A lot of people have weighed in on this tragedy.
Some with agendas, some with axes to grind, some with pain to share, some with outrage to place.
I say the following as someone who is a gun owner, but absolutely believes in stricter gun laws. Absolutely believes you should have a background check for guns, and for guns capable of mass murder, waiting periods, psyche test, and sales excluded based on a history of violent issues or mental issues. I believe the same rigid testing, what has been called psychopath testing, should be required not just for purchasing of high capacity weapons, but to be a politician, a police officer, a prison guard, in the military, etc.
I say the above to let you know that the following does not come from a knee-jerk, “don’t touch my guns” place.
If it saves lives, take all our guns; and give us all swords.
No the RUST case, I see a Tragedy.
I feel bad for all involved, of course the family of the victim, but also the cast and crew touched by this accident, including Alec Baldwin.
Obviously there was culpability and incompetence on this set, enough incompetence that six live bullets ended up on set, and one ended up in a gun, that ended a life.
I’m not here to argue who should have been charged and who should not have, chargers have been proffered and hopefully it will clarify the mistakes of that day, and while nothing will repair the damage of that day, hopefully it will give some framework to the tragedy, and at the very least some additional impetus to future productions to increase or at least adhere to established safety protocols.
Cause here’s the thing, every talking head that has discussed this has railed that this is a call for change in Hollywood, and “removing live weapons from set is the answer, live guns is the cause, and prop guns with CGI effects is the answer.”
To that I say, with all respect, you have to see with better eyes then that.
There is a 100 years of cinema checks and balances in place, security measures in place, to stop accidents like this. To catch accidents like this. And that process works. Lets say a 1000 movies (both theatrical, and broadcast, and streaming) a year, for a hundred years of cinema, so a 100000 movies at the low end, a 100,000 movies, millions of guns shot, swords slashed, cars crashed, heavy artillery fired, buildings and bridges blown up, and you can count on fingers and toes, the fatalities, rather than those fatalities being in the millions.
And that is because of a system the has worked and is working, The Weapons Masters. These guys for a hundred years, have given cinema its exciting fiction, while keeping people safe and alive.
The fact that it didn’t work in the RUST case, was because the rules, the safety checks were not followed. Was because the checks and balances that a competent Weapons Master brings to a set, was obviously not in use on this set.
So the peanut gallery’s kneejerk reaction is to “do away with live guns, and use prop guns that look like real guns, but can’t fire so are absolutely safe and we add the ,muzzle flash with CGI. Job Done, right? Who needs Weapons Masters when we eliminate operable guns?”
So now everyone drinks this koolaid, and they dismantle and fire weapons masters because no one is using real guns, “no need. We are safe now.” You have never been more wrong.
This mindset that you are now safe, is a horrible mindset for safety. Flies in the face of security. There is a lot of horrible things about fear, but one redeeming part of fear… fear if you listen to it, can keep you from harm, can teach you caution, can teach you respect, can teach you to stay alive.
You now create an atmosphere without checks and balances, because everyone assumes they are using inoperable guns, no need for fear, no need for caution, no need for checks and balances. So what happens when the same type of person who would bring live bullets to a set, instead brings a 3d printed prop gun, with live rounds in the chamber. In your new perfect CGI prop set, people end up just as dead.
And with the checks and balances of a proper movie, these tragedies become the norm, not the exception.
The RUST case was a tragedy, but the take away from that tragedy can not be to gut an overhaul a system that has saved lives and limbs for a hundred years, the takeaway must be to have productions strictly adhere to the protections that are in place to keep people safe. And an Indie production must prove it has qualified weapons masters and checks and balances in place, prior to being insured/going into production.
That is the solution, not knee-jerk outcrys for wholesale change, change that opens up its own untested issues, but to give teeth to the protections already in place, and productions and individuals… bound by them.
Here endeth the Lesson.