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Old August 18, 2022, 05:28 PM   #26
4V50 Gary
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He may walk from criminal charges, but he won't escape civil liability for wrongful death.
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Old August 18, 2022, 10:19 PM   #27
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I think that a very likely situation, IF criminal charges are actually brought. I think they should be, but I'm just a vengeful little snot with a keyboard,

Seriously, I doubt he would be criminally convicted, though a degree of manslaughter is not, to me, unreasonable, if charges were brought, but I also believe he will be held 100% liable for the death in civil court.

Under BOTH his hats.
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Old August 19, 2022, 06:44 AM   #28
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Councur w/you 44 AMP that criminal charges should be pressed; but I recall the DA declined based on the opinion that it could have been accidental (and the possibility that the gun discharged on its own). The coroner's finding (which exceeds what the coroner should do b/c it should be limited to actual cause of death - gunshot wound and not the conclusion that it was an accident) also supports the DA's conclusion not to press charges. I bet both were politically motivated by campaign donations or political pressure.

https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment...ident-88417565
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Old August 19, 2022, 09:31 AM   #29
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The coroner's finding (which exceeds what the coroner should do b/c it should be limited to actual cause of death - gunshot wound and not the conclusion that it was an accident)
In many cases and places, it is entirely right and proper for the corner/ME to make a determination if the death was accidental or intentional. A finding of "accidental" does not prevent, or preclude charges being brought, it merely states the opinion that the death was not intentional.

This will limit the range of charges likely to be brought, but does not prevent all charges and is not a "get out of jail free" card.

For example, a Coroner's finding of accidental will prevent the Prosecutor from charging MURDER (because the DA won't bring charges he believes he can't win) but does not prevent a charge of MANSLAUGHTER, and indeed is essential to it.

When a person is killed, it is homicide. Whether the law rules it a class of murder or manslaughter is mostly dependent on intent, and an accident, while unintended, does not mean no one is responsible.
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Old August 23, 2022, 11:51 AM   #30
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While I have as much distaste for Alec Baldwin as any, and more than most, if he were "just" an actor on a movie set and this happened I could see some plausible deniability on his part because, as I understand it, actors are not expected to be proficient or well-versed in firearms or their safe handling (that's why you have armorers and prop masters). However, Baldwin wasn't "just" an actor, he was also a producer which makes him effectively responsible for the armorers and prop-masters.

As I understand it, there had been many safety concerns already voiced and several corners were cut in regards to on-set safety. As the producer, Baldwin should have had at least some familiarity with on-set safety protocols such as the fact that live ammunition shouldn't have been anywhere near the set. At best, Baldwin was unqualified to be a producer and hired unqualified personnel to ensure on-set safety and at worst, he actively hindered pursuit of on-set safety protocols.

Given Baldwin's very famous and public ego, I would not be at all surprised to learn that he consciously disregarded industry-standard safety protocols (which being an actor for as many decades as he has, he should have at least passing familiarity with) because he believe that he "knew better." Either way, he's culpable and should, at the very least, be charged with criminal negligence if not manslaughter or unintentional homicide (the wording of the charge can vary by jurisdiction). While I don't have high hopes he'll be held criminally liable, I hope the families of the victims are able to hold him civilly liable for an obscene amount of money.
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Old August 23, 2022, 02:46 PM   #31
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1. Never point a firearm at anyone.

The problem is, this is a movie set. In my mind, they should have been playing with props, not firearms.

But I would not wish this accident on my worst enemy. Whoever is in charge of the props, they are responsible. How horrible.
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Old August 23, 2022, 05:09 PM   #32
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He may walk from criminal charges, but he won't escape civil liability for wrongful death.
He owned and ran the whole production, so everything flows from his decisions. That includes his insistence on hiring non-vetted nonunion labor for safety-sensitive positions. There were already several walk-outs over safety issues.

As for the armorer, she was already known to be a problem. She had an ND on a prior set, causing Nicholas Cage to walk off. She admitted to being nervous and inexperienced, and for some weird reason, they found 150 rounds of live ammo on the set.

Put all this together, and it's going to be a dark day for him in civil court.
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Old August 23, 2022, 06:15 PM   #33
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Just by way of thought experiment, if Baldwin was not the actor who fired, and all else remained the same, would his level of culpability still be the same? My thoughts are for a film set, the actors don't bear responsibility, but instead the people who manage safety generally and in particular the handling of weapons. Or maybe some apportionment of responsibility would follow.
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Old August 23, 2022, 08:07 PM   #34
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...actors don't bear responsibility....
The last man to handle the gun bears final resposibility.
Others may also be culpable... but the last man is the last man.

