Guns Are Not Toys On Sunday, October 24, 2021

The set of Rust


Guns are not toys. They are lethal weapons and should never be considered a prop, not even in Hollywood.

Oh Hollywood

A high-profile incident last week has proven how unsafe gun use can lead to death. Actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of a movie he is producing called Rust.


Halyna Hutchins
Halyna Hutchins was killed by Alec Baldwin on the set of his movie Rust.


Alec Baldwin is culpable

There are some who think none of this is any of Alec Baldwin’s fault, but he is culpable in more ways than one. As a producer, the buck stops with him. He calls the shots and sets the tone.

There had been grumblings prior to the tragic incident of poor accommodations and treatment of union workers on the movie set. The morning of the incident, many of these workers gathered their belongings and left the job.

And there were also reports of gun discharges on the set the day before, as well as crew members using guns with live ammo for shooting practice.


Vintate Colt
Apparently this was the vintage Colt revolver used by Baldwin when he killed a camera woman on the movie set of Rust.


Are you kidding me?

Loaded firearms should not be present on any movie set. There seems to be a warped sense of what is real and what is fake in Hollywood, and movie makers are not held to the same level of gun safety as the rest of us.

Alec Baldwin was handed a gun with at least one live round and told the gun was “cold,” meaning it did not contain a live round. And then Baldwin made three big mistakes.

He never checked for himself what was in the gun, he pointed the firearm at people … and then he pulled the trigger. It might have been an “accident,” but it was 100 percent preventable. This makes him culpable for the death of the camera operator and for the injury to the movie’s director Joel Souza.


Alec Baldwin on the movie set Rust
Alec Baldwin on the Rust movie set,


Gun safety training

In most states in the U.S., one must take a gun safety class and obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Hollywood lives by a separate set of rules with guns flung around at random and untrained actors handling them.

There are true consequences to handling a gun. Anyone else in this situation would face criminal charges for an accident of this nature. We do not know yet if Baldwin will face charges, though he will live a lifetime of guilt over his fatal mistakes.

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Appropriately charging Baldwin would be a good start to putting Hollywood on notice. Even Ken and Karen were criminally charged for simply pointing guns at trespassers. 


Ken and Karen holding guns at protest marchers
Ken and Karen were convicted of criminal weapons charges last year in St. Louis for pointing guns at trespassers.


Guns are not toys

My women’s pistol training course was magnificent. Our married instructors had years of experience in firearms.

Our training took place at an outdoor shooting range that followed NRA safety protocols. We entered the range with unloaded guns and loaded them at a table. The only place we handled our weapons was at the shooting line.

There was a gal in our class who always had her finger on the trigger, which is a HUGE no-no. The only time your finger is on the trigger is when you are ready to shoot to kill.

So annoyed, one of our instructors finally said to her, “If I see your finger on that trigger one more time, I am going to cut it off.”

Time to train Hollywood

Gun safety is a serious issue and Hollywood needs to get a grip on this concept. People who are not experienced are being hired for major jobs, because well, everyone wants to maximize their payouts. In this case, 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez Reed was put in charge of all weapons on this set.


Hannah Gutierrez Reed
Hannah Gutierrez Reed is what a Hollywood crew calls an Armorer. She handed the gun that killed the camera operator to Alec Baldwin.


Apparently she handed a gun to an 11-year-old child a few months ago on a different set.

Guns are not toys and Alec Baldwin is culpable of a homicide. He was boss on the set. He pointed a weapon at other humans, and he pulled the trigger. All of Hollywood needs to own up to this one.


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Rules of gun safety
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