The time has come for Alec Baldwin’s case to be clarified. He accidentally killed the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. The firearm is unknown, but the event took place on a movie set for 19th c. westerns, Blazing Saddles, and Jimmy Stewarts’ The Man From Laramie, so it’s very likely Baldwin to have shot with a revolver.
Semi-automatic pistols represent an innovation of the 20th c. so it can’t be part of their film. There are two types of revolvers, single and double action. The first one means that you pull the trigger, releasing the hammer, resulting in gun fires. It’s typical for the West in the cowboy era.
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The cylinder that holds the ammunition can hardly be removed, so you have to open a loading gate to put one round at a time into the revolver.
Contrary, double action is what we all think of when someone mentions a revolver. In this case, when you pull the trigger, it cocks the hammer, and as you press the trigger, it releases the hammer and fires the pistol.
If Baldwin used a revolver, then the negligent discharge can’t be an accident but negligence. So, those who loaded the revolver handled each round. If those who loaded the gun were careful, then such accidents can’t happen.
One round of modern ammunition consists of 4 components.
- A primer, which starts the ignition process
- The casing, usually brass, remains in the revolver as an empty shell casing after being fired.
- Gunpowder, which burns very quickly and generates a large amount of expanding gas. This, in turn, makes a lot of noise and light and pushes the fourth component out of the barrel.
- The bullet
Blank ammunition doesn’t contain a bullet. When blanks are loaded, there isn’t a bulled. They are harmless. One blank round will propel a plug and gunpowder when fired. But, if you fire a blank from a pistol pressed against a person’s heat, the explosion’s force will kill a person.
See a 44 blank.
And this is a live 44 caliber round.
If you know something about a 44 caliber pistol, then you can’t mix these two rounds. The brass is crimped in the 44 blank, and the bullet can be seen in the live 44 round.
There are four fundamental rules for gun safety:
- Treat every gun as if it is loaded until you inspect the firearm and determine there is no ammunition in the chamber.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you have your sights aligned and are ready to shoot.
- Do not point the gun at anything or anyone you are not prepared to destroy or kill.
- Identify your target and what is behind it. A bullet can pass thru a person or object and continue downrange and strike someone or something.
Alec Baldwin didn’t analyze the gun to see if it was unloaded. Of course, he pointed the gun toward the person he didn’t want to kill, and the round he fired injured the director too.
Various stories circulate online about this tragic event. One crew member stated that the bullet struck Halyna in the abdomen, and when it got out, it hit the director’s shoulder.
But, LA Times has a different story:
The B-camera operator was on a dolly with a monitor, checking out the potential shots. Hutchins was also looking at the monitor from over the operator’s shoulder, as was the movie’s director, Joel Souza, who was crouching just behind her.
Baldwin removed the gun from its holster once without incident, but the second time he repeated the action, ammunition flew toward the trio around the monitor. The projectile whizzed by the camera operator but penetrated Hutchins near her shoulder, then continued through to Souza. Hutchins immediately fell to the ground as crew members applied pressure to her wound in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally fired two rounds Saturday after being told that the gun was “cold” — lingo for a weapon that doesn’t have any ammunition, including blanks, two crew members who witnessed the episode told the Los Angeles Times.
“There should have been an investigation into what happened,” said the crew member. “There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.”
A colleague was so alarmed by the prop gun misfires he sent a text message to the unit production manager. “We’ve now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe,” according to a copy of the message reviewed by The Times.
An accidental discharge doesn’t exist. SO, if a firearm is used unintentionally, then it’s negligence. It can be caused by ignorance and carelessness. Whoever holds a pistol can’t fire if they don’t press the trigger.
Now one cinematographer is dead due to the ignorance of the safety measures. Alex Baldwin and the Assistant director are responsible for her death; intentionally or unintentionally, the damage is done.
Many questions have to be answered.
According to the FB image, Baldwin used a single-action revolver.