Careless Personnel+Covid Protocols=Death And Injury

By | October 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

Perhaps you recall the old joke: When I complained they said, “Cheer up, things could be worse.” And sure enough, things got worse. Well, the situation on the film set of “Rust” just got worse.

Our understanding was that guns were left on a cart, outside the building where filming was going on. Apparently they were in the open, not in a locked container, and left unattended during lunch. Some crew members picked one or more guns up, took them “plinking” – informal target shooting – in the nearby desert, then returned them when the break was over. But they did not check to be sure all live ammunition was removed.

The armorer apparently did not recheck the unattended guns. Then the assistant director did not check gun he picked up from the cart to give to Baldwin, and Baldwin did not check it. Thus a live round was fired that killed Halyna Hutchins and injured Joel Souza.

If all this is correct, it still does not explain why the guns and the armorer were not inside the building. The reason appears to be Covid protocols. Reportedly the cast and crew were divided into groups, so there would be less person-to-person contact. But the armorer was placed in a different group than the cast and chief crew members. So she had to remain outside with the guns, rather than inside, where she would be readily available and the guns would be secure. The Three Stooges could have done a better job.

A shoestring budget was not enough. Rushed production was not enough. Careless personnel were not enough. No, to make it likely that death and injury would result, they had to add impractical, unrealistic, dangerous Covid protocols dreamed up by people who knew little about epidemiology, and even less about movie-set safety. We didn’t think things could get worse, but sure enough they did.

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