UPDATED: It didn’t take long for someone to exploit the tragic shooting on the New Mexico movie set in which actor Alec Baldwin fired a shot from a “prop” gun, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
There is now a petition at Change.org demanding a ban on the use of real firearms on film sets.
Baldwin, according to a report at The Hill in 2018, joined other Hollywood stars to bash the National Rifle Association and call for adoption of a “Gun Safety Bill of Rights,” reportedly fired one shot from a “prop gun” on the set of a western titled “Rust.”
According to Fox News, Baldwin is also now being criticized for a tweet he posted in 2017 that reads “I wonder how it must feel to wrongfully kill someone.” The tweet had a link to an article in the Los Angeles times about the fatal shooting of a suspect by a Huntington Beach police officer.
I wonder how it must feel to wrongfully kill someone…https://t.co/WE6QsAAXGI
— AlecBaldwin (@AlecBaldwln____) September 23, 2017
Investigators are still trying to determine how the accident happened. There were no arrests and no charges have been filed, according to several reports.
But the incident does raise questions, particularly about the round that was fired. Live ammunition is not supposed to be on movie sets. One report at Fox News quoted an unidentified “spokesperson for Baldwin” saying there had been “an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.”
Baldwin was in tears following the incident, according to several published reports. Fox News is reporting that Baldwin wrote on Twitter Friday morning, “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours.”
The Change.org petition was “created by Bandar Albuliwi, a young director who graduated from the American Film Institute Conservatory, the same school Hutchins attended,” USA Today reported.
The petition wants Baldwin to “promote ‘Halyna’s Law,’ which will ban the use of real firearms on set.”
However, such a notion might be considered preposterous, especially for close-ups and action sequences. Still, it does reflect the extent to how some react to a tragedy involving firearms.
On the other side of the discussion, experienced gun owners are weighing in on Facebook. One conversation is illustrated with a picture of the “Gunsite Firearms Safety Rules.”
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything which you are not willing to destroy
- Keep your finger OFF the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Always be sure of your target.
Production has been halted for an undetermined period while the investigation continues. Cast and crew are reportedly cooperating with the investigation.
According to IndieWire, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 44 sent an email to all members Friday which said “A live single round was accidentally fired on set by the principal actor, hitting both the Director of Photography…Halnya Hutchins, and Director Joel Souza.”
So, again the question remains, how did a live round find its way on a movie set? That will have to be determined during the investigation.