No less than if someone handed you a gun, said "it's unloaded...,"
and w/o further inspection

- You pointed it at another human being...
- You pulled the hammer back
- You pulled the trigger back....

...and killed that human being.
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Old August 23, 2022, 08:35 PM   #35
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[QUOTEunclenunzie]Just by way of thought experiment, if Baldwin was not the actor who fired, and all else remained the same, would his level of culpability still be the same? My thoughts are for a film set, the actors don't bear responsibility, but instead the people who manage safety generally and in particular the handling of weapons. Or maybe some apportionment of responsibility would follow. [/QUOTE]
In the aftermath of the incident, multiple people on multiple web sites and in multiple print articles spelled out the firearms safety protocols that are supposed to be followed on every movie set. Here's one such article:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainmen...sets-1.6221637

[quote]The weapons master is required to be on set whenever a weapon is being used. [This was not followed in the set of Rust. The armorer was on the site, but not on the set -- because she had been detailed with doing tasks associated with her assistant prop master role.] The Actors' Equity Association's guidelines state that, "Before each use, make sure the gun has been test-fired offstage, and then ask to test fire it yourself. Watch the prop master check the cylinders and barrel to be sure no foreign object or dummy bullet has become lodged inside." [This obviously was not followed. Other articles state that both the actor who will handle the gun and the assistant director are supposed to watch the armorer load the gun, and during loading the armorer is supposed to shake each round so that everyone can hear the BBs rattling inside to demonstrate that the round is a dummy.] Further, "All loading of firearms must be done by the property master, armourer or experienced persons working under their direct supervision."

"Nowadays, all weapons are checked before your blanks are put into the weapon.… The blanks themselves are never loaded until the very last minute, when all crew is in position, so the armourer knows exactly where every member of the crew is so that no one's walking through any danger areas the armourer has set up," said armoury co-ordinator Sam Dormer.

Another article: https://deadline.com/2021/10/hollywo...st-1234862211/

Quote:
As Neal W. Zoromski, a veteran prop master who had turned down an offer to join Rust, told the Los Angeles Times, he initially asked for a department of five technicians, which would be standard in the business. After concessions, he modified his request to two experienced crew members: an assistant prop master and an armorer, who handles prop guns. He was told the movie could only afford one person handling all these duties, prompting Zoromski to pass.
Yet another article: https://theconversation.com/explaine...ilm-sets-71797

Clearly, rules were broken and corners were cut. What remains to be determined is how many rules were broken (these are industry protocols, not laws, but they may be enshrined in Screen Actors Guild contracts), and by whom.
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Old August 24, 2022, 12:33 AM   #36
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No less than if someone handed you a gun, said "it's unloaded...,"
and w/o further inspection
Absolutely not the same thing at all. Not remotely the same thing.

Actors are SUPPOSED to point guns at people. It is the responsibility of the armorer to insure that safety is maintained.

Furthermore, if you research things at all, it's not hard to discover that the armorer is not going to be happy with the actors messing with the guns past what the script requires. The gun is set up the way it needs to be for the scene and the actor is not supposed to be fiddling with it any more than he's supposed to go alter the scenery, go try to fix another actor's makeup, work on any cars that are used in the move or try to go work the cameras or lighting.

The armorer is responsible for gun safety on the set. Period.

Unless the actor disregards the armorer's instructions, and thereby creates an unsafe condition, they are not responsible--the armorer is.

I don't understand why people don't understand this. This is not a typical gun safety situation for the simple reason that the normal rules of gun safety are not enforced on an acting set.

Trying to analyze this situation as if it is the same as someone who is not on set, as if it is the same as handling a gun that you are in full control of as opposed to a gun that a paid professional is in full control of just results in meaningless conclusions.

Baldwin may bear responsibility for hiring an armorer that wasn't capable, or perhaps for not realizing (or ignoring the fact) that the overall situation on set was unsafe and he needed to hire more capable personnel, but this idea that he's responsible for breaking the rules of gun safety is just not reality.
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Just by way of thought experiment, if Baldwin was not the actor who fired, and all else remained the same, would his level of culpability still be the same?
Yes. His responsibility doesn't stem from the fact that he pulled the trigger but rather from the fact that he should have had a better staff on site.
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Old August 24, 2022, 01:40 AM   #37
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I think Baldwin is responsible the same way the captain of a ship is responsible. If the 3rd watch helmsman puts the ship on a bar in the middle of the night while the captain is asleep, he's STILL responsible, because he's the captain.

