I’m thinking this will probably be my final post on this topic, since my expectations going forward are as follows:
- The armorer chick, being patently unfit for her job, is gonna take the hardest fall, which I consider only meet and just since the lion’s share of the responsibility for this needless tragedy is squarely on her;
- Hollywood’s gun-safety record IS incontrovertibly quite good, especially seeing as how such a large proportion of its feature-film output over the last, ohh, seventy or so years has consisted of bang-bang shoot-em-ups of one genre or another; the jaw-slackening hypocrisy of so very many rabid hoplophobes getting filthy rich off of the very guns they abhor, then spending scads of their time, energy, and moolah lecturing people who’ve known more about firearms since they were 12 than any dozen Tinseltown asswarts put together ever will does rankle my baggy old ass some—but in the end, eh, whatcha gonna do; and
- The worst ass-rankler of all, at least for me: Baldwin will donate a big chunk of his accumulated wealth from a lengthy career being filmed waving various and sundry E-Ville Guns™ around threateningly to Handgun Control Inc or the Brady Org or some other such outfit, after which TPTB will consider his debt to society paid in full
Being as confident of these developments as I currently am, there just ain’t a whole hell of a lot more that’s worth saying. The final word I’ll leave to Divemedic, with whom I am in total agreement.
I want to make something clear with regards to my disagreement with Aesop’s opinion on the Rusty Baldwin shooting. The disagreement that I have with him is about his opinion on this topic. Yes, he and I have disagreed in the past. We have also agreed on topics in the past. That is the nature of human interaction.
I still believe that he and I agree on more topics than not. Don’t take our little discussion as anything other than a disagreement between colleagues.
I don’t have a problem with him or his blog. It’s the nature of human interaction- we don’t always agree. We also have a tendency to circle the wagons when we want to defend our own opinions, which MUST be the correct opinion, or we wouldn’t have it, would we?
Well said, sir, and seconded from here. Transmission ends.
Two points. First, we really don’t know how good the industry safety record is. We only know that widely public fatal shootings are fairly rare. That’s different than knowing the number of negligent discharges — since most of those will *not* result in injury and most that result in injury will not result in death. Overall, only 17% of shootings are fatal. If one only records fatal injuries, then that will badly undercount both injury and negligent shootings.
Second, the argument that Baldwin was following longstanding protocols begs the question of whether the protocols are good. Back in the 1970s when I was a lab assistant in a hospital, we used to pipette samples using our lips — sucking serum into capillary tubes. I caught measles that way. However, it was the standard protocol where I worked, and people came down with disabling disease that way fairly rarely.
The argument that it is either too difficult or too costly to spend 10 minutes teaching an actor basic gun safety and how to clear the gun he or she will be working with that day doesn’t seem too convincing to me. This isn’t rocket science. It may be that the industry should re-evaluate the idea that actors do not need to know how to handle their weapons responsibly on the set.
just a shame that AB was holding the gun the right way round when it discharged
As I understand it, those who think the shooter has no responsibility for having taken the shot by pulling the trigger on a loaded revolver while pointing it at a person, the rational is Hollywood gets to set their safety rules and they have an excellent safety record. An actor cannot be expected to be part of the gun safety solution.
So if the same actor, while depicting a child rape scene actually rapes the child, he’s also innocent as long as Hollywood rules say the rape safety officer is the responsible party.
And it’s a lot like a toaster. We cannot expect an actor that will be using a weapon to get the proper training because we cannot expect him to use a toaster properly without first taking it apart to check it’s function. As a qualified mechanical and electrical engineer I’ve never once taken my toaster apart to check it before making toast. Guess I’ve just been lucky since our house has a 100% perfect toaster safety record, excluding some burnt toast.
Hollywood has an excellent safety record I’m told. Compared with what/who? My gun range has a perfect safety record and they shoot live rounds, not blanks. Their safety record is better than hollyweirds, so I’m suggesting a safety record that involves shooting blanks, and still produces death and destruction is subpar.
I’m told only union members are capable of gun safety. That one just makes me laugh. Are the Marines union?
