A Bullet or a Blank? How Alec Baldwin Shot and Killed a Woman With a Real Gun

The liberal media protecting Hollywood actor who advocates for gun control

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UPDATE Oct. 27: The projectile taken from the shoulder of Souza was lead, so it was a bullet. The “live round” was fired from a revolver used by Baldwin. Authorities found additional “live rounds” on set.

I wrote a new story about the Baldwin shooting on 10/25/2021 here:

Hollywood’s Love for Real Guns

The Hollywood version of the Alec Baldwin story is that the actor killed a woman with a prop gun and a blank and is not at fault.

The true story is that Baldwin shot two people with a real gun and did not follow firearm safety rules.

The media version is the crew made a mistake and gave the actor one live round of ammunition that shot two people. The factual version is no one knows what was in the gun.

There are two versions of every story that has a gun in it because the the liberal media refuses to get educated on factual firearms terms.

It doesn’t matter if Alec Baldwin shot and killed a woman with a bullet or a blank, he is to blame for not following gun safety rules.

Since @AlecBaldwin blocked me on Twitter, I have no obligation to include his tweet on his feelings about what he did. Scroll down to the end to know what I did to trigger his anger.

Fact Check

Baldwin shot the movie’s cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, and director Joel Souza, 48 on Thursday on a Santa Fe movie set. Hutchins died from her injuries.

There is a ton of reporting Friday that Baldwin shot the crew with a “live” round. But all those news stories are based on one outlet, IndieWire, which had an email from the IATSE entertainment labor union. The email notified its members that the gun has “a live round.” The union said the victims, Hutchins and Souza were members.

Late Friday, the Los Angeles Times threw all those reports into question when it spoke to a source at the union who explained that “a live round” is “an industry term that refers to a gun being loaded with some material.”

So, despite all the reports about the crew putting one live round in the gun without Baldwin knowing, there is no public information that a bullet was shot.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff detectives investigation the shooting have not released information on the gun, the ammunition or the circumstances.

Prop Gun

“I don’t understand why they even call it a prop gun. It’s a real gun just loaded with blanks,” Sal LaBarbera, former LAPD homicide detective and movie producer, told me about the media reports.

LaBarbera is also a paid subscriber to “Emily Posts”, so I’m biased. But look at his IMDB page here to decide if you can trust him or CNN, which reported today that prop guns are “supposed to be harmless guns on a movie set.”

To be clear, Baldwin shot and killed Hutchins with a fully-functional firearm.

The term prop gun just means a gun that is being used in the entertainment industry. However, most people think all prop guns are toys or fake models. This is due to bad bad reporting.

While LaBarbera says that plastic or rubber guns are sometimes used in Hollywood, it’s serious safety on set.

“Firearm safety instructors — or armorers — on set look through the barrel of the gun and check the chamber to ensure there’s nothing in the gun,” the retired LAPD cop said. “Blanks are visually inspected prior to putting them in the gun. This is done each and every time. This should’ve never happened if these inspections were followed.”

Killer Blanks

A blank is ammunition without a projectile. Think of a tiny explosion but nothing goes in the air.

“A blank means the cartridge is loaded with the gun powder and cotton or paper to hold the powder in. It does not have a bullet,” LaBarbera explained.

If you have my book, Emily Gets Her Gun, read page 67 for an explanation of the various types of ammunition and the definition of a bullet.

Almost every news story from Thursday into Friday reported that the victims were shot by a “blank” until IndieWire wrote that the union emailed members that the gun has “one live round.” The union defended itself by saying its members were not involved.

This one story totally changed the media narrative from Baldwin’s mistakes to the irresponsible crew who put real ammo in the gun.

When I first read the IndieWire story, I though, that’s a great exclusive. And then when I read the LA Times update late in the day, I thought, this is another example of liberal media unforced errors on guns.

I don’t know the IndieWire reporter, but I would bet he never thought to ask his source if the “live” ammo had a bullet in it.

Neither outlet explains how bizarre it is to shoot one “blank” and hit two people and kill one of them.

A bullet can easily go through the shoulder of one victim and into another. A blank supposedly only has something that will fall to the ground when the trigger is pulled. It’s premature to put blame on anyone on set — other than the person holding the gun in an unsafe manner.

