Davis: Alec Baldwin was responsible

Photo credit Unsplash

by Eric Davis

Those who make the argument that the Alec Baldwin shooting was the fault of the armorer who handed him the gun, demonstrate the two largest contributing factors to “gun violence” in the US today. Those two things are: lack of individual accountability, and lack of individual accountability.

There has been much fuss made over the working conditions at the site and apparently these grievances are legit. The mistakes made by an inexperienced armorer – starting with the fact that there was even live ammunition on a jobsite which requires the pointing of guns for dramatic effect- should not go unrecognized, however small mistakes which compound and lead to larger mistakes as such, begin with mismanagement at the top. A veteran of the industry, and someone who has been around guns enough to know better, Baldwin was also the producer of this film (a.k.a. “the boss” or “person responsible” for the operation.) Alec Baldwin’s hubris directly contributed to the chain of mistakes which ultimately culminated in him shooting a young mother and it was on full display afterwards when he immediately and predictably blamed everything but himself.

Furthermore, the 99% of gun owners who take the responsibility of keeping and carrying a firearm seriously will point out, that in addition to the slew of systemic failures which lead up to him being given a loaded gun, Baldwin personally broke every single rule of basic firearm safety that exists.

It was AFTER he was given a loaded firearm, from a questionable armorer under HIS supervision, whom he did NOT personally watch load the weapon, that he deliberately pointed a firearm at two people (presumably holding the camera) and pulled the trigger.

Alec Baldwin broke rule number one when he failed to treat a “prop gun” as if it were loaded.

Alec Baldwin broke rule number two when he placed something in front of the muzzle that he was not willing to destroy.

Alec Baldwin broke rule number three when he placed his finger on the trigger of the weapon (I understand that the script calls for this, however the willful ignorance of rules one and two, in my opinion, render the script excuse irrelevant in this instance. His finger never should have been anywhere near the trigger if there were people in front of that gun. Period.)

And finally, Alec Baldwin broke rule number four when he failed to identify his target and what was behind it.

If there is a scene which requires filming the firing of a gun from in front of the weapon, the technology exists to do so without placing people in front of the muzzle and while still allowing the actor to aim and fire without putting people at risk.

Yes, the armorer screwed up bad and should also be held accountable for their negligence. That does not change the fact that this was still a preventable accident if only the anti-gun, Hollywood hypocrite of a boss would have taken an ounce of personal responsibility at any step of this process, not the least of which would have been to practice some simple muzzle and trigger discipline – ironically, the very first thing one learns in an NRA safety class.

The author is president of Gun Owners of Vermont.

Categories: Commentary

28 replies »

  1. It takes a left wing, crazed anti-gun activist with little or no knowledge of guns to kill someone with an “Un-loaded” weapon…The irony, sadly, is relentless.

  2. Where is the average citizen’s “prop person” to take the heat when they (we) have an accident involving a firearm ? Mind you, as a responsible gun owner I am not advocating for a “stand in” to take responsibility for a responsible adult, that would be like blaming the firearm, or the firearm manufacturer, I am just saying that when a celebrity breaks the law, they should be the bottom line as any other citizen is. I personally can not imagine taking possession of a firearm from someone else without asking if the gun is loaded, and, AND checking the condition of the firearm myself, as I am the bottom line. Alec Baldwin was (is) the bottom line. There may be others who’s involvement implicates some level of culpability, but one person made the decision to cock that hammer, and pull the trigger.

  3. A responsible gun owner never point a gun at anything he is not willing to destroy! Alex, you screwed up, accept your responsibility!

  4. Alex should have joined the NRA. The organization is one of the country’s leading proponents of gun safety education. Everyone should have as much training as they can get. Join the NRA.

