Alec Baldwin fatally shoots woman with prop gun on movie set

slyadams

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There's no reason why all guns on movies shouldn't be non-firing replicas. With all the special effects available nowadays, surely the impression of a gun firing can be edited in afterwards?
I suspect you'd find it very different. Its not just the effect of muzzle flash and smoke, its also the action of the gun. A gun firing 'nothing' would present no recoil, no weight or realism. It'd look terrible in my opinion. A lady has lost her life and that's tragic, but we don't need to overreact, this accident would have been caused by a safefy process breaking down and those responsible I'm sure will have to suffer the consequences.
 

Organic Potatoes

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A weird tangent to this story:

I first saw this on twitter as he word "manslaughter" was trending. Basically it was the MAGA crew reveling in the thought of charging AB with manslaughter. Everything is politics these days.
I saw that too. Hopefully what I read in there isn’t true, that they asked for another take and he said ‘how about I just shoot you instead’ just prior to the incident.

I am trying to source it, but wading through that quagmire is bad for your brain...
 

Mockney

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I remember finding it really sad that when Michael Massee died a couple years back every article about it referred to him almost exclusively as “the guy who shot Brandon Lee”… and by all accounts he never really got over it, both personally and career-wise, even though he was probably one of the least to blame.

Baldwin will very likely avoid that, on account of being Alec Baldwin - a much more famous star in his own right - but I’d imagine it’d still be an incredibly tough thing to get over… plus he’s apparently a producer on the film, so may ultimately end up be liable in some sense (along with the director he also shot) even if the incident wasn’t his fault directly (but also maybe not - as many big name actors are simply producers on stuff by default and don’t do anything at all)
 

Shane88

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I suspect you'd find it very different. Its not just the effect of muzzle flash and smoke, its also the action of the gun. A gun firing 'nothing' would present no recoil, no weight or realism. It'd look terrible in my opinion. A lady has lost her life and that's tragic, but we don't need to overreact, this accident would have been caused by a safefy process breaking down and those responsible I'm sure will have to suffer the consequences.
Is there any of that in 90% of media anyway?

I remember watching The Walking Dead and they were firing assault rifles like they were water guns. It's the same for the vast majority of shows/movies from what I can recall.
 

Halftrack

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I've seen some terrible takes on this, ranging from "why didn't he make sure the gun was safe to use!!?!?", via "why was he pointing it at someone? clearly his fault!" to "he committed a murder!"

Someone has clearly fecked up in this situation, but I'd wager that Alec Baldwin is pretty far down the list of people to blame.


It was reportedly a fully functional firearm with a live round in it. While many of the takes are still terrible, the one about him failing to check that the gun wasn't loaded is entirely reasonable, and in failing to do so, he has to take some of the blame for this. Provided the reports are correct.
 
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This was posted on another forum I use.

There is apparently WAY more to this.

I'm no "insider" but I am part of a few private social media groups that have members who skirt around the production side of things. And what some folks involved are saying is crazy - take this with copious amounts of salt, as it's clearly third-hand at this point - but people are saying that the entire camera crew had quit the day before - citing a whole host of issues from hotels and compensation - all the way down to - and specifically - stunt/gun safety.

Only the DP and one person from the camera crew stayed. From what they are saying (and you can start to get from the articles about this from unions stating how they were not involved, they were local crews) - it sounds like this production was a shit show we've only just begun to hear about.

While of course, after feeling terribly for the family of the person who was killed, I also feel terrible for Baldwin, thinking how horrible it must be to have been handed a prop and then shot someone to death with it...I have a feeling that while he won't get faulted for the act itself, as a producer - he's not out of the woods yet when it comes to responsibility.
 

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This was posted on another forum I use.
Plenty of anonymous reports to the LA Times saying the same thing. It's a bit garbled though: "walked off the set to protest" vs "a member of the producer staff then ordered the union members to leave the set."

https://www.latimes.com/entertainme.../alec-baldwin-rust-camera-crew-walked-off-set

Hours before actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of “Rust” with a prop gun, a half-dozen camera crew workers walked off the set to protest working conditions....according to three people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment
As the camera crew — members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees — spent about an hour assembling their gear at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, several nonunion crew members showed up to replace them, the knowledgeable person said. A member of the producer staff then ordered the union members to leave the set. She said if they didn’t leave, the producers would call security to remove them.
“Corners were being cut — and they brought in nonunion people so they could continue shooting,” the knowledgeable person said. There were two misfires on the prop gun and one the previous week, the person said, adding “there was a serious lack of safety meetings on this set.” A representative for the production company did not immediately comment.
Baldwin was one of the producers on this, but for actors it's often some sort of honorific with no measurable duties.
 