Baldwin and Gun Safety Rules

“I’ve been on plenty of sets where firearms have been used,” LaBarbara explained. “Everyone has to the sign out their prop. Everyone gets talked to each and every day, which includes not pointing it at anyone. Pretty much the same rules we all abide by- treat every gun like its loaded.”

If you’re not a gun owner, there are three rules for safety. Never put your finger on a trigger unless you’re ready to shoot. Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. And, as LaBarbara said, treat the gun like it is loaded, which simply means, don’t play around with it.

The media defense of Baldwin

The news media has obediently followed the narrative written by Baldwin’s public relations team. The first statement from the actor who is also a producer on the film:

There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.

Instead of explaining to the public the meaning of “prop gun”, “blanks” or “misfire”— much less questioning how to shoot two people with one blank — the media fell right in line with Baldwin’s messaging.

Just google and you’ll see how the original statement from Baldwin — accident, misfire, prop gun, blanks— is dutifully reflected in the news coverage. Look at these headlines:

The Daily Beast: Alec Baldwin Kills Cinematographer in Freak Prop-Gun Tragedy

USA Today’: Alec Baldwin says he's 'fully cooperating' after deadly prop gun incident.

NBC News: Alec Baldwin shoots prop gun, killing 1, injuring another on set.

A Bullet or a Blank

Alec Baldwin has spent years criticizing law-abiding guns owners, but seemingly didn’t learn the safety rules we all follow carefully. The police will investigate how this happened and who is at fault, but it’s premature to let Baldwin off the hook.

Unless it was a ricochet, he pointed a gun at people. He admitted he pulled the trigger, whether or not he meant to do it. He did not treat the gun like it was loaded, —as far as I know from his apology hidden behind his blocked Twitter account.

Baldwin cannot blame the crew, the ammo, the gun, the production, the victims. Baldwin has only himself to blame. The media should hold him accountable, but they won’t.

I’ve written this for years, but the serious problem with the media’s refusal to learn basic firearms terms is that it misinforms the public. It leads to the kind of mistakes in reporting that you saw today that contribute to the public’s distrust of the media. It also contributes to a society that supports gun control laws that have never reduced gun crime.

Finally, I disagree with the people who have rejoiced on social media about seeing Baldwin fall under his own hypocrisy and arrogance. There is an innocent victim whose family deserves our prayers and compassion. This is not a movie plot. It’s a horrifying tragedy. But it needs to be clear on how and why this happened before the mainstream media blames the ammo or the gun.



Los Angeles Times: Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ camera crew walked off the set in protest before the fatal shooting

Interview Sal LaBarbera, 10/22/2021. IMDB page. Twitter account.

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) website

CNN: Director of photography killed, movie director injured after Alec Baldwin discharged prop firearm on movie set

IndieWire: (the update is at the top) Prop Gun Fired by Alec Baldwin Contained a ‘Live Single Round,’ Says IATSE Local 44

Press release on shooting: Santa Fe Country Sheriff

Santa Fe Reporter: Documents: Alec Baldwin Fired ‘Live’ Ammo in Accidental Shooting

The Daily Beast: Alec Baldwin Kills Cinematographer in Freak Prop-Gun Tragedy

Santa Fe New Mexican: Sheriff's office: Alec Baldwin discharged prop gun that killed crew member, wounded director

The Wrap: Alec Baldwin ‘Accidentally’ Fired ‘A Live Single Round’ in ‘Rust’ Tragedy, Local IATSE Union Says

Reuters: Alec Baldwin heart-broken over prop gun accident, problems reported on movie set

AP: Baldwin: Killing of cinematographer was ‘tragic accident’

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Alec’s Twitter Block

Alec Baldwin blocked me on Twitter in 2012 for simply challenging his authority to speak on political issues. Here’s a story on our exchange:

ALEC: The question is: Does any of this political press really matter? Conservative, liberal, any of it? Not much, really.

EMILY:  But actors do?

ALEC: God, I can’t stand the Washington Times.

EMILY: Lord, I can’t stand leftists.

I told Adweek at the time that, “Alec Baldwin needed to be shut down from his baseless attack on all political reporters. Since he thinks none of us ‘really matter’, I’d like to know what this actor brings to the public discourse that is so important.”

To have access to all my writing and content, subscribe for just $6 a month at the button above. I do not have advertisers or sponsors. My emails are simply for reading. Have a nice weekend. -Emily