State law does not get superseded by hollywood rules. Not even if they are good rules. While the corrupt government in many states might not choose to charge the actor with a crime, he would be guilty of a crime under NC law.
As there is no such thing as a rape safety officer, the hypothetical is simply reduction ad absurdum. Brighter readers will know that’s fallacious argument.
What there is on set, is a child welfare/safety officer, who wouldn’t let you film anything like that in the first place, at peril of their livelihood, and a lengthy prison term.
You’ve noted your range shoots live rounds, not blanks. Yet you still can’t figure out why the rules for your range ought to be different than the rules on a set where they’re going to have people at both ends of the range?
Hmm. Quite the poser.
No one ever said “only union members are capable of gun safety”. Link, or it never happened.
What is undeniably true is that getting into the union takes a minimum of 240 hours of actual experience. Usually, more like 360 hours.
For the Prop local, what’s required then is to attend and pass numerous classes on various aspects of set safety, 15 classes in all, including one specifically on firearm safety. And you don’t become a propmaster on your first show, nor an armorer. You start out as a basic assistant, while you learn WTF you’re doing, and how to do it right.
Non-union PropTwat had done exactly none of that. She was an unqualified bimbo, because prop expertise isn’t passsed along in the genes.
Nobody, including me, said union rules supersede state law.
But the undeniable point is that manslaughter requires negligence, and negligence requires an affirmative duty, and a failure to fulfil that duty.
An actor has no affirmative duty for weapons safety, and in fact is prevented from anything to do with it by industry requirements, which are labor law, which is federally protected law. The get to look at the weapon when it’s loaded, and they have to know basics like muzzle, trigger, safety catch, muzzle blast from blanks – if they’re being used. Loading and unloading is no part of their skillset nor knowledge base. That skillset is entirely the armorer’s job. They have no duty to verify unloaded status.
No duty = no negligence possible.
It’s the same reason you can smash into a guy all day on a football field, and not get charged with battery. Not even if he dies.
You have no duty to not hit him, on play after play.
That you know this, and yet act like I’m speaking Greek, is why this is going to baffle countless numbers of people for weeks on end.
PropTwat had all the affirmative duty, any actor, by definition, regulation, and common sense in the industry for decades, has exactly none.
If a waitress takes a drink order, and the bartender mixes up literal poison, and doesn’t tell her, because he hates the customer and wants him dead, she’s not arrested for murder when the customer dies, even though she served it to him.
That’s the exact position Baldwin is in, because he didn’t know PropTwat had illegally brought a live real gun, with a live round, onto a rehearsal set, in violation of every duty she had to prevent that exact thing from happening.
And the argument that she should have been able to prevent it hinges on the idea that she should have drunk the poison herself to test it first, like you do…never.
If the case were as cut-and-dried simple as any number of witless wonders think, (“He pulled the trigger, he’s guilty…”) Baldwin would have left in handcuffs the same day it happened. Even cops aren’t that dumb.
If I’m driving my car down the street and run over somebody, I definitely killed them, as Baldwin unquestionably killed the DP on his movie. But if they got hit because they ran out into the traffic lane it’s not my fault. And if Baldwin killed the DP because PropTwat loaded an illegal round into an illegal gun, and brought it to set, like she wasn’t supposed to, and didn’t tell anybody, or worse, didn’t know herself, it’s all her fault, not Baldwin’s.
This isn’t some bizarre legal concept: You can’t just charge someone for killing, even for involuntary manslaughter, unless you can prove they’re guilty of the elements of the crime.
She is, and he’s not.
It isn’t like you think, and it isn’t going to be like you think, and that reality is pissing all of you off, as is having your nose rubbed in the reasons it’s not like you think, the harder you fight and struggle against that reality.
“and that reality is pissing all of you off”
Actually, no. Not even one little bit.
“As there is no such thing as a rape safety officer, the hypothetical is simply reduction ad absurdum. Brighter readers will know that’s fallacious argument.”
Well, obviously you’re not one of the “brighter readers” then, as in the very next sentence you admit there is: “What there is on set, is a child welfare/safety officer…“.
