Eric Davis: Baldwin personally broke every single rule of basic firearm safety

This commentary is by Eric Davis, president of Gun Owners of Vermont.

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 job site 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.

Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

Alec Baldwin

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). 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, as the 99% of gun owners who take the responsibility of keeping and carrying a firearm seriously will point out, in addition to the slew of systemic failures which led 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 No. 1 when he failed to treat a “prop gun” as if it were loaded. Alec Baldwin broke rule No. 2 when he placed something in front of the muzzle that he was not willing to destroy.

Alec Baldwin broke rule No. 3 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 No. 4 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.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore
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27 thoughts on “Eric Davis: Baldwin personally broke every single rule of basic firearm safety

  1. Nolte: 15 Things That Reportedly Went Wrong on Alec Baldwin’s Deadly ‘Rust’ Set
    by John Nolte
    27 Oct 2021684
    https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2021/10/27/nolte-15-things-that-reportedly-went-wrong-on-alec-baldwins-deadly-rust-set/
    A lot more to this than we are hearing form the usual suspects via fake-news msm. Highlights:
    “Unfortunately, there has also been a concerted media and public relations effort to treat Baldwin not only as blameless but as a victim….While I don’t disagree Baldwin is, in a tragic way, a victim, it is also true that he may be a victim of his own negligence and/or recklessness…”

    3.Live ammo was mixed with blanks on the set…
    4.There had already been two or three misfires on the Rust set… If this is true, everyone involved should have been immediately fired.

    10.The first A.D. did not clear the gun….
    11.The first A.D. did not show the actor (as required) that the gun was empty, the cylinder was clear, and the barrel was clear. He (or the armorer) are then supposed to point the gun at the ground and pull the trigger six times.
    12.Baldwin did not demand the first A.D. show him the gun was empty…

    13.Baldwin did not check the gun. This is especially egregious after the first A.D. failed to prove to him it was unloaded.
    14.Baldwin was given a functioning gun during rehearsal. This should only happen when cameras roll. For rehearsals, you use a rubber gun or, if you have to, a stick.

    15.Baldwin pointed a functioning gun at a human being. This is beyond irresponsible, beyond comprehension, especially after neither he nor the first A.D. checked the gun,…
    https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2021/10/27/nolte-15-things-that-reportedly-went-wrong-on-alec-baldwins-deadly-rust-set/

  2. 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.

    https://abionline.org/in-the-news/two-years-after-dui-vt-senator-wants-to-tighten-legal-limit/

  3. It is the responsibility of every person who was handed that weapon to check it and see if it was loaded. What makes it worse was that it was a single action pistol, two deliberate actions had to be taken to fire it, it had to be cocked then the trigger pulled. Before those actions were taken the final check is on end user, in this case Alec to see if the weapon was loaded.

    That being said we should ban the possession of firearms from all liberals, progressives and especially Democrats.

  4. Had the pompous azz taken a NRA safety course instead of bad mouthing and lying about them the camera person would still be alive…
    I’ve read that this wasn’t the first “live round expended” on the movie set and the
    person he killed had been a major vocal mouthpiece for more on set safety…
    Being the azzhole baldwin is known to be i’d not put it past him and his temper
    to willingly have shot her.. Lets hope her husband sues him into destitute, then gets him jailed for murder 1…

  5. Go back a few years and watch Alec handle firearms in the movie Heavens Prisoners. This guy has been around movie gun scenes most of his career. Something stinks here. Drugs, alcohol, stupidity, anger or greed to get the movie done within budget, his movie.

  6. Roger that, Eric. I only hope that Baldwin gets treated the same way that you, or me, or Joe six-pack would be treated under the same circumstances. Given his public profile, color me skeptical.

    • I agree with you on a few points. As Baldwin was producer of the production, “the buck stops here.”

