Has Alec Baldwin had a psychological break, or is this a tryout for his defense?

We've all heard the slogan "guns don't kill people, people kill people," and human nature seems to bear out that bit of wisdom.  The beginning of the book of Genesis recounts the story of Cain and Abel, two brothers who had a fatal falling out long before guns were invented.  The only human remains found in the La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles belonged to a young woman who seems to have been a homicide victim 9,000 years ago — again, long before guns were invented.

Even after the invention of guns, people continue to kill each other with everything from common household implements to exotic poisons to complicated bombs.  The most rabid gun control advocates generally concede that guns don't jump up and shoot someone of their own accord.

I suspect that even Alec Baldwin, before he killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of his movie Rust, would have agreed that a gun can't shoot someone of its own accord.  Be that as it may, Baldwin sat down for an interview with ABC News to insist that he did not pull the trigger on the gun that fired the bullet that killed Halyna.

I'm sure Baldwin is genuinely grief-stricken at what he did — perhaps so grief-stricken that he's having some kind of mental dislocation in which he honestly believes the gun somehow went off by itself without any help from him.  He says, "I would never point a gun at anyone and then pull the trigger, never."  Perhaps he truly wants to believe that somehow the gun pointed itself at Halyna and pulled its own trigger.

Image: Alec Baldwin indicting the gun.  YouTube screen grab (cropped).

Since the day he took Halyna's life, Baldwin has said and done some things that at best could be considered odd.  He paraded his family all over the internet for Halloween to show what a happy holiday his children were having, while Halyna's little boy Andros was mute with grief.  He called for police to be on movie sets to monitor safety when guns are being used, a suggestion the police find ridiculous.  The NRA is the pre-eminent gun safety organization in America today, but Alec Baldwin still would never consider using NRA members on a movie set.

Baldwin still doesn't think gun safety is his responsibility, and, in the ABC News interview, he says Halyna's death is the worst thing that has ever happened to him.  I would think Halyna's death is the worst thing that ever happened to her, and her parents and husband and child, but I digress.

The salient point is that Alec Baldwin has found the perfect way to avoid any responsibility for causing Halyna's death and to make himself into a victim of the tragedy that he caused.  In his mind, guns do kill people, and the people who are holding the guns, pointing them at another human being, and pulling the trigger are just the innocent bystanders.

Pandra Selivanov is the author of Future Slave, a story about a 21st-century black teenager who goes back in time and becomes a slave in the Old South.

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