I also think he's personally responsible as the person who fired the shot. Real gun, real death. Real personal responsibility. Might not be legally responsible, that's not my call.

I'd love to read the actual FBI report sometime, NOT what some news service claims it says. Baldwin's lawyer is saying the FBI report is being misconstrued.

Another thing I'd like to know (and we probably never will) is what the other chambers of the gun were loaded with. All live rounds??? ONLY ONE live round and the rest blanks/dummies???

I understand that when the Deputies arrived and took possession they were given an empty gun and a box with all the ammo (some dummy some live) in it. SOMEONE unloaded that gun after it went off. Seems to me that someone ought to know what they took out of it.

I'm curious....but not hopeful at this point...
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Old August 24, 2022, 03:13 AM   #38
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Real gun, real death. Real personal responsibility.
But that's just it. An actor is supposed to be able to act as if any guns they handle are NOT real. That's why they have a paid professional who is responsible for making sure no one gets hurt.

I really don't understand why this very simple concept continues to cause confusion.

Actors, while on set, are not responsible for following the rules of gun safety. In fact, their job EXPLICITLY REQUIRES that they break the rules of gun safety.

Holding actors responsible for gun safety on the set would be like charging a surgeon with assault for cutting someone during surgery. Yes, cutting someone is a crime. But in the course of their duties surgeons are explicitly required to cut people. It's just a very different situation from normal life and is done under very controlled conditions to insure safety. That doesn't absolve them of all responsibility but it does mean that they can't be charged with a crime for cutting someone in the operating room.

It would be like charging a race car driver with negligence for driving too fast. Yes, driving too fast is generally negligent, but in the course of their job race car drivers are explicitly required to drive fast. It's just done in a very different situation from normal life and is very carefully controlled to try to insure safety. That doesn't absolve them of all responsibility for their actions, but it does mean you can't claim that driving fast makes them negligent.

It would be like charging a mining operation with bomb-making. Yes, it is a crime to make bombs, but in the course of their duties, miners are often explicitly required to make and set off explosive devices. It's just done in a very different situation from normal life and is very carefully controlled. That doesn't mean they are free from every kind of responsibility, but it does mean they can't be charged with making bombs.

I get it that Baldwin is not popular here. Believe me, I'm no fan either, but that doesn't make it reasonable to pretend that the situation was something different from what it really was.
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Old August 24, 2022, 03:41 AM   #39
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Actors are SUPPOSED to point guns at people.
....and w/o further inspection....
Quote:
It is the responsibility of the armorer...
- You pointed it at another human being...
- You pulled the hammer back
- You pulled the trigger back....
...and killed that human being.


What do you think would happen if this occurred in military range qualifications, and
the armorer handed out weapons at that range saying "...it's unloaded..." (?)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have no doubt behind-the-scenes (pun intended) dealing might well avoid criminal trail.
But if/when this ever goes to civil trial....


.

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Old August 24, 2022, 12:11 PM   #40
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I really don't understand why this very simple concept continues to cause confusion.
Probably because we all have our own different ways of looking at that simple concept....

And, specific to this case, that simple concept was violated, and a woman died.

This matter is a nearly "perfect storm" of ignoring BOTH sets of rules, the basic ones when real guns are involved, and the movie industry rules when real guns are involved.

You are entirely correct that we allow certain professionals to do things in the course of their jobs that are crimes, outside those narrow boundaries, they are still crimes.

The surgeon who cuts in the operating room is doing his job. The one who cuts women in London alleys is Jack the Ripper.

The race car driver isn't reckeless going fast on the race track. If he does it on a residential street, its reckless. The miner making a bomb and using it in the mine is fine, but that same guy with the same bomb on the courthouse steps is criminal, very much so...

So, it is very much a situational thing. And, It gets even murkier on a movie set where they are using REAL, FUNCTIONAL guns as props. And that decision goes back to the management. Which in the case of RUST, was..hmm...(looks around..) oh, yeah, ...BALDWIN.

And to further complicate things, (according to what has been reported) while the accident happened on the set, they were not filming, not doing a scripted scene, not even rehearsing a scripted scene, they were considering a potential scene and "brainstorming" it, using the set so they could check lighting and camera angles easily and accurately.

