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chyna's avatar

What do you think of Alec Baldwin being charged with involuntary manslaughter?

Asked by chyna (51101points) January 19th, 2023 from iPhone

Regardless of what you think of him as a person or as an actor, should he have been charged for accidentally shooting his camera person? Did he rely too much on others to have done their job?
If you don’t know the story, Alec Baldwin was on a movie set and was practicing drawing a gun that should have had blanks. The gun had real bullets somehow and he shot and killed a camera person.

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14 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

I think it is a very murky subject, as the weapons prop person (the Armorer?) should be held at least partially responsible. There is a good chance that not every actor knows enough about firearms to check if a weapon is loaded with a live round, let alone real. However, if Baldwin is familiar with firearms, he definitely should be held at least partially accountable.

This speaks more to the training that should be mandatory for all personnel on set when firearms are present.

Acrylic's avatar

I trust the legal system and an sure a fair due process is to follow.

RayaHope's avatar

I don’t know how a prop gun in a movie set could have real bullets in it?! How does this happen?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I was taught never to point a gun at anyone, and to treat every gun as loaded. Did he not get the memo? It sounds like a basic skill. I would like him to be sued for wrongful death, by the family of the victims.

canidmajor's avatar

@RayaHope Often real guns are used as props, they are used for realism, and can be loaded with blanks.

filmfann's avatar

Along with being an actor in the movie, Baldwin was also a producer on the film.
He was pulling every trick to keep costs down, including hiring non-union workers, and an unqualified weapons master.
A true weapons master should have made damn sure the prop was harmless, and shouldn’t have let anyone else touch them. She failed both duties here.
The weapons master is also being charged.
After the death of Brandon Lee on the set of the Crowin 1993, this should have never happened.

chyna's avatar

@filmfann I was thinking of Brandon Lee also. Was anyone charged in that shooting?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

He can get a maximum of 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine for involuntary manslaughter.

filmfann's avatar

@chyna No one was charged.

smudges's avatar

@Acrylic, were you raised in the US? Are over 50? Because I’m surprised that anyone in the US who is from here trusts the legal system.

kritiper's avatar

It’s only normal that he be charged. Anyone who is involved in the death of a human being gets charged, or should get charged.
Baldwin will be acquitted. It wasn’t up to him to check if the gun had real bullets or not. That’s what the armorer is for. Whoever handed the gun to Baldwin is the guilty person, because that person should have been the one to insure everyone on the set that the gun was “cold.”
What the FBI has determined about the trigger having to be pulled for the gun to fire is wrong. I know revolvers very well and I contend that the gun could be fired, or in this case, go off without the hammer being fully back in the “locked” position, and a finger having to be “on” the trigger, or actually pulling the trigger.

kritiper's avatar

@chyna Brandon Lee was killed with a blank when he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Just the concussion of the charge going off at zero blank range was enough to kill him.

Entropy's avatar

Involuntary manslaughter seems about right. Baldwin is culpable for three mistakes:

1) Baldwin was a producer and safety was known to be a problem on this set. As a producer, he had the power and responsibility to address the ongoing and well known safety problems. It will be hard to prove that he KNEW this, I should think, but my understanding is that it was ‘well known’ on set that there were live rounds about, and they weren’t being secured.

2) Baldwin seems to have lied about pulling the trigger. Baldwin insisted he never pulled the trigger, but forensics examined the gun and said it wasn’t defective, he must have pulled the trigger.

3) Baldwin should have been more safety conscious himself. He was waving a loaded gun around, never checked if his rounds were live, and seems to have pulled a trigger. That’s reckless behavior to a T.

So even though no one has asserted that Baldwin shot the victim intentionally, his behavior was reckless.

gorillapaws's avatar

I don’t know, but based on the (likely dubious) details I’ve read about (and my lack of legal expertise) on the subject, I think it might be reasonable to charge him based on his role as a producer cutting corners to save money where safety was a problem and there were many complaints from the crew about safety that may have gone unanswered. To me, that could be a reasonable reason to hit someone with involuntary manslaughter.

The fact that he did or did not pull the trigger doesn’t play any role in my mind. When the weapon safety officer hands you a gun and yells “clear gun” or whatever the specific protocol is on a set, I think it’s reasonable to believe them. That’s pretty much their only job. It’s like when I worked at an airline in my early 20’s for a year and we handed the pilot the weight and balance slip, the pilot believed me when I told her how many bags were on board and didn’t count them herself. It was explained to all of us that if a plane crashed and the number of bags found in the wreckage didn’t match what we signed off on, that we could be held responsible.

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