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Paul W. Smith: Don't hold Alec Baldwin responsible for 'Rust' tragedy


“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’” 

I find myself once again defending someone I don’t particularly care for. I don’t know Alec Baldwin, but I do know we don’t agree on many — mostly political — issues.  

Now, quite some time after the tragic shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the western movie “Rust,” Baldwin has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in that incredibly unfortunate and completely preventable accident. 

There are two people who seem guilty of egregiously failing to do their job. One of them, the assistant director, has already taken a plea deal for six months’ probation. It's odd that Santa Fe District Attorney's special prosecutor is quoted as saying that "if any one of these three people” had" done their job," they could have prevented this.

She was referring to the aforementioned assistant director, Dave Halls, who handed Baldwin the gun and apparently, by his own admission, did not check it before telling the actor that the gun was “cold,” or unloaded and safe (an important part of his job). And Hannah Gutierrez Reed, whose only job as the armorer (in charge of all firearms on the set) was to be sure all guns were safe and that there was not any “live” ammo anywhere near that set, completely failed at her job and seems to bear more responsibility for this horrific and unacceptable shooting.

If, as the special prosecutor stated, it was “three people” who didn’t do their job that caused Hutchins' death, why is one of them “walking” with six month’s probation while the other two face up to five years in prison?

With what we know so far, it seems someone is responsible for this tragedy. 

And it isn’t Alec Baldwin. 

Paul W. Smith is host of “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR-AM (760) from 6-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.