You then try to pass of on the possibility of a rape occurring because there is a safety officer on the set, but somehow with a safety officer in charge of weapons/props there are still failures.
“No one ever said “only union members are capable of gun safety”. Link, or it never happened.”
“And just to doubly piss you off a little more, this one of the reasons that motion picture productions that have fled SoCal to non-union states always have these sorts of fuck-ups. When productions go off the reservation and hire unprofessional non-union fuck-ups for a cut rate, and they get what they pay for. In this case, a dead DP, and a wounded director, and an actor who will, to a metaphysical certainty be justifiably scarred for life.”
There you go. Your words.
Everything else you write, on this subject, is just baloney. You can believe anything you want, but hollywood doesn’t get to set it’s own criminal conduct rules, and labor law doesn’t provide an out either.
And quite a few legal minds of high reputation agree. OTOH, the marxist prosecutor will probably let the actor off the hook.
You’re actually completely delusional now, and have lost the ability to recognize words in the English language.
There is literally, nowhere in there where I said “only union workers are capable of gun safety”.
“productions go off the reservation and hire unprofessional non-union fuck-ups for a cut rate, and they get what they pay for”
Show the class how these two sections are identical?
Ha! You can’t even read it yourself.
You literally have a basic inability to read English, and want to palm off your illiteracy as somehow justification for getting your panties in a twist because you got caught pulling arguments out of your underpants.
So, did Rust travel to Bumfuck, and hire an unprofessional non-union fuck-up???
Fucking-a right they did!
Go fetch your smelling salts, and quit being delusional.
I said your lunatic hypothetical was hogwash.
But please, by all means, trot out evidence to the contrary.
And with an actual propmaster/weapons handler/armorer onset, there have been only two fatalities in 40+ years, and none for the last 28 years, since 1993.
But when you put an unprofessional non-union fuck-up pretending to be a qualified armorer on a set, you get one fatality in just 12 days.
“One of these things is not like the other…”
Where have I said YOU made that exact statement? So now, show us the link to where I did…
We all understood what you were saying. There is literally no one that doesn’t understand your union hogwash for precisely what it is.
I don’t give a flying fuck what you think hollywoods record on gun safety is. It’s immaterial to the case being made, that the holder of a weapon that points it another person, pulls the trigger, and kills one and injures another is responsible.
And your answer is the same as it’s been- the person holding the gun that pulled the trigger while pointing it at another person, killing them, is not responsible. Somebody else is, because hollywood has rules. Where is that rule-set?
I disagree as do many others, many with actual legal understanding superior to yours. If it turns out the prosecutor agree’s with you, so be it. The same thing will happen again and you’ll claim hollywood has an excellent record.
Let’s start with “Who handed Baldwin a Live Gun with a Live round, instead of a prop gun with no rounds?”
Someone is absolutely culpable for gross negligence all right.
She should be horsewhipped, and then hung, not given a pansy-ass 18 months.
But you guys are so spring-loaded to “Lynch Baldwin! Get a rope! Damn the facts!” you can’t see it when it’s smacking you in the face.
“The large focus of our discussion was the Alec Baldwin shooting tragedy, and as the headline of today’s content suggests, based on the available evidence and New Mexico law, it appears to be that if he’s charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death, he’s likely to be convicted.”
Attorney Andrew Branca
Just the opinion of one attorney well versed in legal gun issues and having looked at NM law.
I’m still not understanding how a person who is supposed to, as part of their job, not point a gun and fire when the scene requires them to point the gun and fire?
But that takes me back to my original point. Why do they have live rounds anywhere on the set that can be accidentally loaded into a gun? Also, we have no idea whether the live rounds got in that gun by accident. Did anyone touch the gun(s) after the armorer called it “cold”?
Baldwin may have set this all up to get insurance payments on a film that was plagued with problems and we’ll over budget and likely to cost a fortune in losses.