  5. One must have to assume this pompous, arrogant ideologue was horsing around when this gun “went off”. Anyone who is responsible with guns and aware of their awesome power knows that you never point a firearm at anything you dont intend to put a hole in. Baldwin is an anti-gun hypocrite who makes money from selling movies featuring gunplay. Numerous past tweets of his have been dug up where he takes great pride in virtue signaling against gun rights. If this awful tragedy involving innocent victims had to happen, then it couldn’t have been perpetrated by a better member of the Hollywood hypocrisy machine. Just as when Chittenden County Senator
    Debbie Ingram had her DUI battle with a neighbor’s mailbox and later proposed toughening Vermont’s DUI laws “in order to help people discover their problem drinking”, look for Baldwin, after an appropriate cooling-off period, to double down on his anti-gun rhetoric “for the good of society”.
    At least when fellow leftist hypocrite Al Franken sunk his own career with an arrogant photo op, no one died.

  6. Mr. Eric Davis,

    I’m no fan of Alec Baldwin, but have you forgotten one of the MOST IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC? A person is INNOCENT until PROVEN GUILTY in a COURT OF LAW.

    If you were in Alec’s shoes, would you want to be judged and convicted by self-righteous, arm chair observers with a keyboard?

    Let’s remember: we are ALL fallible human beings.

  7. Thank you, VTbeliever. Anyone found responsible for this tragedy should be held accountable. It is unfortunate that many who proclaim to worship the Constitution are willing to throw it on the scrap heap when they see an opporyunity to score political points.

    • Hello John D.,

      I’m trying to understand the words in your comment? Are you saying the Principle of, “Innocent until proven guilty” is not in the US Constitution or did you mean something else?

  8. Why are many of you leaving out the full context that this was a movie set and the gun was understood to be a prop? As gun owners, we all know basic safety in ordinary situations. This was not an ordinary situation.

    • Well, here we stand again….witnesses to Hollywood and all her power glorifying inappropriate and horrific firearms handling for the sake of the money that they can squeeze out of the audience…all the while they brainwash this gullible audience with images and dialog that results in a misconception about the seriousness of firearms use. As for the general population of gun buyers and shooting enthusiasts, too many have only learned from what they have had pounded into them by Hollywood. Yes, now we see even Hollywood has succumbed to this irresponsible behavior when it comes to firearms. They think everything is a game, a toy, and easily achieved without any regard for the repercussions of making a mistake. Yes, sadly innocent bystanders are hurt by negligence again. So, I stand with those who were mentored early in their life and learned from seasoned and humble adults who emphasized muzzle control, checking visually for safety, and knowing that there is no chance to call that bullet back when the weapon discharges. I stand with the old-school hunter education and firearms safety trainers who never accepted joking around or ignoring the details of safety. I stand with true sportsmen who know what is all around them and what’s beyond the target. I stand with those who keep their fingers off of the trigger until absolutely ready to shoot. I stand with those opposing the misguided rants that portray the firearm as the problem, not the operator or the person who used it improperly. I put the onerous on the entire Hollywood industry for showcasing bad behavior and marginalizing the truth…which also bleeds into how they glorify bad police behavior and, once again, the dangerous and unacceptable use of firearms by police in movies. It’s no wonder why our young people of all races, creeds and cultures are making poor choices that adds to the fear and loathing of firearms. Sure, we all like watching Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger shoot’in up the bad guys, but only a few of us are mature enough to understand that is all fiction. What’s next?

      • Dear Anonymous,

        Why are you are SO …… ANGRY AND DEMEANING? Can you share your views without ALL THE SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS CONDESCENSION?

        It’s the People who can’t have self control with words and conversation that probably should NOT have guns.

    • It was an absolutely ordinary situation, in that NOBODY SHOULD EVER PLAY WITH GUNS, I never let my kids play with guns, TOY GUNS, because i felt that guns, real or otherwise shouldn’t be a play thing. In any event, anyone who knows ANYTHING about guns should be able to discern the status, condition and reality of any thing looking like a gun that they pick up. It is meaningless to me that someone says “unloaded, cold gun, prop gun” whatever…if you can’t determine that for yourself, DON’T TOUCH IT! Yes, We’ll let the legal process determine this, but if what I’ve heard reported happened…then he f___ed up, and should be held accountable.

      • Jonathan Johnson,

        Your comparison of letting kids play with guns and this situation with a movie set prop gun doesn’t make any sense. There is NO COMPARISON. Apples and Oranges ……..

