Interview with Alec Baldwin. Thoughts?

I watched the Alec Baldwin interview on NBC News tonight. I’ve been following this case, as I’m sure a lot of others have been. Basically, he claims that it’s not his fault that a handgun in his hand accidentally killed someone, and wounded someone else, on the movie set where he was lead actor (and producer). His explanation was that he was told that the weapon was not loaded, and his finger was not on the trigger. However, he did admit to pointing the gun in the direction of other people, as well as manipulating the hammer while rehearsed his “drawing technique”.
I obviously don’t know all of the facts in this case, but it appears that the firearms they were using on this movie were older, single action revolvers. I’m not an expert on these, but I know that a lot of older revolvers do not have a transfer bar, so the hammer could possibly strike the firing pin accidentally.
I’m not saying that Alec is totally to blame, since there should be no reason for a live round to be on a movie set. There were obviously other failures here, and it is a terribly tragic event. But it seems like at least 2 of the “Rules of Firearms Safety” were violated here: (1) Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded, and (2) Always point your firearm in a safe direction. IMHO, I don’t think that “real” firearms have a place on a movie set. There are just so many variables in this type of scenario that make it so complex, and the CGI effects that can be done now make it unnecessary.
Of course, just my opinion. Thoughts?

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Simply stated, my opinion is that Baldwin is a liar.

As for real firearms being used for props, all they really need to do is remove firing pins, 100%, at least that’s my opinion. No firing pin, no primer strike, no powder ignition, no pressure pushing a bullet out of the barrel.

You are absolutely right about the firearms rules, but they do that constantly…it sells, and in the end, leftie morons like Baldwin are about the money. Am I being personally judgmental of the man? Yep. I don’t like the man, and think he’s an arrogant SOB. Watever. I seriously doubt the literal truth of the incident will ever come out. Whatever that truth is, will be distorted or flat out covered up, all with and because of Hollywood money.
Apologies if the opioniated reply is harsh, but it is my honest answer.

Ya all take care,

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Personally, I think Alec Baldwin is a jerk, and a$$hole and a generally despicable human being. On the other hand, I think he is an outstanding actor and I recognize and appreciate his talent.

Besides being a USCCA/NRA firearms instructor, I am also a film producer. So I have been around firearms and movie sets. I personally think that Baldwin is not culpable for the actual shooting; however, I think he may well be liable as the producer of the film.

First off (I may get flamed for this) but a movie set is NOT part of the real world. It is all about make-believe. So in many cases, normal safety precautions do not apply because they are the responsibility of others. Think of all the “stunts” you see; would anyone in their right mind think those are responsible, real world actions? No way. In the case of firearms, the safety and the preparation of firearms is the responsibility of (A) the Armorer, and (B) the Prop Master. It is their obligation - what they get paid to do - is provide the actors with firearms which are safe to everyone on the set.

Actors routinely point guns at other actors - they have since the days of silent films. And they routinely fire blanks - at safe distances - at each other. And in over 100 years of moviemaking and millions (if not billions) of shots fired, the system and protocols have worked with but a few exceptions… every one of which was the result of an actor “fooling around” with a gun.

The scene which was being rehearsed involved Baldwin pointing his gun at the camera. It is not clear, presently, if he was supposed to fire it. The Director of Photography (DP) was behind the camera looking at the frame; the Director was standing behind her.

Revolvers present a special problem. When viewed from the front, they must be loaded with dummy cartridges to look like they are really loaded. There are two types of cartridges used in movies - blanks and dummies. Blanks are simply pyrotechnics which make smoke and flame, although they can be very dangerous at close range. Dummies look exactly like live cartridges except they are not loaded with any propellant; they are totally inert. They often have primers fitted which are gutted so that they look real. They have a visible hole drilled in the side of the casing to indicate they are dummies.

So why do we need dummies? When a revolver is seen from the front, it is clearly visible that it is/is not loaded with complete cartridges. Also, in westerns, all the extra cartridges on a gun belt need to look like live cartridges (the leather cartridge loops hide the hole in the case).