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choccy77

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Last I heard, the props people were not regulated & a seemed to be some local company or similar.

Also, was reported that someone on the set said Baldwin was shouting who gave me a hot gun?
 

Green_Red

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This was a complete and awful accident, may she rest in peace. Any culpability would rest with whoever was responsible for preparing the props, surely? In any case, sometimes accidents happen and it's no-one's fault, it's just a chain of events which lead to disaster.

edit - there are now reports online saying there was a live round in the gun. You have to feel sorry for Baldwin too, it must be devastating to have been the one who pulled the trigger.
I was thinking that earlier too, the guilt would be massive. Would be surprised if he doesn't end up with PTSD or something.
 

TheLiverBird

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It’s just incredibly tragic

No matter how serious the safety protocol is on such matters, eventually there will always be mistakes, people saying how is this possible…..well sadly and tragically anything is possible when you factor in human error/negligence, it’s a fact in life that you can never be rid of either of these, doesn’t mean someone isn’t at fault for the failure of procedure, but for what ever reasons, it can and does happen.

I just can’t imagine the devastation for all involved, even those at fault who will never be able to get over this no doubt, a mental scar, a deep scar, for life.

Though are very much with the deceased family and Alec Baldwin
 

McGrathsipan

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I suspect you'd find it very different. Its not just the effect of muzzle flash and smoke, its also the action of the gun. A gun firing 'nothing' would present no recoil, no weight or realism. It'd look terrible in my opinion. A lady has lost her life and that's tragic, but we don't need to overreact, this accident would have been caused by a safefy process breaking down and those responsible I'm sure will have to suffer the consequences.
Someone is dead. People shouldnt die for a movie.

I'm a bit stunned you've just brushed a death aside
 

McGrathsipan

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I've seen some terrible takes on this, ranging from "why didn't he make sure the gun was safe to use!!?!?", via "why was he pointing it at someone? clearly his fault!" to "he committed a murder!"

Someone has clearly fecked up in this situation, but I'd wager that Alec Baldwin is pretty far down the list of people to blame.
He pulled the trigger so he has to take some accountability. Saying that I've no idea what gun protocol is on sets.
Why would there be a need for any live ammunition?
 

Ibi Dreams

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He pulled the trigger so he has to take some accountability. Saying that I've no idea what gun protocol is on sets.
Why would there be a need for any live ammunition?
Who pulled the trigger has nothing to do with it, the gun should have been safe and wasn't. That's not the actor's fault or responsibility

As a producer it's possible he is culpable in some way for what happened, who knows
 

McGrathsipan

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Who pulled the trigger has nothing to do with it, the gun should have been safe and wasn't. That's not the actor's fault or responsibility

As a producer it's possible he is culpable in some way for what happened, who knows
He pulled the trigger. He is culpable in some way. Not completey but some way.

Maybe not in a criminal way but certainly in a civil way.
He will be sued, and he will pay out money. It depends whether he can put that on his company or not
 

Rektsanwalt

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He pulled the trigger. He is culpable in some way. Not completey but some way.

Maybe not in a criminal way but certainly in a civil way.
He will be sued, and he will pay out money. It depends whether he can put that on his company or not
Whether he will need to pay money or not heavily depends on all the details here. Having read some stuff on reddit, it seems like he was assured by someone else (assistant director?) that there's no live rounds in said gun. Don't see any level of negligence here, assumed gun safety protocols weren't violated. Surely "firing" an empty gun isn't negligent at all. I don't think actors are to be expected to double check gun safety on set - that's what the crew is there for. If he was handed a gun by the crew and was told that it's unloaded, his actions were not negligent.
 

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Whether he will need to pay money or not heavily depends on all the details here. Having read some stuff on reddit, it seems like he was assured by someone else (assistant director?) that there's no live rounds in said gun. Don't see any level of negligence here, assumed gun safety protocols weren't violated. Surely "firing" an empty gun isn't negligent at all. I don't think actors are to be expected to double check gun safety on set - that's what the crew is there for. If he was handed a gun by the crew and was told that it's unloaded, his actions were not negligent.
You're probably right, but using a gun without checking if it's safe sits somewhat uneasy with me.
 