        Do you have an anger problem? Are you perfect? Have you made stupid mistakes in your life? The answer is, YES, because we ALL HAVE. You can have an opinion about the situation, but please leave the judgement and sentencing to a jury of Mr. Baldwin’s piers.

        In other countries he would probably be in jail or dead by now. Do you want to live in those places? The BEAUTY and EXCEPTIONALISM of the United States of AMERICA is our CONSTITUTION. ALL PERSONS are innocent until PROVEN GUILTY.

        Thank GOD, a person’s GUILT IS NOT determined by an armchair observer with keyboard courage.

  9. Wow, all you gun experts are really missing the point. In fact, your tough guy NRA bravado is LAUGHABLE. SAFETY RULES EXIST ON FILMS SETS. THE TWO TIER LAYERS (AMORER AND AD) result in the call “COLD GUN”. THEN THE COLD WEAPON IS GIVEN TO THE ACTOR. ALL YOUR ACTION ADVENTURE FILMS HAVE THIS PROTOCAL. So, complain about every movie with a gun shot in it! Your Macha expert crap is the reason why so many of you should not have guns. And THIS IS MOSTLY ABOUT YOU HATING BALDWIN. Try harder next time to not appear as you really are… egomaniac

    • Uh, no if you are clueless enough to not be able to determine the status of any weapon you touch (which takes no time at all, provided you have a clue about one of the simplest machines in existence) then you SHOULD NOT TOUCH IT!!! My kids when they were not yet teenagers understood this. This is not about hating Alex Baldwin, as much as it is about being disgusted with pompous, virtue signaling hypocrite elites.

    • If my best friend, my brother, my wife, a stranger, an employee at a gun store – in short, ANYBODY hands me a firearm, it’s my responsibility to me and everyone around me to personally ensure it isn’t loaded. Among all the numerous failures that appear to contributors to this tragic, avoidable story, that’s the bottom line. Unfortunately, we can now see the wisdom of that through the completely avoidable loss of human life.

    • This right here. The actor s the hired talent and has no training to inspect guns, electrical set design, stage structure, etc. The talent does no inspections. IATSE is the union on set that handles and is accountable. Again, fr those in the back – it is never the responsibility of actors to inspect anything.

      • In light of what happened, do you still think that’s a reasonable policy? Or in the spirit of continuous improvement do you think maybe we should ask people who hold live firearms on a set with live ammunition to maybe be responsible personally to ensure that it’s not going to kill more people? Remember, this is no longer a theoretical discussion. I know my answer and the answer of any responsible, trained person.

  10. Has nothing to do with Mr. Baldwin….no, not egomaniac either. How wrong you are Dorset. There is a right way and a wrong way. This is simply another example of stupid human behavior….an avoidable death of an innocent. Hollywood protocols are not what we should use as a baseline measure for safety, nor OSHA or the Actors union rules. We must not vilify Mr. Baldwin, we should not politicize this tragedy…but we all must recognize that each of us must strive to care more about each other’s safety and security. None of us should gamble with someone else’s life. I am confident Mr. Baldwin meant absolutely no harm to anyone. As a retired hunter safety educator, I know we can help people understand what a commitment to safety requires when they choose to pick up the firearm for any reason.

  11. He is a pompous fool. That is his true nature and inevitable appearance. Whether or not he intended to injure is a separate issue. If he had no intention to injure then it was indeed an accidental shooting. He may be guilty of carelessness but he is not guilty of anything more. I agree that real firearms have no place on movie sets. This actor should not have been using a real gun. Just like a real grenade and a real nuclear bomb have no business in show business.

  12. Does anyone know how that loaded gun got on that movie scene? Who brought it there and why/ If there are strict rules about the handling of prop guns like they say there is then I wonder how a real loaded gun got on that scene and why did they bring it there unless they intended on using it on someone. Maybe that would be a good place to start investigating this “accident”. Interesting how one person can be held accountable and be judged and condemned and another is not held accountable. Guess it all depends who it is and what they do.

  13. Not gonna say he’s guilty, but I do know that guns do not go off by themselves. I think he should be charged, however, possibly with negligent homicide or something similar.