Unfortunately, the scene in question required the gun to be pointed at the camera, hence, it should have been loaded with dummies. At least two persons prior to Baldwin were responsible for making sure that was the case. That’s what they were paid to do. Had he done a cursory inspection, Baldwin would have seen that the gun appeared to be fully loaded with what appeared to be live cartridges - just as it should have appeared. He would have ONLY been able to tell if there was a live round in the gun if he took out every cartridge and inspected it individually (assuming he even knew how to tell the difference), and then reloaded the gun. On a movie set, time is money. That would take time. Two people had already been paid to do exactly that and they told Baldwin that the gun was “cold” (not loaded with anything that would fire). That is the protocol which has been used on movie sets since the beginning of moviemaking and it has worked well – as long as everyone does their job.

The real villains in this story are the Armorer and Prop Master. Why did they not do their jobs? But an even bigger question is “why was there even a single round of live ammunition on the set or on the property”? THAT is absolutely inexcusable. Someone needs to get to the bottom of that question.

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I agree with you. It is hypocritical to utilize firearms on movie sets and ignore basic rules, while some actors use their platform to advocate against 2A rights. I go back to my original point. Why have “real” guns on set? Guns with firing pins are inert, so why not just use replicas and add flash/bang post-filming? If 2A productions like “First Person Defender” can use simulation guns, why can’t Hollywood?

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Because they are wealthy, and “special” somehow. All I’ve heard from any Hollywood folks on this sounds absurd to me, but I certainly don’t work in that industry and do not know their protocols. However, any firearm on a set having an actual live round in it, that is IMO legal negligence, if not malicious on an unknown person’s part…excuses and lies will no doubt continue on this one. Watever. If I were king…

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Rich7, that makes sense. I’m not an actor, and have zero experience on a movie set. To me, the existence of a live round on a movie set seems to be the biggest factor in this tragic accident. Based on my training and experience from the military and beyond, I won’t clean my guns or do laser dry-fire my firearms unless my guns are unloaded, cleared ( a few times) and all ammo is in a different room😐. So it does make sense that the armorer is potentially more to blame. So, I pose one of my original questions: in the computer age, wouldn’t it be better to make all Hollywood guns inert, and do all the “flash/bang” through special effects?

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Patrick151 - You make several good points: why not use CG? Part of the reason is that blanks are cheaper than CG. Also, the blanks give actors something tangible to react to which is in real-time sequence. Again, when the protocols are followed - which they have been for over 100 years - real guns on move sets are safe. This horrible accident is an aberration. The fault lies not with the actor (for whom I have no respect as a human being) but the people in charge of the arms/props. That is where the focus should be — but it doesn’t make good headlines.

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That’s been my question all along. Who brought the live rounds onto the property? Who placed the live round(s) in the gun. Certainly the armor and prop master have some responsibility here, but to me, it looks like someone did this deliberately and on purpose.

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Some pictures show him crying.
I always believed he’s a terrible actor.

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A good explanation of exposed firing pin, single action revolvers.

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The ongoing investigation has been looking into which business provided the blanks/dummy rounds, and the business is being questioned/investigated, additionally, investigators are trying to track how live rounds got onto the property. But no one is off the hook. As for Alec Baldwin’s interview, well we’ve all seen it, but surely there will be more interviewing with the armorer and the assistant director, as well. This case really has these investigators a difficult job cut out for them. Just wondering on a comment that I said earlier when it all occurred, “Who’s fingerprint is on that spent casing”. Talking about the live round spent casing. Well, I suppose they’ve done DNA and Fingerprint testing with hopes that there’s something there that would help with this investigation. There’s more work to be done, just going to take awhile. Let’s see what’s next as all this continues.