Halftrack

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He pulled the trigger so he has to take some accountability. Saying that I've no idea what gun protocol is on sets.
Why would there be a need for any live ammunition?
Real, functional firearms are often used on sets, but it kept being referred to as a 'prop gun' everywhere. Since most big productions have stopped using real, unmodified firearms, I assumed that was the case here as well, but the latest reports have the gun as an actual live firearm. In that case he definitely shouldn't have relied on some assistant going "I swear it's empty." He arguably shouldn't have done so with a blank firing prop either, but neglecting to do it with a fully functional firearm definitely puts him on the hook here.
Whether he will need to pay money or not heavily depends on all the details here. Having read some stuff on reddit, it seems like he was assured by someone else (assistant director?) that there's no live rounds in said gun. Don't see any level of negligence here, assumed gun safety protocols weren't violated. Surely "firing" an empty gun isn't negligent at all. I don't think actors are to be expected to double check gun safety on set - that's what the crew is there for. If he was handed a gun by the crew and was told that it's unloaded, his actions were not negligent.
If it's an unmodified firearm capable of firing live rounds, personally checking to make sure that said firearm isn't loaded (especially not with live rounds) is part of basic gun safety protocols. Actors should definitely be expected to make that check, seeing as everyone else in every other circumstance is.
 

Rektsanwalt

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You're probably right, but using a gun without checking if it's safe sits somewhat uneasy with me.
That's why producers employ expensive specialists who only exist on set to assure and enforce gun safety. It's a completely normal procedure all things considered, as many people rely on proper work by those who handle dangerous goods every day all the time. I get your feeling of unease, as especially germans are very sceptical when it comes to gun use in general, but being an active sports shooter myself, I see many other comparable situations in a lot of different industries. Once you consult/employ an expert, what more can you expect? If I book a flight to wherever, I expect the pilots do work properly and assure my safety, so my life lies in their hands. Human failure is part of general risk of our life.

"While the exact type of weapon used in the shooting on the set of "Rust" remained unclear, an affidavit filed by New Mexico authorities on Friday said the film's assistant director grabbed one of three guns placed on a table by the armorer.

The assistant director took the gun to Baldwin, handed it to the actor and yelled, "cold gun," in an indication that "the prop-gun did not have any live rounds," the affidavit said."

Can't see any negligence on Baldwin's part so far. Judging by german law and assuming there's not too many details left out so far, he wouldn't be punishable by criminal law and he wouldn't be liable by civil law.
 

Rektsanwalt

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Real, functional firearms are often used on sets, but it kept being referred to as a 'prop gun' everywhere. Since most big productions have stopped using real, unmodified firearms, I assumed that was the case here as well, but the latest reports have the gun as an actual live firearm. In that case he definitely shouldn't have relied on some assistant going "I swear it's empty." He arguably shouldn't have done so with a blank firing prop either, but neglecting to do it with a fully functional firearm definitely puts him on the hook here.

If it's an unmodified firearm capable of firing live rounds, personally checking to make sure that said firearm isn't loaded (especially not with live rounds) is part of basic gun safety protocols. Actors should definitely be expected to make that check, seeing as everyone else in every other circumstance is.
Not everyone else handling firearms has a crew of experts to specifically ensure gun safety on set. That's why these armorers earn top Dollar. It's not practicable as an actor to check every gun yourself, as is in many other industries when it comes to dangerous goods, which is why delegating work - even safety relevant work - is a thing and nothing negligent (assumed you choose a proper armorer who is qualified and reliable). Also, judging by what I read, the term "live rounds" means blanks and cartridges with bullets, as in "fireable" rounds.
 

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Whether he will need to pay money or not heavily depends on all the details here. Having read some stuff on reddit, it seems like he was assured by someone else (assistant director?) that there's no live rounds in said gun. Don't see any level of negligence here, assumed gun safety protocols weren't violated. Surely "firing" an empty gun isn't negligent at all. I don't think actors are to be expected to double check gun safety on set - that's what the crew is there for. If he was handed a gun by the crew and was told that it's unloaded, his actions were not negligent.
thats the basis of the legal argument isnt it - he assumed!

Now I dont know a jot about the on set protocol for guns etc however if there was a real gun with real bullets lying around surely its reasonable to ask the actor to unclip the magazine and look at it to see if its loaded with real bullets- it would take 5 seconds.

This isnt cut and dried for me .Certainly there was no intent to kill the lady but you have to ask yourself if you were on a set where you knew there was real guns around would you check what you were handed?
 