      IATSE stagecraft workers are professionals, used to working with difficult people who have inflated egos. When those workers walk off, primarily due to safety concerns, skip suggesting liberal or conservative bias as the cause of the walkout, as both extreme libs and extreme conservatives exist in that union. Whatever their political slant, those pros knew there were problems serious enough to give up substantial paychecks and not be associated with the production. That is a damning notice.

      To use an analogy to show how Baldwin as producer is at fault, if his film had instead been his personal car and he took it to a brake shop, but the shop employees complained he needed to replace his brake line at $200, and he took the car instead to his barber’s son as a shade tree mechanic, and then his brakes failed killing someone, he would STILL be ultimately responsible for willingly accepting gross incompetence and failure to properly maintain his vehicle.

      I have a bit less concern over the armorer than Baldwin (as producer) and his A.D. – who grabbed a weapon and yelled “cold gun” without even a cursory check. Unprofessional doesn’t even begin to describe the incompetence of that A.D.. Staggeringly stupid seems more accurate.

      An actor being handed a prop, or being asked to do a gag (stunt) is effectively a puppet who is, by years of training, taught to give up all personal quirks and “live” the character being portrayed. Actors do not personally inspect the wires in flying shots, the squibs sewn in costumes, the vehicle set to crumple in an accident scene. They put their lives in the hands of PROFESSIONALS on a regular basis. When a professional says that a device is safe, that is taken as absolute truth. The A.D. was, IMO, criminally negligent by claiming a falsehood..

      While you or I might be triply cautious and inspect after the armorer, after the A.D., and even then verbally go bang in a rehearsal rather than go through the motions of firing the prop weapon, that is NOT the actor’s job. As importantly, such interruptions can disrupt production and even lead to lax props inspections later. Understanding a little about the industry, I have to disagree that the discharge made the person who did the discharge culpable.

      The real failures occurred earlier, and in some ways Baldwin and the unfortunate woman who continued to collaborate instead of walking off with the professionals were hoisted by their own petard.

      • Litany of trivial excuses amount to a backhanded defense of Baldwin.
        — Weapon was not a ‘prop’ gun – had to have known this
        — Fired directly @ two ppl on the set
        — *Anyone* firing a weapon is solely responsible for the weapon – this bears repeating and cannot be overstated
        — Baldwin was not just another actor here – he was the producer and bears additional reponsibility for set conditions

        A walkout occurred during this time-frame. Hutchins suppported the set crew and planned to walk out herself.

        I believe Baldwin to be a sociopath and as such just a short walk to an action such as this. Husband worked for law firm that has direct ties to the Clintons – Warning shot across the bow? Defense Rests

        • I am not sure how you twist my response into being “a backhanded defense of Baldwin”? It is anything but. He was the supposed adult in the room, supervising by virtue of his money, power, influence. If he was handed the weapon and saw that the A.D. had not physically inspected it, he failed to chew out that person for not following protocol.

          My point is that ANY actor on that set handed a weapon could have fired a lethal round – because protocol was not followed, apparently in numerous instances.

          I also have issue with the professionalism of the young woman. I cannot think of a time when I went hunting or to a range and said “I’ve got a great idea! I’ll go downrange, you have your friend hand you an empty gun, shoot it at me, and I’ll take a picture!” Nope. No way. She collaborated, and had every right to have the weapon double checked.

          I hold Baldwin responsible for not enforcing a professional set. He apparently was incapable of that, even after years in the business. That is NOT a backhanded defense of him.

          • Equivocate much lol Baldwin is the one who fired the gun – Full Stop – no one else is responsible. Period. The cinematographer is not guilty bc she was there nor is the party that was wounded. There are ways to appear to fire a gun into the camera w/o pointing it @ a human!

          • To correct stardust, who apparently is not current on laws, the person firing is NOT always considered the responsible party. I easily pulled up two cases where children under the age of three killed others. However, imprisoning 2YOs may be fine for black and white thinkers…

            The charges brought against the person deemed responsible in such cases is “criminally negligent homicide.” Whether that will be the armorer, A.D., or Baldwin or some combination will be determined by a prosecutor hopefully more aware of real laws than internet “experts.”

