Alec Baldwin faces involuntary manslaughter charge over deadly “Rust” shooting

Ag3ma

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I mean you're probably right. Personally I think Baldwin has some liability and responsibility,
He certainly has some, but does he have enough to convince 12 people he should face a minimum of a five year sentence? Because I think not.

Baldwin's role as a producer could have some impact, but he wasn't the only producer and the prosecution declined to charge any of the other producers. This suggests the only concrete rationale for Baldwin to be charged is as the individual who shot the bullet.

At that point, there are on-set safety rules, an armourer who supposed to check the weapons and oversee safety, and allegedly an assistant director who checked the gun and declared it safe, etc. All jurors have to do is put themselves in Baldwin's shoes and start thinking of times where they did something relying on other people's checks and assurances, and how fair they would feel it would be if it were them being held primarily responsible for something going wrong. That's going to make them very shy of convicting for a crime with a heavy penalty.
 
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Eacaraxe

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At that point, there are on-set safety rules, an armourer who supposed to check the weapons and oversee safety, and allegedly an assistant director who checked the gun and declared it safe, etc...That's going to make them very shy of convicting for a crime with a heavy penalty.
It's not so much that, as the firearm in question having been nominally checked by two parties, and the "cold gun on set" call given, is enough in my opinion to introduce reasonable doubt.

He's still gonna get his asshole bored out in civil court where the evidentiary standard is lower, though (see also, Kyle Rittenhouse).
 
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SilentPony

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It's not so much that, as the firearm in question having been nominally checked by two parties, and the "cold gun on set" call given, is enough in my opinion to introduce reasonable doubt.

He's still gonna get his asshole bored out in civil court where the evidentiary standard is lower, though (see also, Kyle Rittenhouse).
Honestly that's probably how this plays out. Something about the legal and insurance definition of a "cold gun" call. If I was an actor on a set, my job would be to act out the scene. I don't know shit about guns. I couldn't tell you the difference between a live round, a blank round, a dummy round, and a blank round made by the prop team to look like a real round for a scene. That's why the armorer is there - to know that shit. If I was an actor and the armorer gave me a gun and said they had checked it, it was safe to use, no live ammo, and then a shooting director(film not bullets) came up and also said they had checked it and it was a safe gun, why would I think to check it a third time? Meaning why would I not trust the experts hired to keep this safe? Meaning if we have to assume the armorer is lying or incompetent, why bother having an armorer in the first place? If every actor has to be an armorer as well, why do we need armorers who can't act?
Now as a producer who hired the armorer, Baldwin has shit coming his way. But if he didn't, if he was just a dude on a set, pretty sure the two parties legally required to give him the greenlight giving him the greenlight absolves him.
 
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Eacaraxe

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Honestly that's probably how this plays out...
This is gonna ruffle some feathers around here, but all this back-and-forth is basically just people arguing whether Baldwin is morally culpable for the woman's death, completely forgetting that has precisely fuck-all to do with legality and criminal law where the standard is reasonable doubt. My comparison to the Kyle Rittenhouse fiasco was entirely intentional, as the two scenarios are identical in that people want to conflate moral culpability and criminal guilt.

I personally believe Baldwin is morally culpable for the death onset. You fully unload the gun and hand it over with the chamber or cylinder open, and the rounds separately. Period. If someone attempts to hand you a gun, you verify there are no rounds in the chamber, cylinder, or magazine first. Period. You practice muzzle and trigger safety at all times, especially when you think the gun's unloaded. Period. It does not matter how many people or their level of expertise handled the firearm before you. Period.

But, my opinion isn't the law, moral culpability is not equivalent to criminal guilt, and my understanding of firearm safety as a lifelong firearm owner is well above what a reasonable person would be expected to have.
 

crimson5pheonix

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As a side note about the assistant director; whether it affects the case or not, he may not have actually cleared the gun or declared it clear on set.


Which seems likely considering he apparently frequently doesn't believe in firearm safety.

 

Absent

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I'm still baffled by the apparent lack of discussion or investigation on why bullets were even near the set. The whole discussion about the shooter's responsibility seems to mask this question. Were they wolves, bandits or zombies that had to be kept at bay during the night ? Were the natives circling menacingly around the set ? Did these bullets have any function, apart from allowing some cretin to go do his bangbangs for realsies during the breaks ?

How does a movie set become a place where there could even be a risk of a gun being loaded ?

My impression is that the need to go shoot a gun seems so natural, to the public, that it doesn't even get questionned. The only thing that does, is the lack of precautions taken in an environment where, of course, any gun is at risk of being loaded, given this visceral human necessity. And the culprit isn't the gun addict who couldn't help himself loading it (who would blame the bro ?), but the horrible antigun liberal who dares manipulating the object innocently, without following the proper rituals established by its true cultists in their ever bullet-rich contexts.