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Not everyone else handling firearms has a crew of experts to specifically ensure gun safety on set. That's why these armorers earn top Dollar. It's not practicable as an actor to check every gun yourself, as is in many other industries when it comes to dangerous goods, which is why delegating work - even safety relevant work - is a thing and nothing negligent (assumed you choose a proper armorer who is qualified and reliable). Also, judging by what I read, the term "live rounds" means blanks and cartridges with bullets, as in "fireable" rounds.
I'm not saying they should check every gun, I'm saying they should check guns that they're handed. It takes literally two seconds to flip out the cylinder/take out the mag and pull back the slide/bolt to check that there are no rounds in the magazine or chamber. It's very basic procedure, and is one of the very first things you're told anywhere that lets you handle firearms.
 

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never realised the world had so many experts on the use of guns on movie sets
 

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thats the basis of the legal argument isnt it - he assumed!

Now I dont know a jot about the on set protocol for guns etc however if there was a real gun with real bullets lying around surely its reasonable to ask the actor to unclip the magazine and look at it to see if its loaded with real bullets- it would take 5 seconds.

This isnt cut and dried for me .Certainly there was no intent to kill the lady but you have to ask yourself if you were on a set where you knew there was real guns around would you check what you were handed?
no, I don‘t check aircraft speed while landing either, I pay an expert to do that for me.

I'm not saying they should check every gun, I'm saying they should check guns that they're handed. It takes literally two seconds to flip out the cylinder/take out the mag and pull back the slide/bolt to check that there are no rounds in the magazine or chamber. It's very basic procedure, and is one of the very first things you're told anywhere that lets you handle firearms.
It might or might not be, it‘s a question of organisation, but if you pay experts, you do it for a reason: you are able to rely on them. The question is not whether checking yourself is safer or not, it is whether Baldwin was obligated to or not.
 

McGrathsipan

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no, I don‘t check aircraft speed while landing either, I pay an expert to do that for me.



It might or might not be, it‘s a question of organisation, but if you pay experts, you do it for a reason: you are able to rely on them. The question is not whether checking yourself is safer or not, it is whether Baldwin was obligated to or not.
You don't get to fly an aeroplane either because you are not qualified. So there is no risk of you fecking up the landing as you don't get to do it.


Stupid response
 

Halftrack

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never realised the world had so many experts on the use of guns on movie sets
Don't think anyone here is an expert on the use of guns on movie sets. However, I'm fairly good with guns, what with having served in the military and prepared and given lectures on how to safely handle and use firearms.
It might or might not be, it‘s a question of organisation, but if you pay experts, you do it for a reason: you are able to rely on them. The question is not whether checking yourself is safer or not, it is whether Baldwin was obligated to or not.
I'd say he, like anyone else, was definitely obligated to. So really, the question is whether he (and other actors) are given the minimum of training needed to know and do so.

If he's a complete novice, then it's definitely understandable that he might not have been aware. If it's industry standard to just trust the word of whomever hands you a gun as to whether or not it's empty, then that's a big issue. One would think they had learned something from the Jon-Erik Hexum and Brandon Lee incidents, with regards to both checking the firearms used, and to properly inform actors about how dangerous even blankfiring props can be.

I just want to add that I do feel horrible for him, and that I see it as a tragic accident.
 

shaky

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That's why producers employ expensive specialists who only exist on set to assure and enforce gun safety. It's a completely normal procedure all things considered, as many people rely on proper work by those who handle dangerous goods every day all the time. I get your feeling of unease, as especially germans are very sceptical when it comes to gun use in general, but being an active sports shooter myself, I see many other comparable situations in a lot of different industries. Once you consult/employ an expert, what more can you expect? If I book a flight to wherever, I expect the pilots do work properly and assure my safety, so my life lies in their hands. Human failure is part of general risk of our life.

"While the exact type of weapon used in the shooting on the set of "Rust" remained unclear, an affidavit filed by New Mexico authorities on Friday said the film's assistant director grabbed one of three guns placed on a table by the armorer.

The assistant director took the gun to Baldwin, handed it to the actor and yelled, "cold gun," in an indication that "the prop-gun did not have any live rounds," the affidavit said."

Can't see any negligence on Baldwin's part so far. Judging by german law and assuming there's not too many details left out so far, he wouldn't be punishable by criminal law and he wouldn't be liable by civil law.
I can't see Baldwin being held personally responsible for the actual shooting itself, but the movie was being made by El Dorado Pictures, which seems to be a production company that he owns, so the buck might ultimately stop at him anyway, regardless of who pulled the trigger.