cycle automatic feeding mechanisms.
And while blanks can kill (as demonstrated by actor Jon-Erik Hexum who shot himself in the head with a prop gun back in 1984 and promptly died), they can only cause significant injury or death in rare circumstances where the muzzle of the gun is pressed against – or is within just a few inches – of a human target.
There is no way Baldwin was using blanks in this particular gun.
It was a real cartridge, and it fired a real bullet.
Actually, it apparently fired two of them.
Once Baldwin pointed his gun at the camera (presumably) with Hutchins sitting behind the camera (presumably) and discharged the round, he managed to fire another one.
Now, there’s a chance that Baldwin fired a single shot that penetrated Hutchins and then ricocheted to strike Souza, but it’s far more likely that in his surprise at the initial discharge, Baldwin reflexively panicked and then negligently discharged another round into the director.
But this is all just the culmination of several negligent actions that defied both common sense and industry best practices:
- The firearm wasn’t a registered prop gun and wasn’t checked out per IATSE standards.
- The production crew – including Baldwin – were not coached on firearms safety as required on all sets featuring scenes with prop gunplay.
- The camera crew did not use industry-standard shielding practices during the scene in question.
- The crewmember or crewmembers responsible for loading the firearm with blanks used live rounds instead. (It is unclear if Baldwin himself loaded the gun.)
- Once given the “hot” firearm on set (if he was indeed handed the charged gun and didn’t charge it himself), Baldwin did not perform a safety check on the chamber. He did not verify that the gun he was about to shoot at someone – or in the direction of someone – was safe to use for the intended purpose.
Now, we’re not saying this isn’t a tragedy. It is certainly unfortunate.
A young woman has died, and Baldwin now knows exactly how it feels to wrongfully kill someone. That must be a terrible burden, at least to anyone with a conscience.
And it’s truly difficult to fully indulge in the abject schadenfreude of this event, as Hutchins – the victim – was by all accounts a total innocent (if similarly ignorant of firearms safety).
But the bigger tragedy – the one that’s about to unfold – is that yet another holier-than-thou blowhard will get away with being what he accuses you of being. Millions of good people – kind, moral, responsible people – will be vilified for this actor’s woeful stupidity.
And odds or no odds, you can certainly bet on that.
Public Service Announcement
As responsible gun owners, we’ve fired tens of thousands of rounds – around others in good company – with nary a single catastrophic mishap.
We’ve been able to do this because no matter what kind of gun we’re using, from the coolest new KelTec boutique blaster to the wimpiest Daisy Red Ryder – we always follow The Four Rules:
Yes, when using prop guns on movie sets, you’ll sometimes have to point the gun at a fellow cast or crew member. There are various methods to game camera angles to present the illusion of direct aim without requiring actual direct aim, but it’s inevitable that these won’t or can’t always be employed effectively.
We understand that.
But this nightmare was completely avoidable in every respect, and culpability rests with Baldwin and any others involved who failed to follow the most basic firearm and set safety procedures.
Please always treat firearms with respect.