As much as I may dislike Alec Baldwin’s political views, anti-gun stance, and parenting skills, the involuntary manslaughter charges filed against him are moronic and politically motivated.
I’ve read a number of reports regarding the accidental shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of the motion picture “Rust.” Based on these accounts, it seems certain Baldwin was handed a gun by a professional movie-set armorer named Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, whose only job in the world is to make sure the prop guns are unloaded or loaded with blanks. That’s it. One job. One.
She handed the gun to Baldwin, and said, “cold gun,” meaning she’d followed all the proper procedures, personally inspected it, and could say to a moral certainty it wasn’t loaded with live rounds.
The director asked for a scene rehearsal, and Baldwin began — apparently the scene included a “cross draw,” which would be a movement that could easily cause an inexperienced shooter to accidentally draw back the hammer. Once the hammer is back, you’re holding a time bomb. Then, he accidentally fired the gun … a gun that a professional told him was loaded with blanks.
Anyone even remotely familiar with firearms safety would never take someone else’s word the gun was loaded with blanks. There could’ve been 10 armorers with their hands on the Bible, but an experienced gun owner would’ve unloaded the rounds, personally inspected them, put them back in the weapon, and begun rehearsing.
Alec Baldwin didn’t understand the seriousness of holding a gun, because he plays dress-up-and-pretend for a living. He has no problem making a million dollars wielding a prop gun, but has probably never fired a real one. The level of safety a gun demands would never occur to him, because the armorer told him the gun was “cold.”
There seems to be much ado about the fact he said, “I didn’t pull the trigger,” and police analysis says he did. So what? A) Baldwin probably couldn’t identify “the trigger” from a photograph, and B) After drawing the hammer back, some revolvers have a hair trigger — and he might’ve just touched it — thinking the hammer was seated in the down position.
In short, if the hammer is down and you “pull the trigger,” it is a long hard pull. If the hammer is cocked back, you are a fingerprint away from firing.
Let’s use an analogy. You are on a movie set, and are getting ready to shoot a scene where you run someone over with your car — let’s say the person is six feet in front of you. The official set mechanic approaches and tells you, “Put it in drive and floor it. You won’t move, because I’ve taken out the transmission.”
You do so, the car peels out, and you run over the person.
Yes, you were a dumbass for not idling forward a few inches to ensure it wouldn’t move, but you didn’t. Are you at fault? There was a professional mechanic on the set, whose only job is to make sure that particular car didn’t have a tranny. One job. One.
(Click to view)
You just didn’t check, because you’re a dumbass.
But there’s no crime in being a dumbass … if there was, 50 percent of America would be in jail. Sure, the family of the person you ran over has every right to sue you in civil court and try to make you pay financial damages for this accidental and tragic death — but you certainly didn’t commit a crime.
Due to gross incompetence and neglect, the mechanic bears responsibility — but you don’t. You’re guilty of being an idiot. Same for Baldwin’s armorer. If there was ever an example of criminal neglect, this is it. Saddest of all, there are a million shooters in South Carolina who could do the job of that movie armorer every day for a thousand years, and such an incident would never occur.
People are killed in accidents caused by someone else every day. The NHTSA’s report that 43,000 Americans were killed in traffic accidents in 2022. If only ten percent of those were the other driver’s fault and we put them all in jail, hell — we’d have run out of prison space decades ago.
Some might say that Baldwin’s role as a producer makes him liable. It does, financially — but not criminally. Odds are huge he got the producer credit only because he is a big star, and never once engaged in the work of being a producer.
Finally, there’s the “well, he hired her” response. No, he didn’t. Only someone entirely unaware of how things work on a motion picture would think that. In fact, odds are tremendous he didn’t even know her name.
(Click to view)
Alec Baldwin is being used by the district attorney for Santa Fe County, Mary Carmack-Altwies, who is seeking notoriety for having indicted him. She wants to use him to prove she’s “tough on crime,” and is seeking the named recognition that will come with all the headlines.
Baldwin will spend probably a million dollars fighting this, and if he is proven innocent, he has no recourse to get his money back. Of course, a million dollars isn’t much to him — but what about you? If you’re charged by prosecutor trying to win fame, who watches your back? Certainly not the legal system. You’d probably be forced to take a plea deal because you don’t have the cash to fight the unlimited resources of the State. Plea deal = Record for life.
This sad tale is why the weaponization of the FBI and DOJ is so unnerving.
Talk to any criminal defense attorney, and you’ll hear the same thing: If you’re looking for justice, our justice system is the wrong place to look for it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of two books: ‘You Want Fries With That?’ and ‘Dispatches Along the Way.’ Both are available on Amazon. He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to address proactively? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.
SIGN UP …
BANNER VIA: Gage Skidmore
You are clearly unfamiliar with New Mexico law and the concept of manslaughter. Read the analysis by A. Branco at Legal Insurrection. As a gun owner you seem dismissive of people’s rights to be safe when around gun wielding morons. When you pull the trigger, you face consequences. Always.
I can only imagine Branco’s legal theory is as horrifically broken as his political cartoon art style.
“Prioleau Alexander: ‘Moronic’”
This “news outlet” has never had a headline more accurate.
“But there’s no crime in being a dumbass…”
Big, big sigh of relief on Drunkle’s part after typing that.
Thanks for that. I agree 100%.
Law in SC is the same , YOU are responsible, it’s not an accident when you pull the trigger,it’s negligence when you don’t check the gun
Alec Baldwin was also the producer and I’m charge of his staff. Even if he really was as naive as you may him or to be, he is still to blame for picking an incompetent armorer.
couldnt happen to a better guy
I agree with this post. Cracked a laugh too
Says the gun nut wearing a skirt.
“He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile.” Seriously? It’s inappropriate and childish to call out your agent…unless you are your own agent. WAH WAH WAH, it’s not my fault!!!
Ridiculous argument. Only one person is responsible for safely handling a gun….the one handling it at the time. This is not a duty that can be contracted out.
Manslaughter charge couldn’t have happened to a nicer Hollywood prick.