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Just my opinion… think the interview is to drum up sympathy for Alec Baldwin…

and maybe have some kinda influence on potential jurors…

how old the firearm is will also make a difference…

as many now have something that prevents accidental discharge…

with newer models there is a method that prevents the firing pin from going all the way to the primer…

unless the trigger is depressed… go to somewhere that has a new one and check for yourself…

in any case IMHO with all the firearms used in prior films… the actor SHOULD have known better!

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Precisely. Wholly agree. The folks responsible for headlines care more about said headline than truth. LE, God help 'em, may eventually figure out where and with whom the error was.

Alec Baldwin saying he didn’t pull the trigger, as the video posted shows clearly, is BS. No trigger pull, no shot. Regardless of how much I dislike the guy, I call BS on his not squeezing the trigger. However, most folks outside of the 2A community, do not, and will not know the facts about the actual mechanics of it, and will probably buy his lie. God forbid they do any research and learn about those “bad guns.” Heck, I honestly think some folks lean towards thinking a firearm is able to discharge itself nowadays…
The ppl here though, well we know now don’t we?!

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I don’t own any old single action revolvers but think it would be possible to pull the hammer back part way but not enough to engage the trigger. If the hammer was released and not eased back down it would likely fall with enough force to fire a round?

Either way it would be a negligent discharge due to operator error. Regardless of how or why the hammer fell it should not have resulted in a discharge on a movie set where live rounds should never have been allowed.

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@BRUCE26
agree with the explanation and demonstration shown on the video. I have tested a lot of modern revolvers and cocked the hammer until it locked and unless I pulled that trigger the hammer would not fall forward. The gun most likely had a very light trigger and Mr. Baldwin, IMHO, did not consider that and maybe touched the trigger ever so slightly not realizing this. No excuse for what happened because there is no such thing as accidental but negligent. I have watched many movies that were westerns, war, and action movies which involved a lot of shooting with all different types of firearms and I have not heard of any tragedies like this. Other than this one and when Brandon Lee was killed there are far and few between.

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That is what I was thinking. If it was an older revolver with no transfer bar safety, then it would be possible for the hammer to hit the firing pin with enough force to ignite a primer, even if Alec “didn’t pull the trigger”. That is why I was skeptical about his “interview” last night. I maintain that it’s never a good idea to point a real firearm at another person, even if think it’s unloaded (or was told it was unloaded). I’ve handled firearms at gun shops that I’ve seen are unloaded, and I’m still very conscious about trying not to point them at anyone.
But, we will probably never know the other facts that contributed to the live round being on set.

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It occurs to me that the “trigger pulling” business could be a semantic problem with a not-too-gun-savvy guy describing the actual thing he experienced:

  • In order to freely move the hammer back and forth, up and down,
  • as Mr Baldwin seemed to be describing
  • in showing the camera whatever they were trying to capture,
    it seems likely to me that
  • he held the trigger back the entire time he was fiddling with the hammer position.

When they were done with whatever they were doing, perhaps he just stopped holding the hammer back without lowering it gently or releasing the trigger first. The gun could “just go off” without any movement of the trigger beyond his initial positioning of the dead trigger before he started messing with the hammer. So maybe there would be no perception of the gun firing as a consequence of “pulling the trigger”. Except that the unusual sequence would not change the actual mechanical operation of the firearm. Not sure how far the hammer would need to drop to start the primer.

My only revolver is a loaded cap and ball, so I can’t try any experiments or make any YouTube videos of my own right now. :thinking: Also, I don’t intend to hire on as a witness coach. :hushed:

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The more you try to convince folks of your innocence the guiltier you are. Colion Noir is correct, he should just shut up.

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I thought it was pathetic and his pretend crying wasn’t even razzy worthy.

No one should handle a gun without knowing the 4 basic safety rules. From what I saw looks like he broke all 4 rules.

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Don’t really care what folks think of him, that’s not the issue. Everyone who handles a firearm should know the rules & obey them. That said there’s plenty of blame to go around. Just a tragic mess of total incompetence.

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