They could have, AND SHOULD HAVE done a LOT of things differently. The list is long, and hindsight makes it even longer, but there are a lot of things that should have been noticed going into it, or were, and were ignored.

First, its 2021 (at the time) 100% faithful non firing prop guns have been around for a LONG time. Even real guns modified so they won't accept live ammo have been around for a LONG time. Why did they "need" to use real, functional firearms, at all??
Using actual guns and NOT strictly following ALL the guild and common sense rules was flat out WRONG.

Yes, actors are often required to point their PROP gun at another actor or the camera. And, while I'm sure Baldwin has done that many many times, in this case, he ALSO pointed the gun at someone who wasn't an actor on the set, wasn't behind the camera, was simply standing near it.

If that isn't a negligent violation of ALL the rules, tell me how it is not.

IF this accident had resulted in the shooting of another actor on the set, during rehersal or actual filming, or the shooting of the camera or injury to the cameraman, because the script required the gun be seen as pointed at them, thats one thing. But, that is not what happened.

Consider for a moment, what would the situation be if the movie had been a Roman epic, and someone handed the actor a real (metal) sword, but said, its ok, its not sharp, and that actor swung it, and wacked a prop guy in the head, cracking his skull with the "prop sword" and he died?

Is the actor not responsible because, being an actor, they're not required to know sword safety rules???

Not in my book. The law may not hold them responsible, but I would.
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Old August 24, 2022, 01:08 PM   #41
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SOMEONE placed genuine ammo in the gun - the name of that person and his story needs to come out.

Also, why was Baldwin goofing around with that gun - it wasn't a part of the scene apparently. This information needs to be explored to expose the truth as well. Baldwin probably will not speak, so it will have to come out through others.
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Old August 24, 2022, 01:21 PM   #42
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First, its 2021 (at the time) 100% faithful non firing prop guns have been around for a LONG time. Even real guns modified so they won't accept live ammo have been around for a LONG time. Why did they "need" to use real, functional firearms, at all??
Using actual guns and NOT strictly following ALL the guild and common sense rules was flat out WRONG.
Swirling in the chaos of reported (not necessarily factual) post shooting information
Allegedly, there were three "guns" laying on the bench unsupervised.

One inert composite dummy, one modified to accept only blanks,and the fully functional SAA clone that Baldwin fired. Why was that?

One other far fetched possibility, and it IS a possibility.......

There was a lot of tension on the set. In part,it was about lack of gun safety. Apparently there had been a few "misfires"

I probably have this timeline wrong, but that day Halya was killed,
the story goes:

There was an informal,live ammo target shooting session.

The guns were unsupervised on a bench

A majority of the crew walked off the set due to grievances. Gun safety among them.

Now....Most of us have heard of some evil psycho going to a gun show and slipping a live round into a gun on a table and walking away.

No,I don't know that a crew member with a grievance loaded the gun.

I'd say its unlikely. But its still a way to explain what has not been explained.

How did a live round get put in the cylinder?
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Old August 24, 2022, 02:56 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Skans View Post
SOMEONE placed genuine ammo in the gun - the name of that person and his story needs to come out.
That's what I want to know. Whoever loaded it with live ammo knowing the gun would be fired on the movie set made the biggest mistake. Maybe the cameraman or someone else would have died/been hit instead of Halnya but either way that gun was going to go off next time it was used.
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Old August 24, 2022, 03:42 PM   #44
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"Now....Most of us have heard of some evil psycho going to a gun show and slipping a live round into a gun on a table and walking away.

No,I don't know that a crew member with a grievance loaded the gun.

I'd say its unlikely. But its still a way to explain what has not been explained."

You just may have a point there. All the attention is focused on Baldwin. What about the rest of the crew? If such was the case, it would have to be someone who had some experience with a single action revolver or just loaded all six chamber with the live rounds.
The point is someone loaded that gun with the live ammo. The question is who?
I wonder? Just how deeply is law enforcement looking into the rest of the crew? Looks to me there's a lot of worms in that can.
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Old August 24, 2022, 04:07 PM   #45
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I would love to see this matter actually go to trial, not so much for the verdict, but for the investigation and sworn testimony (hopefully) answering these questions and pinning facts down.

I doubt I would watch it if it were televised, and reading the media's "interpretations" of each day's court theater is simply a waste of my time, but being able to eventually read the facts and testimony in evidence to see which of our questions get answered, and which do not is something I would be interested in knowing.