When a gun is used on set, industry standards state: Weapons and ammunition are controlled solely by the armorer. The armorer must make the actor verify the weapon is clear or what is loaded, The actor is only allowed possession of the weapon immediately before a take, and immediately relinquished back to the armorer after. The cast and crew is to be positioned out of the firing line. Ballistic shields must be used to protect the crew if it is forced to be near the firing line. Aim points are to be slightly offset from the target actor. This standards are used regardless of using blanks or not. Live rounds are never supposed to exist on set, except under very limited and exceptional circumstances.
Those safety standards were violated. Standards are not laws, they are intended to make staying within the law easier. Being on a movie set is not an affirmative defense under the law in regards to murder charges, including manslaughter.
BingobingobingobingoBINGO, MB. Far as I know, stupidity is not now nor ever has been admissible in court as a defense in a manslaughter case. If you, I, or anybody else here had pointed a gun at someone, pulled the trigger, and killed them with it, we’d be sitting in jail RIGHT NOW. And the only thing yelling “someone told me it wasn’t loaded!” after the fact would get you is a loud, long belly-laugh or a disgusted shake of the head.
It really does stump me: how can any sensible person seriously contend that, being provably dumb as a box of hair, the guy who actually pulled the fucking trigger therefore bears no responsibility for another’s death via the round he sent downrange? How many defendants have ever skated away clean from a manslaughter-by-firearm or even an ADW charge by invoking the “But I didn’t mean to” defense? I really don’t get it; it makes absolutely no sense to me. Honestly, I hope to God it never begins to.
And I don’t hold the opinion I do strictly ’cause I’m a gun guy either, as has also been argued here and there. Good firearm safety practices, beginning with Col Cooper’s famous Four Rules but not limited to ’em, apply to EVERYONE who handles a gun, whether one is a seasoned, lifelong shooter, a casual weekend plinker, or a green-from-head-to-toe noob on his very first trip to the range. There is no movie-set exemption here, either. Yes, the film industry presents a unique case. Doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t.
I agree, it is NOT an actor’s job to back-check the armorer just to be sure a piece isn’t hot. Like I said, I’ve been on quite a few sets myself over the years in various capacities, enough to be pretty familiar with what goes on and how things work on one. I get it, really I do. But, all the analogies we’ve seen aside, a gun is NOT a toaster, and nobody has proposed that Baldwin should have been willing to disassemble the gun completely before pointing it at someone AND PULLING THE FUCKING TRIGGER.
Speaking strictly for myself, it doesn’t seem terribly complicated or difficult to wrap your head around. Put in the form of a question: As an actor, if all you had to in order to prevent the very thing that happened last week was to drop a mag, rack a slide back, or open a cylinder on a wheelgun for a final check that the weapon in your hand isn’t in battery–a process that would delay things on-set by well under a minute even if you had to ask for assistance, no more than five seconds if you know how to do it yourself–then why on earth WOULDN’T you? Granting that it is in fact someone else’s job and is not in any way required or expected of you as a mere actor, what we’re talking about here is not disassembling a toaster or pre-flighting a commercial airliner. What we’re talking about here is an easy, quick, uncomplicated procedure that could very well prevent the needless loss of a human life.
Yes, time on a film set is extremely precious; there never is anywhere near enough of it. The behind-the-scenes process of movie-making always reminded me of the old joke I’ve heard Navy combat pilots tell a bazillion times: hours of boredom, leavened with fleeting seconds of abject terror.
In the film-world adaption, you spend long hours on set being so incredibly bored it can make your hair hurt–standing around staring off into space, reading a book, trying to sneak in a nap, or scratching yourself dully and praying for death. Then, suddenly, a frenzy of mad activity breaks out–everyone running around yelling questions or commands, lights being switched on and off, lunch tables overturned, people slamming into one another and being knocked flat–which can leave the inexperienced on-set visitor extremely confused, even somewhat shaken.
A take is filmed, the duration of which can run from a few seconds to several minutes, usually on the shorter end of the scale. Then “the talent” trudges back to their trailer, RV, or green room to resume picking lint out of their belly buttons, contemplating the nature of the universe, or just staring off into space, while the crew sets up the next shot. I can’t really think of anything in ordinary life to compare it to, and I’ve experienced a range of experience a helluva lot broader than most. The closest I can come is the music world’s recording studio time, and it…well, it ain’t all that close.