I agree that producers (including Baldwin) are responsible for the hiring of incompetent technicians. But when it comes to the shooting itself, the glee with which gun nuts, all over the internet, point out firing range or home rules makes me really ill at ease - given they are the only reason I can see why a bullet in the chamber was even a possibility.

Now, I may have missed two things. Another reason for the presence of bullets in the area. And people investigating it. But from what I saw in public discussions, this is really not where people are turning their attention.
 

Absent

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Ask Brandon Lee.
Wasn't he killed by some debris stuck in the barrel ? A broke piece of fake bullet, or something like that ?

I don't think it was a live round forgotten in a prop gun.
 

crimson5pheonix

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Wasn't he killed by some debris stuck in the barrel ? A broke piece of fake bullet, or something like that ?

I don't think it was a live round forgotten in a prop gun.
It was a whole lead bullet. The armorer made a dummy round by opening up a regular bullet and dumping out the powder. They loaded the empty bullet in the gun and "fired" it, and it still had the primer, so it created enough gas to lodge the bullet in the barrel. Later they loaded a blank into the gun for a scene, and the powder charge for the blank was enough to eject the bullet with enough force to kill.

It was also negligence and should have been punished as well.
 

Asita

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I'm still baffled by the apparent lack of discussion or investigation on why bullets were even near the set. The whole discussion about the shooter's responsibility seems to mask this question. Were they wolves, bandits or zombies that had to be kept at bay during the night ? Were the natives circling menacingly around the set ? Did these bullets have any function, apart from allowing some cretin to go do his bangbangs for realsies during the breaks ?

How does a movie set become a place where there could even be a risk of a gun being loaded ?

My impression is that the need to go shoot a gun seems so natural, to the public, that it doesn't even get questionned. The only thing that does, is the lack of precautions taken in an environment where, of course, any gun is at risk of being loaded, given this visceral human necessity. And the culprit isn't the gun addict who couldn't help himself loading it (who would blame the bro ?), but the horrible antigun liberal who dares manipulating the object innocently, without following the proper rituals established by its true cultists in their ever bullet-rich contexts.

I agree that producers (including Baldwin) are responsible for the hiring of incompetent technicians. But when it comes to the shooting itself, the glee with which gun nuts, all over the internet, point out firing range or home rules makes me really ill at ease - given they are the only reason I can see why a bullet in the chamber was even a possibility.

Now, I may have missed two things. Another reason for the presence of bullets in the area. And people investigating it. But from what I saw in public discussions, this is really not where people are turning their attention.
It's less that it's normal - as I noted in a prior post, the explicit safety rule is that live bullets should never be on the set at all - it's that with the available information, the question is a dead end. Closest thing I've seen to a proposed explanation is that their supply of rounds - supposedly bought from a previous production - may have included "reloaded ammunition", some of which may have been improperly put together and thereby functionally made into live rounds. But that's a lot of maybes. The simple fact is that - at least when last I heard - we don't know and don't at present have a good lead to speculate on.

Discussions about responsibility and gun safety, however, are comparatively straightforward and give us a tangible point to act as an anchor, even if it is still subject to our interpretation.
 
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Eacaraxe

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It was a whole lead bullet. The armorer made a dummy round by opening up a regular bullet and dumping out the powder. They loaded the empty bullet in the gun and "fired" it, and it still had the primer, so it created enough gas to lodge the bullet in the barrel. Later they loaded a blank into the gun for a scene, and the powder charge for the blank was enough to eject the bullet with enough force to kill.

It was also negligence and should have been punished as well.
This. And it's -- by way of unintended consequence and preemption -- why "why were there live rounds on a set" has been lost in the shuffle. Blanks and dummies can still kill (and have). Any round needs to be assumed to be, and treated as if, live until proven otherwise, and proper safety protocols followed regardless of the state of a firearm or its ammunition.
 

Ag3ma

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It was a whole lead bullet. The armorer made a dummy round by opening up a regular bullet and dumping out the powder. They loaded the empty bullet in the gun and "fired" it, and it still had the primer, so it created enough gas to lodge the bullet in the barrel. Later they loaded a blank into the gun for a scene, and the powder charge for the blank was enough to eject the bullet with enough force to kill.

It was also negligence and should have been punished as well.
But... why?

What was the purpose of the dummy round, and trying to fire it?
 

Thaluikhain

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But... why?

What was the purpose of the dummy round, and trying to fire it?
IIRC, it was used in a revolver, and in some of the shots you could see the rounds in the cylinder, so it'd be obvious if the gun was actually empty.
 

