Friday, December 03, 2021

The Truth About the Alec Baldwin Shooting Finally Comes Out


Basically this is what happened. The gun is, from what I've read, an Italian-made copy of a Colt Peacemaker, which is a single-action revolver, which means that the hammer must be cocked with the thumb for each shot. The gun was designed in 1873 and has no safety device. Although the gun can hold 6 cartridges, experts carry them with only 5 cartridges loaded, and an empty chamber under the resting hammer, because the hammer rests directly on the primer of the cartridge if all 6 chambers are loaded, and the gun WILL FIRE if the hammer is struck a sharp blow. That is NOT what happened to Baldwin.

Baldwin was handed a loaded revolver, either fully loaded with 6 cartridges or safely loaded with only 5. The number of cartridges loaded in this case is not germane, because as part of filming the scene, Baldwin thumbed the hammer back without allowing it to lock into the fully cocked position, but let the hammer slip off of his thumb, at which point it fell forward under tension from the mainspring, and fired the cartridge in the chamber, which turned out to be a live round. On a Colt Peacemaker or clone, you do NOT have to bring the hammer to full cock to fire it - - just thumbing the hammer back far enough to cause the cylinder to rotate and bring a cartridge into position to fire will result in a fired cartridge if the hammer is slipped off the thumb. In point of historical fact, some gunfighters used to file the full-cock notch entire off their Peacemaker and fire it by slipping it off of the thumb. OR they would file the full-cock notch to create a "hair trigger," which means a trigger that is much lighter than normal. A gun that has this sort of "hair trigger" can go off by itself if the gun is dropped.

So Baldwin is not lying if he says he never touched the trigger; the gun can fire without the trigger ever being pulled. Just thumbing the hammer back and slipping it off of the thumb will fire the gun. Presumably Baldwin didn't know that. Probably 99 out of 100 people don't.

Having said this, though, Baldwin's liability is far less than the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, whose job it was to make sure no live rounds were on the set, and particularly not in the gun. She failed, and has admitted so. She'll be lucky to avoid jail.


Jess said...

From what I've read, the entire event was the result of dangerous activities on a set that was poorly managed. More than one person allowed events contributing to a death, and multiple criminal charges are described by their actions.

Should people go to prison for a long time for their participation? Personally, I don't think so, but justice for the person that died is demanded, and some sort of punishment for all involved is demanded; regardless of who they are. Civil actions will follow, and those with the deepest pockets will be most impacted.

edutcher said...

Arec Barwin is old enough to know about fanning; Mattel made a fortune off the Fanner 50 back when.

He was jerking around and killed somebody.

ProudHillbilly said...

His lawyers are probably pulling their hair out. He needs to shut up.

Aesop said...

1) Baldwin's criminal responsibility is zero; his civil responsibility will be limited to the his role as one of multiple producers on a show with zero assets, plus whatever production insurance there is. (And "being old enough" to know about a toy from 50 years ago isn't going to fly as a legal theory of culpability and guilt in court. The idea itself is ridiculous.)

2) Gutierrez-Reed, OTOH, has 79 specific responsibilities as the set armorer, and by my best count, she specifically and explicitly violated 50-60 of those responsibilities, and perhaps more.
All the latest revelations do is explain how she screwed this pooch, not whether. That "if" was settled when the gun went off and killed the cinematographer.

3) Halls, an acknowledged weapons idiot with a history of same, and who as an assitant director should have had no part whatsoever in checking weapons on any set ever, but did so anyway, is liable to get a fair share of the blame, as his entire function was to co-verify the exact checks that Gutierrez-Reed failed to perform in the first place, and which he, too, admits to having failed to do.

Dumb & Dumber brought a real gun to a set that was never supposed to have one, put live round(s) into it when they were forbidden from being there by rule and custom, skipped literally dozens of black-letter safety rules designed explicitly to prevent exactly what happened, and as a direct result of their repeated and compounded gross criminal negligence, they put a live gun with a live round into an actor's hand where the scene being rehearsed called for him to point and fire a blank or blanks right at the camera, which he did according to the scripted action everyone on the movie knew about (he wasn't "jerking around"), which chain of armorer errors got a crew member killed, and the director seriously wounded.

As infuriating as Baldwin's lack of criminal culpability is to some people, trying to pin any legal blame on him, given the compound failures of Halls and Reed to do their jobs, will make it virtually impossible to charge, try, or convict him with doing anything but being on the movie, after they set him up to fail at every step of the process.

You can't blame the guy behind the wheel when the person who maintains the truck disconnects the brakes, and you don't blame the waitress when the food the cook made has poison in it, just because she touched it last.

The same is true for Baldwin.
He's an anti-gun jerk, a liar, and an all-around piece of sh*t, but what he's not, is guilty of manslaughter.