          • I see you took advanced schoolyard debate in second grade. I believe your next pithy ad-hom comeback is supposed to have something about my mama. I stagger under such withering blows.

            No, I will NOT do your homework for you. I think the school library is down the hall… oh wait! There is this thing called the internet now! If you get your trained chicken to peck out a search, rather than random insults, you might be surprised that our system of laws has progressed beyond “Burn him! He’s a witch!”

            I’m done here. The shovel of your keyboard remains, if you want to dig the hole you are in deeper by responding to my heartfelt “have a nice day.”

          • Tellingly managed to carry water for sociopath Baldwin plus blamed the victims including a dead woman…for standing on the stage??? Wow just wow.

            Oh my…a nerve was struck…hmm, project much lol. Mama??? Where did that come from *emoji shrug* Homework? Looks like you either don’t know what you’re talking about or deliberately lying.

            More than happy to provide links to those of equal veracity. Internet in general and TNR specifically are not good places to hone one’s bullsh** artist skills ;D

            Keeping the honest honest
            Decoding the downfall one facepalm @ a time

          • +++ And yet another hooked internet troll flops around frantically on the bottom of the boat, trying to suggest his BS arguments are still alive, while continuing ad hom attacks that cover his arguments with the hagfish slime of poorly conceived diversion…

            I used to enjoy watching that squirming over thirty years ago, but it really is a time waster, which is why I might bow out at any time. Just for fun, are you against dumb blonde jokes? I can think of at least two. (Waiting for your outraged explosion of emotion IF you can be smart enough to decode what I am saying.)

            You see, I can play your silly game and keep you ratcheted up to fever pitch, while I just sit back and play with your hot buttons with a drink in my hand and smile on my face. Or I can just leave you hanging with a last word that has the sheer intelligence of Baldwin. 🙂

            How are those facepalms coming? You do seem to be good at it.

          • You’re “done here” – uh huh. My but you’re brave subjecting self to “staggering under withering attacks” lol. Sincerely hoping for a full recovery – get well soon 😀 Are you bleeding sir? I certainly hope not – hate when that happens! See my sad face. May I suggest you return to your unattended bridge sir – alpha males are attempting to cross – yikes! 😉

      • This was not “acting” – this was not scripted. It was pointing a gun at a person who had no role in the movie, motive as yet unknown. THAT is something you do not do – and for which Baldwin was responsible. You could sit at a target range all day long, dozens of shooters, multiple guns, and never see anyone handling a gun point it at another person – or even anywhere but down range.

      • You may be correct about how Hollywood thinks about guns but I think that gets people killed. Noone else can ultimately be responsible for the gun in Your hand. Sure other people screwed up and even if they do and Baldwin practiced the cardinal rule of gun safety, we wouldn’t be talking. Just one simple rule.

        • I agree with you on that, which is why I said “you or I might…” The issue with accepting that premise is that it lets other people who are paid good money to be THE safety net off the hook. If that line of thought was followed to conclusion, the other protocols are wasted effort and money. The original article points out what you are saying, but misses the context.

          I STILL think Baldwin has responsibility. I just have a small sense of relief that it wasn’t another – otherwise innocent and novice – actor on the set that fired the lethal shot, as it focuses attention right back where it belongs, without possibility of diversion.

          There is ample enough evidence to skip the hyperbole about Baldwin’s other exploits, as is common in this discussion, and focus on the facts at hand.

  7. Alec ” anti-gun ” Baldwin, for someone that hates firearms until he can profit from
    them in making a movie, well maybe not, as lawsuits are going to follow !!

    This tragedy is why you ” never ” let an anti-gun liberal handle a firearm, as they don’t
    have a clue other than they state they are dangerous, and that’s especially true in the
    hands of a fool like Baldwin.

    Even every gun-toting ” deplorable ” understands gun safety, Alec, it’s not so funny now
    is it, he’s just another liberal buffoon

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