The Crow v. Rust

Good thing for Baldwin that this guy isn’t the lawyer for Rust.

Alec Baldwin’s fatal ‘Rust’ case has ‘strong arguments’ on both sides, ‘The Crow’ producers’ lawyer says
Alec Baldwin’s defense attorneys and prosecutors will both have persuasive arguments in the fatal “Rust” shooting case if it goes to trial, according to lawyer James Brosnahan.
“In the Brandon Lee case, I was able to convince the D.A. in Wilmington, North Carolina not to indict,” Brosnahan added. “And I think part of it was the fact that these are supposed to be blanks, and when they’re not, it’s very rare. And he thought, I think it was a sad, sad case, which of course it is.”

The Crow and Rust incidents were very different. In the case of The Crow, I can understand why criminal charges were not imposed.

The Crow: A blank round was confirmed and loaded. But what the crew didn’t realize was that a projectile was lodged in the barrel. The blank charge drove it out.

Civil penalties, sure. Criminal? No.

Rust: They’d already has two negligent discharges on set. Despite that, the primary producer — Baldwin — did not crack down on safety. In fact, he allegedly willfully ignored industry standards on firearms on set.

Rust: For a rehearsal that required no shooting, supposed dummy rounds were loaded. In fact, a live round was loaded, and no one –armorer Gutierrez-Reed, assistant director Halls, producer/actor/shooter Baldwin — checked that. Per investigation documents, the firearm was loaded in the morning, left on a cart, moved to a safe for lunch, brought back to the cart, picked up, and handed to Baldwin without ever being checked after it was loaded hours before (pro-tip: I check my handgun every time I pick it up; if someone checks a handgun and hands it to me, I still check it myself.)

Rust: More live rounds — six, in addition to Baldwin’s deadly round — were found on set, despite the fact that ZERO live rounds should have present at all anywhere on set. It’s a wonder more people weren’t shot.

Rust: Per video and photos, Baldwin had his finger on the — very sensitive — single-action trigger… for a rehearsal that didn’t call for a simulated shooting. Allegedly, they were only “framing the shot;” checking camera angles in preparation for recording.

The Crow shooting happened due to a malfunction that left an unsuspected projectile in the barrel.

The Rust shooting happened because idiots loaded a live round, then broke every basic firearm safety rule and film industry standard for firearms.


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2A advocate, writer, firearms policy & law analyst, general observer of pre-apocalyptic American life.

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