Did Alec Baldwin's contempt for guns play a part in Halyna Hutchins’ death?

After listening to Alec Baldwin break his silence about shooting Halyna Hutchins, I am beginning to think there are two Americas. One America is populated by elites like Baldwin, so arrogant that he believes all he has to do is say the gun went off by itself and he will be absolved of all guilt in the death of Halyna Hutchins. The other America is composed of the little people he so despises, who know that a gun cannot fire a bullet without a human to manipulate it.

Baldwin has stated that he feels no guilt over Halyna’s death because he didn’t do anything to cause it. He squeezed out a few tears, had the effrontery to blame Halyna herself because she told him where to point the gun, and mused that if he thought he was responsible for the shooting he might have killed himself. As stomach-churning as these remarks are, the hardest thing to take is that Halyna’s death could have been avoided if Baldwin didn’t have such contempt for guns in general and the NRA in particular.

The NRA is the most gun-safety-conscious organization in America. NRA Certified Range Safety Officers are the top experts in gun safety. Both public and private firing ranges routinely mandate certified NRA-trained Range Safety Officers because insurance companies require such officers. Practically every state that allows concealed carry permits provides those permits only after NRA instructors have certified that the student is proficient in gun safety protocols.

Baldwin has called for police officers to be on movie sets, but it’s the NRA Law Enforcement Division that has trained more than 59,000 law enforcement firearm instructors over the last 50 years. If an NRA Certified Range Safety Officer had been on the set of Rust, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today.

Image: Alec Baldwin (edited in befunky). YouTube screen grab.

Since killing Halyna, Baldwin has demonstrated a massive indifference to public opinion, perhaps because he believes he won’t be criminally charged and have to answer to twelve members of the public. However, he may not be out of the woods. Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies has reacted to Baldwin’s interview by asserting that no one on the movie set who handled any of the guns has been cleared. Her investigation is continuing and may well result in criminal charges.

Meanwhile, Baldwin is going about his life, comforted by fellow actors who are using social media to send messages of love and support. Dwayne Johnson has gone so far as to pledge that he will never use real guns in his movies again.

Perhaps Hollywood would do well to look at the example of Patrick Macnee, who starred in the long-running British TV spy show The Avengers. Long before Tony Stark and super-powered superheroes, there was John Steed, a debonair secret agent who never killed a single person during the eight-year run of the popular series. Steed didn’t even carry a gun.

Patrick Macnee commanded torpedo boats during World War II. He had killed people during the war with guns and he didn’t want any part of them after the war. Nor was he willing to be a hypocrite, eschewing guns off-screen but spraying bullets in front of a camera. Steed carried an umbrella.

I am not suggesting that Hollywood go in for umbrellas instead of guns in the movies. However, I do think a proper respect for the power of guns and the responsibility that goes with that power is the only way to avoid more tragedies like Halyna Hutchins’ death.

Pandra Selivanov is the author of The Pardon, a story of forgiveness based on the thief on the cross in the Bible.

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