Absent

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(Also, prop bullets are certainly useful for loading cuts, etc.)

But another thing I don't understand about guns in movie productions is why they use fully functionnal ones. I had a friend, here in Europe, who liked to buy gun models. As he didn't have a permit, he was legally buying guns which were the exact same object as fully functional ones, except with some protruding bit inside the barrel. Meaning they could fire blanks, but a real bullet wouldn't leave (I assume the shooter would lose their hand instead, which most people would prefer than killing someone). Having seen more of these than fully enabled guns, in my life, I don't get why movie sets don't use that sort of thing.
 

Ag3ma

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IIRC, it was used in a revolver, and in some of the shots you could see the rounds in the cylinder, so it'd be obvious if the gun was actually empty.
I guess. But I would have assumed there are replica bullets for that sort of thing, not real bullets with most of the gunpowder removed.
 

Thaluikhain

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(Also, prop bullets are certainly useful for loading cuts, etc.)

But another thing I don't understand about guns in movie productions is why they use fully functionnal ones. I had a friend, here in Europe, who liked to buy gun models. As he didn't have a permit, he was legally buying guns which were the exact same object as fully functional ones, except with some protruding bit inside the barrel. Meaning they could fire blanks, but a real bullet wouldn't leave (I assume the shooter would lose their hand instead, which most people would prefer than killing someone). Having seen more of these than fully enabled guns, in my life, I don't get why movie sets don't use that sort of thing.
Easy to get their hands on, I guess. In the old days, nobody used semi-auto pistols in low budget movies and serials, it was all revolvers, and shoulder arms were manually operated, because you can just put blanks in and don't need a blank fire adaptor to cycle.

Nowdays you've got modified gun with muzzle plugs that can only fire blanks and they CGI the muzzle flash in afterwards. So John Wick can do close range headshots on people safely.

There's also stuff like the Zoraki 925, which was designed solely as a blank firing automatic pistol. AFAIK, it's not even supposed to look like a specific real gun or anything, it's just a generic cool looking thing.

I guess. But I would have assumed there are replica bullets for that sort of thing, not real bullets with most of the gunpowder removed.
Well, yes, but safety regulations tend to progress one nasty accident people should have seen coming at a time.
 

crimson5pheonix

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But... why?

What was the purpose of the dummy round, and trying to fire it?
Realism. The best way to make a real looking round is to deactivate a real round. It sits in the hand, shines, and lands on other objects exactly like a real round would. Why they fired it I don't know, might have been part of the scene. But they wanted a shot of the guy holding the round and loading it into the gun. And the armorer should have checked the barrel for obstructions, not just squib bullets but debris as well.

(Also, prop bullets are certainly useful for loading cuts, etc.)

But another thing I don't understand about guns in movie productions is why they use fully functionnal ones. I had a friend, here in Europe, who liked to buy gun models. As he didn't have a permit, he was legally buying guns which were the exact same object as fully functional ones, except with some protruding bit inside the barrel. Meaning they could fire blanks, but a real bullet wouldn't leave (I assume the shooter would lose their hand instead, which most people would prefer than killing someone). Having seen more of these than fully enabled guns, in my life, I don't get why movie sets don't use that sort of thing.
What Thaluikhain said, it's easy. A real gun looks and acts like a real gun on camera, clinks properly when you set it down, sits in the hand the same, everything. You can deactivate a gun of course and make it unable to fire, but it's more difficult for some guns than others. An AR-15 you could just remove the firing pin in under 5 minutes and put it back in in the same amount of time, of course it has to be modified to shoot blanks in the first place and will behave unpredictably with a real round in it (and of course, wouldn't help in a Brandon Lee situation as discussed previously). A revolver is harder to deactivate in a way that leaves it looking and acting like an unmodified gun. Depending on the model of revolver, all you might really be able to do is grind down the firing pin, which does everything you want, except then it's a paper weight without a very invasive amount of gun smithing, so it can't even fire blanks anymore. There are tradeoffs all around. You can use prop guns in some situations. If your gun never needs to fire, or if it's never up close in the camera and you're willing to use optical effects, you can get away with spray painting a toy gun black. But if you need to show a gun being loaded, fired, placed on a desk, or even just close up to the camera, you'll probably have to use a gun that's at least a part away from being fully functional, and thus treated as deadly on set, even if it is deactivated.
 

crimson5pheonix

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Given it's a mega, multi-billion industry, you'd have thought some plucky entrepreneur might have tried making realistic fake guns rather than bodging real ones.
Guns are mechanically simpler than you think (mostly). By the time you have a pipe you can load fake bullets in, you have a lethal firearm.