But if the actor in question was me, I can tell you I’d make the five seconds it would take to check any firearm the armorer handed me accompanied by blanket assurances it was indeed safe before I went pulling any triggers, if it harelipped every cannibal on the Congo. It ain’t hard, it ain’t tiring, it doesn’t cost a dime, and it just might avert some poor co-worker of mine being kilt. Seems like a genuine no-brainer to me.
“As an actor, if all you had to in order to prevent the very thing that happened last week was to drop a mag, rack a slide back, or open a cylinder on a wheelgun for a final check that the weapon in your hand isn’t in battery–a process that would delay things on-set by well under a minute even if you had to ask for assistance, no more than five seconds if you know how to do it yourself–then why on earth WOULDN’T you?”
Put in the form of an answer, Because if you did that, the armorer would have to step in, take the gun away from you, go through it again, completely verify that you hadn’t loaded or fucked with it in any way, and then hand it back to you, after telling you to stop fucking with it. All while holding up further production on a hot set.
If you did it a second time, they’d take the gun away, take the guns for the entire shoot back to the prop truck, and explain to the producer that if you couldn’t find actors who’d stop fingerfucking the weaponry, you’d take your weapons and leave until they could find actors who could stop breaking the safety rules.
At $250K/day, even on a cheesedick low-budget show like the p.o.s. in question.
Been there, done that, seen it in person, got the t-shirt.
I’ve also seen the Armorer take the prop gun away from an actor, and tell the production that from now on, he’s only giving Rock Dumbfuck a rubber gun that is literally a block of black rubber, doesn’t move, doesn’t go bang, click, or anything else, and that now they can pay $1000/shot to make it look like the rubber gun commando is shooting rounds.
Because the PropMaster/Armorer already knows – like you don’t – that if he/she lets you fingerfuck the guns, and anything goes wrong, whether just a jam, or anything worse, all the way to an injury or death on set, he’s the one who’s going to get the blame, get fired, and/or get arrested and prosecuted if anyone gets injured, because it’s also his job to make sure you’re properly potty-trained where the weapons are concerned. And you fingerfucking them, even with good intention, is shitting on the carpet.
So: Now that you know that, what’s your Plan B? 😉
Being mandatorily forbidden from loading or unloading a weapon, or fiddling with it in any way, because you’re not the prop master or weapons handler, the sole person hired and designated by the producer – your boss – to do that, That is an affirmative defense.
“But Mr. Baldwin, are you saying you don’t have to do anything to be sure the weapon is unloaded and safe?”
“Not at all; we did do something.”
Really? And what was that, Mr. Baldwin?”
“We hired an armorer to follow 79 specific firearm and ammunition rules, including checking every gun every time, sir.”
“And did she do that?”
“And why was that?”
“I think you should ask her that question, counselor.“
“We hired an armorer to follow 79 specific firearm and ammunition rules…”
I’d like a pointer to that list. I’m unable to find it. Thanks.
INDUSTRY WIDE LABOR-MANAGEMENT SAFETY COMMITTEE (csatf.org)
Live ammunition is not to be used on a set (csatf.org)
The first is the safety bulletin for prop guns, the second is the one for live ammo and real guns.
There is considerable overlap.
PropTwat only bothered to blow 31 specific failures to comply directly out of her ass, from Bulletin #2, just by bringing one live gun with one live round onto the set last Thursday. It’s the entire reason a woman is dead.
I’ve no doubt she violated an equal number of them if I bothered to look at Bulletin #1, but as the entire problem was her violations of the guidelines of the second bulletin, that’s where I spent the time to break it down today.
I’ll just make note of those items that seem to warrant responsibility on the part of the actor. It seems self evident the “prop master” and others are quite guilty of malfeasance.
“No one shall be issued a firearm until he or she is trained in safe handling, safe use, the safety lock, and proper firing procedures.”
