- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Less than six months after Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust,” he and his wife Hilaria shared on social media that they are expecting their seventh child.

“There is another Baldwin!” NBC’s “Today Show” celebrated, announcing the news on the show’s website last week. The post described a video on Hilaria Baldwin’s social media site showing “the family — all smiles — and hugging each other on the floor.”

How sweet. Last week, Mr. Baldwin was photographed in Rome, sticking his tongue out and making funny faces while sitting in a cafe. He was in Europe filming two new Christmas movies. This week, he and his family were spotted in New York City, celebrating his 64th birthday, where — again —  his wife took to Instagram to urge her husband to “dial down the negative” and “live life” amid the fallout of last year’s fatal shooting.

“You are a man who has lived amazing moments, given to so many, and have suffered incredible pain that has left such a visible mark of trauma,” Hilaria cooed in her posting, casting Mr. Baldwin as a victim.

The Hollywood elites — with the assistance of mainstream media with a short memory span — are once again protecting their own.

During last month’s Oscars, comedian Amy Schumer was blocked by producers from telling an “insensitive” joke at Mr. Baldwin’s expense.

“’Don’t Look Up’ is the name of a movie? More like ‘Don’t Look Down the Barrel of Alec Baldwin’s Shotgun,’” Ms. Schumer reportedly said in a stand-up routine in Las Vegas this week, remarking of Hollywood’s double standard: “I wasn’t allowed to say any of that [at the Oscars], but you can just come up and [slap] someone,” referencing Will Smith’s infamous assault on comedian Chris Rock during the show.

Let’s be clear: If Alec Baldwin were not rich and famous, he’d most likely be in a jail cell.

In legal documents released last month, Mr. Baldwin blames everyone but himself for shooting dead Mrs. Hutchins, and for wounding “Rust” director Joel Souza on October 21, 2021. Mr. Baldwin said he did not know that a prop gun he was handling for the scene was loaded by mistake.

“This is a rare instance when the system broke down and someone should be held legally culpable for the tragic consequences,” Mr. Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, wrote in an arbitration filing in March, shared by Deadline. “That person is not Alec Baldwin,” adding that he’s just “an actor.”

Mr. Baldwin took no responsibility for failing to double-check that the prop gun had no live bullets in it, and blamed set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed for telling him not to do so. His filing contended that “it was her job to check the gun — not his.”

He also recounted how Mrs. Hutchins directed him to aim the gun at her and told him to fire it, effectively blaming the victim.

“An actor cannot rule that a gun is safe,” Mr. Baldwin’s March filing said. “That is the responsibility of other people on the set.”

Mr. Baldwin admits he pulled back the gun’s hammer, but “not far enough to actually cock the gun,” and “when [he] let go of the hammer, the gun went off.” In a December interview with ABC News, Mr. Baldwin claimed he never pulled the trigger.

Many gun experts are highly skeptical of both statements. The first three lessons in gun safety are never putting your finger on the trigger unless you’re ready to fire, never assume a gun is unloaded, and never point a gun at anything you don’t want to shoot.

Charges still haven’t been filed in the ongoing criminal investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. Matthew Hutchins, Mrs. Hutchins’ widower, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Mr. Baldwin and others working on the film in February.

“I was just so angry to see him talk about her death so publicly in such a detailed way, and then not to accept any responsibility after having just described killing her,” Mr. Hutchins told NBC this year, referring to Mr. Baldwin’s ABC interview. “The idea that the person holding the gun and causing it to discharge is not responsible is absurd to me.”

At the very least, Mr. Baldwin should be charged with involuntary manslaughter. And he would be — if his name wasn’t Baldwin.

In January, 24-year-old Ryheem Brummitt was booked into a Tempe, Arizona jail for accidentally shooting and killing his friend. According to police, Mr. Brummitt was manipulating the safety on the gun when it went off, killing his friend who was lying on the couch. It was not intentional.

Also this year, 26-year-old Shattiah Johnson of Southeast Washington D.C., was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter in a shooting that killed her 17-year-old friend. She told police she did not know how the gun fired and had never used or loaded the black 9mm Taurus handgun. It too was an accident — she was merely showing her friend her new purchase.

In both these cases, and countless others across the country involving the negligent handling of a firearm, the shooter was held responsible, charged, and in some cases, served time.

In Mr. Baldwin’s case, it’s everyone else’s fault. He’s just an “actor” after all, who has to make movies, pose for the paparazzi, travel the world and be a doting father. He can’t be held liable for not understanding basic gun safety, which tragically took somebody’s life.

Mr. Baldwin, you see, stands above the law. Only the peons of this world have to abide by it.

  • Kelly Sadler is commentary editor at The Washington Times.

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