Give Alec Baldwin the Generosity He Wouldn’t Give Us


CLAY: We haven’t really discussed this, but it’s like a monster story for, what, the last three days or so, Buck. Alec Baldwin, while filming a movie in New Mexico, shot and killed, I believe, it’s the director of cinematography; also shot and wounded another man who was involved in the filming there. And now there’s a lot of discussion about what is going to happen to Alec Baldwin, how the shooting took place, whether there might be any criminal charges.

Certainly, this is my putting my lawyer hat on. There will be many civil lawsuits before all is said and done relating to the wrongful death and lots of money will be paid out, I would imagine, to the woman and her family. I believe she has a young child. But, Buck, you are pretty well versed in firearms. You’ve been paying a lot of attention to this story. What happened? I think that’s the question that a lot of people are asking.

BUCK: So there are a number of factors that make this look really bad in terms of recklessness. I don’t think anyone believes that Alec Baldwin wanted to do this. That’s crazy. It was an accident. But an accident with recklessness can still be a huge civil problem, and obviously there are ethical considerations that one has to take into account here with everything going on.

So some basics. The armorer on this particular production, I think, was 24-year-olds, and was known to be just reckless and not somebody who understands guns. She was a young female armorer who did not understand firearms very well, and that was known, and there had been other problems with safety on set and other productions she’d already been a part of.

So why was she chosen for this? That’s one issue. There’s reporting that there was a walk off the set for safety reasons earlier on in the production. So it seems like this had already been plagued by issues, and then when you look at this and the fact that two people were hit… Obviously, he only fired this once and saw what happened. It was a bullet.

Initially, there was all this, “Oh, look what happened to Brandon Lee,” the son of Bruce Lee who was killed filming the movie The Crow back in the nineties in North Carolina. That was a shard of a previous bullet, I believe, that was in the chamber and came out so really a freak accident. This seems to be a hot round. This seems to be a gun that was loaded with a bullet ’cause they had to be using the gun for target practice off set for fun out in the New Mexico desert.

So now you’ve got people that are using a weapon, sometimes live rounds, sometimes not. That is highly, highly problematic. And then when you add to it the most basic gun safety stuff. I remembered, Clay, when I was with the federal government, we did firearms training. Even if you were in a classroom and using guns that were essentially squib guns; it’s impossible for them to fire a round.

If you swept somebody with your gun, they would send you home. They would say, “All right, you can come back in a few weeks when you learn gun safety.” They were so strict about it all the time for exactly this reason. All guns are always loaded. You have to be ready to destroy whatever you’re pointing the gun at. Know where your finger is on the trigger; keep your finger off until you’ve made the decision to shoot.

These things are seared into your brain for a reason to avoid a situation like this. It seems like this was recklessness. It was a tragedy accident but an accident along the lines of a distracted driver who runs a few people over on the sidewalk. You didn’t mean to run them over, but you shouldn’t have been looking at your cell phone. You know what I mean?

That’s where I think this is going to get into a serious legal issue and legal battle obviously you got one person killed — and, by the way, the two of them were hit with one round, it was clearly a bullet. This wasn’t the wadding from a blank. So I think obvious. From the beginning, a lot of people were writing about that incorrectly ’cause they didn’t know any better.

So we’ll see. But Alec Baldwin… Look, then there’s a part of this Alec Baldwin is a left-wing bomb thrower. A lot of people hate this guy. He said horrible things about Trump. He’s a nasty, nasty person to his political opponents. All that said, there’s a woman who’s dead here. She was a mother, a wife. I don’t get into the —

CLAY: It’s hard to play politics if you’re being honest in this situation. Alec Baldwin, for whatever his political beliefs may be, certainly we’re gonna give him a level of generosity and coverage probably that he wouldn’t give to others, right.

BUCK: Correct.

CLAY: If he was a Republican who had somehow —

BUCK: He would be mocking us.

CLAY: Yes. Yes.

BUCK: If you or I had been in the situation, he would be mocking us openly. But that doesn’t mean that we should be who he is.

CLAY: And we’ll see what ends up happening from a criminal perspective. Again, the criminal lawsuits certainly are going to be going on for years and years to come, I would imagine. But the criminal nature here: Was it so negligent that there could be a manslaughter charge brought? That will be a real challenge to figure out exactly, that storyline.


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