This would seem to negate any idea that an actor can handle a weapon even when they are too stupid to do so. Training is required.
“Refrain from pointing a firearm at anyone, including yourself.”
Certainly the actor/actress involved must be trained and informed, and clearly Baldwin violated the rule.
“NEVER place your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.”
Possibly violated. We don’t know the full story to be certain.
“I’m still not understanding how a person who is supposed to, as part of their job, not point a gun and fire when the scene requires them to point the gun and fire?”
They point at something not human and fire the gun. That’s how it’s done. As Mudboy points out, if they must fire directly where people are located they must be shielded. All this even though they should be firing blanks.
*nod* Agreed, Mike.
Likewise, one last and final comment from me on the subject of whether Alec Baldwin deserves to be catching a raft of shit from our side over a failure of the Set Armorer to follow and enforce Hollywood industry safety rules and standards:
Aesop may be right, and Baldwin does not. And so what?
Derek Chauvin doesn’t deserve to be in prison for some degree of morder because Floyd managed to OD his dumbass on fetanyl. And yet, there he is.
Kyle Rittenhouse doesn’t deserve to be going through 90-eleven kinds of expensive legal hell and jeopardy over what any twelve morons can clearly see was a straight up case of self defense shooting… and yet, there he is.
The January 6th “rioters” don’t deserve to have been disappeared into political prison sans trial for taking a nonviolent stroll through the Capital building, and yet, there they are.
I’ll cheerfully grant Baldwin all of the immunity from undeserved criticism and mean tweets and dark memes and unfair prosecution that their side gives to our guys –
Shit on Baldwin all you like for him being a megafucktard. He is.
I’ll join your club, march in your parade, and buy your newsletter.
But you’re going to set the law itself on fire, and go after a man who’s not guilty because you don’t like him, and the ends justifies the means?
Here, let me help you out just a bit with that cunning plan:
A Man for All Seasons – The Devil Speech – YouTube
Funny, i’n’it, how Hollywood itself can illustrate the exact folly of mouthbreathers like Roper from actual history over 600 years old, by teaching lessons that still apply right this minute?
The newsletter’s free. I reserve the right to sell the email addresses of subscribers, though. 🙂
I’ve seen the movie and heard the speech, thanks. I’m not a complete rube, just a partial one.
We’re at war. Laws have a tendency to get suspended in wartime.
Liking or not liking him is irrelevant. There’s people on the other side that I like, and people on our side that I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire.
Because he’s my enemy, and he’s made it perfectly clear over the years that he considers me and mine his enemies. I don’t need to dislike him in order to put him down solely because of that. I don’t need to like someone on my side in order to have their back.
You may or may not be able to wrap your head around that. I don’t care.
I notice that your reading of my comment was selective, also:
Baldwin’s side is already setting the law on fire and burning it down to get us and ours, and has been for some time.
Tactics are not ethics. If burning down the law is fair game for them against us, it’s fair game for us to use against them.
I may not be a rube, but I am a barbarian, and I’m quite okay with that.
I would say that I’m curious to see what you’ll cherry pick to respond to from this comment… but I don’t honestly give enough of a shit for it to be more than idle curiosity.
Burning the law down to get your enemy is a tactic.
And when your enemies come for you, and you’ve no law to stand behind, you’ll be where Roper would have been in relation to the Devil in More’s speech.
“Alec Baldwin’s an enemy fucktard, and innocent of any crime in the NM incident” are not mutually exclusive.
Which is also all I’ve said.
You guys are the football defensive line who want to sack the quarterback. And then go after his family.
You fundamentally fail to understand the limits of the system, which are there to protect everyone, not just people you don’t like.
No law is the definition of anarchy.
And pretending innocent people are guilty, for your own ends, is sheer undisguised thuggery.
Be careful what you do.
It becomes who you are.
Thomas Hobbes had a wee bit to say on the subject of that exact situation.
… you’ll be exactly where any non-communist is in today’s United States. Doubt that? Ask James Fields, Derek Chauvin, Michael Flynn, Scooter Libby, …
When the house is on fire, probably best not to be slinging gasoline around.