Movie stars are not exempt from gun safety rules or criminal charges
No one disputes that Alec Baldwin drew a single-action revolver chambered in .45 Long Colt from a holster, cocked the hammer, aimed it toward cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza and pulled the trigger.
The 225-grain projectile traveling at around 960 feet-per-second struck Hutchins in the chest, exited, and struck Souza in the shoulder. Hutchins was killed and Souza is recovering from his wound.
To be clear, this was an extremely reckless and negligent act that resulted in death, and a criminal investigation is underway.
Baldwin’s attorneys, sycophants and pals began to spin almost before the gunsmoke cleared. The single-action revolver became a “prop gun,” which somehow “misfired” – it was a real firearm that fired when Baldwin pulled the trigger. They blamed everyone other than the 63-year-old actor for the carnage. It was the armorer’s fault, they first said, or the assistant director’s fault, since he handed Baldwin the weapon. The actor should get a pass, they suggested, because someone told him it was an unloaded “cold gun.” Perhaps someone left a live round in the weapon after a late-night plinking session, which went undetected, or maybe the Good Lord Himself miracled the live round into the cylinder.
I’ve also heard more than a few folks suggest Baldwin should get a pass because it is/was SOP on movie sets to point real guns at real people. That’s like saying look at all the people we haven’t killed, yet.
None of this matters, of course, because it was Baldwin who drew the weapon, cocked the weapon, aimed the weapon and fired the fatal shot.
I know full well if I ever have a negligent discharge resulting in death, my spouse will be smuggling me dip and soap-on-a rope as I sit in prison for the next 5-10 years. That’s why I rigidly adhere to the fundamentals of firearm safety.
Sante Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza, whose department is investigating Baldwin’s shooting, and District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who will determine what charges – if any – are filed, are under tremendous pressure. The whole world is watching.
We will soon learn if we are all equal under the law in Sante Fe County, New Mexico, or if Hollywood movie stars merit special treatment and considerations the rest of us would never receive.
Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” cofounded Armed American News. Lee is also the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project, and serves on the board of Florida Carry, Inc. Until recently, he was an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.