There are many possible scenarios about how the gun got loaded, left and ended up in Baldwin's hands, ranging from simple ignorance, carelessness and misfeasance of obligation all the way to deliberate, intentional malfeasance with the intent to cause harm.

The chain of evidence is solid and clear, from the time the Sherrif's deputies took possession of the gun, but before that, its spotty and hazy and THAT matters a lot.

Some of what we currently "know" is probably incorrect. Certainly some of what has already been reported is incorrect. The only certainty so far is that the gun didn't load, aim, cock, and fire itself.

A trial may not reveal the entire truth, but what it does reveal will be the "official" truth, and I'm curious what that will turn out to be.
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Old August 24, 2022, 11:52 PM   #46
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What do you think would happen if this occurred in military range qualifications, and
the armorer handed out weapons at that range saying "...it's unloaded..." (?)
Something ENTIRELY different given that the situation was ENTIRELY different.

In the situation you describe, they are not to point guns at others unless they mean to kill them. On a set, that is absolutely not the case.
Quote:
...the movie industry rules when real guns are involved.
That's what should be the focus. Pretending that this should be judged exactly the same as if it happened elsewhere is like charging a surgeon with assault for cutting someone in the operating room or charging a racecar driver for negligence for driving fast on the track. The context is absolutely critical. Trying to take it out of the proper context results in nonsensical conclusions.
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Old August 25, 2022, 09:10 AM   #47
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We will agree to disagree.
Every practical rule was broken -- from start to finish.
Baldwin's role was in violation of those rules at every step, including the last one.
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Old August 25, 2022, 12:19 PM   #48
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Every practical rule was broken -- from start to finish.
He broke this one also: "Never point a gun at anything you do not want to destroy." However, that rule is broken frequently on movie sets and it is likely that any movie with a gun in it could not be made if that rule was not violated. My point is that movie sets have different norms than life in general.
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Old August 25, 2022, 12:28 PM   #49
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"Never point a gun at anything you do not want to destroy." However, that rule is broken frequently on movie sets and it is likely that any movie with a gun in it could not be made if that rule was not violated.
This is where the "Swiss cheese" method of safety comes into play: there are supposed to be a sufficient amount of differing safety protocols so that if any one is violated there are others to catch it; if you have five slices of Swiss cheese stacked up odds are there won't be any set of five holes aligned.

Personal feelings set aside, I would certainly like to know the chain of events that led up to this happening.
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Old August 25, 2022, 02:28 PM   #50
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I wonder if it doesn't just come down to a matter of money. Is it cheaper for a movie production to simply rent actual functional firearms than it is for them to rent or otherwise obtain non-functional replicas???

Even if it is, I can't help but wonder about the cost savings balancing the needed cost for safety when real firearms are used on the set.

With movies having budgets running to millions of dollars these days, where does what can only be a small amount of saving really matter, when the possible alternative can be human death?

They've been using reasonably realistic looking rubber prop guns when actors have to do stunts for a long time. Those guns look ok at a distance and are generally not shown close up, and go a long way to helping prevent injury when an actor or stuntman has to jump, fall or do something active while holding a gun.

(though sometimes goofs do get through, there's one in Dirty Harry where you can clearly see the barrel of Harry's "S&W" flex when he jumps onto a ladder...) Anyway rubber prop guns have been in use for generations.

Likewise metal & wood/plastic "replica" guns which look identical to actual firearms but cannot chamber or fire actual ammunition have also been around for as long. I've even owned some.

And then, there are actual firearms that have been modified to only take special blank ammo, and cannot fire live ammo, which have also been around for a long, long time.

And the final group are actual, functional firearms, being used to only fire blank ammo, which have been in use about as long as we've been making movies. The industry has developed an elaborate series of procedures and protocols to protect everyone on the set when actual functional guns are in use, and they do a good job, but, of course they have to be FOLLOWED, not ignored or they don't work.

Obviously. this was not done on the set of "Rust" or we wouldn't have had the accidental death and injury. Many are saying the rules weren't followed and corners were cut to "save money", but I have to wonder, wouldn't actual non firing props have done the same job for the camera and been cheaper??

(and I mean cheaper if they had not had the accident at all?)

I'm not calling for a law or guild rule absolutely prohibiting actual firearms in films, but with todays tech, shouldn't it be an industry "best practice" recommendation?
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