Aesop has taken exception to those of us in the blogosphere who think that Baldwin should have inspected the firearm he was handed before he pointed it at a living person and pulled the trigger.

I dont normally call out other bloggers here, but since he referred to us as “Jasper and Billy Bob,” and I tried to post further comment on his blog but the comment was moderated away, here it comes.

People pointed out to him that, as a nurse, he checks medication vials that are handed to him before he gives them, rather than simply taking their word for it, so why shouldn’t an actor check to ensure a firearm isn’t loaded, even if the prop master says it’s not loaded. He replied that the medication is different, because ensuring it is correct is the nurses’ job, but actors are different because they aren’t trained.

He then goes on to claim that we aren’t qualified to judge him, because we don’t work in Hollywood on movie sets. He even brushed aside Branca’s opinion for reasons.

Aesop believes that since actors are busy, rich, and experts in making movies, that they are too busy and important to be bothered with mundane things like firearm safety, so should be permitted to pick up a firearm that a flunky tells them is uploaded, point it at someone, and pull the trigger. If someone is killed, well that’s just unfortunate, but at least the famous actor wasn’t inconvenienced with having to learn firearm safety.

So if he won’t listen to us, nor even to an actual attorney, maybe he will listen to the guy at this link, who DOES make movies. HE thinks that Baldwin messed up. An actual quote:

“Loaded or unloaded, a weapon never gets pointed at another human being,” said Bryan Carpenter, who heads Dark Thirty Film Services, “Even on a film or TV set,” he said “you never let the muzzle of a weapon cover something you don’t intend to destroy.”

The weapons consultant cited what he called “Colonel Jeff Cooper’s four fundamentals” of gun safety.

“All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are,” reads the No. 1 rule by Cooper, an influential gun safety expert who died in 2006.

The consultant also said that for safety purposes, live firearms used in TV and movie productions are typically aimed at a dummy point, not at equipment, cast or crew members, as was the case with the weapon handled by Baldwin.

Or you could take the word of a prop expert from this article, who said:

“There should be a number of people on-set checking,” said one prop assistant, who has worked on a big-budget Hollywood thriller. “If it were me, I would also have the actor check.”

Just because someone else is paid to do something doesn’t absolve you of responsibility. To use Aesop’s own example, if a pilot is told the plane was fully fueled by the maintenance crew, he is still responsible if the plane runs out of fuel mid flight.

No one is saying that the actor should be the only one to check the firearm, but he should be the last.

Categories: Uncategorized


ChuckInBama · October 23, 2021 at 4:36 pm

And that is why I no longer frequent Aesop’s blog. I enjoyed his way with words, but he also speaks out of both his asses.

The man who pulls the trigger is ultimately responsible for what happens “downrange”. Doesn’t matter who that person is, they should have been trained how to verify whether or not a firearm is loaded before they are ever allowed to touch it. Any Second Amendment supporter can tell you that; no matter how deplorable they are.

    John Wayne · October 23, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    Aesop has two asses’s. >LOL. Very appropriate.

Skyler the Weird · October 23, 2021 at 5:15 pm

I’ve taught my kids never ever point a gun at any living thing unless it means you harm. Not toy guns, not sticks, not Neff guns, nor bows or crossbows either. You are responsible for gun safety for your person. You’re also responsible for the upkeep of your weapons to be sure they are safe.

I read the Armorer they hired on the set was inexperienced and was the daughter of a well known Hollywood Armorer. How much did nepotism and trying to make the set more ‘diverse’ play into this?

Kid · October 23, 2021 at 5:22 pm

Agree, but the real question is who brought a real gun and ammo and why?

    John Wayne · October 23, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Exactly. WHO put a live round in the gun?

E M Johnson · October 23, 2021 at 5:38 pm

aesop occassionally goes off his meds then we get what we have here today, which is the way likes it. just one more reason to not visit his site. no loss

T Town · October 23, 2021 at 5:56 pm

I think what it will come down to is, was the gun fired during filming, or did Baldwin fire it during one of his famous fits of rage?

Big Ruckus D · October 23, 2021 at 5:57 pm

Aesop may be correct that the rules of handling firearms on the set of a film or stage production are setup such that the actor handling and firing said weapon doesn’t bear ultimate responsibility for whether the gun was verifably “cold”, to use the apparent industry speak.

Be that as it may, any actor in such a scenario SHOULD bear responsibility for safe handling of said weapon, including knowing how to be certain it is unloaded properly and with confidence. If that means they need to take addtional time for training with the particular weapon, so be it.

He makes the excuse (my paraphrasing here) that actors aren’t that bright and that somehow proper gun handling and safety is thereby too complicated and time consuming for them to have to be bothered with. Proper bullshit. It is a quick and easy operation (once learned) to clear a gun. It isn’t akin to being an expert on structural integrity of an aircraft as a pilot, or being a surgeon or any other such highly complex specialty requiring years of intense education and training. Those comparisons are straw man arguments. It is simple enough to attain a working familiarity with the gun in use enough to quickly and safely unload it. These same assholes learned to drive a car, even if they do it poorly.

Actors are great at rote memorization; they memorize entire scripts in the course of doing their jobs. They can memorize how to properly handle a weapon without much additional comittment of time and effort. The rules as they exist strike me (per Aesop’s now multiple lengthy screeds on the subject) as convenient carve outs to do two things: first, it saves time (and time is money) for a bunch of skinflint sonsabitches who run productions in hollywood by officially codifying the cutting of corners as a legitimate accounting practice.

Second, if the worst should somehow happen (as just did) it attempts to provide legal cover for the least expendable part of the production – the big name star – so that the shit sandwich of punishment can be served to some no-name (to the public at large) off camera staff member who can be fingered for the big fuckup.

Note that I am not absolving anyone else who may have had a part in allowing a live round into a real gun being used as a prop. If there are others responsible, they damn well should get nicked as well. But, one does not simply absolve the individual who aimed and fired because they are famous and someone else didn’t do their job. There is no other line of work (even cops) in which such a carve-out is officially adopted in the rules. Sure, cops get a pass for bad shoots all the time, but that is “off the books” policy created by informal collusion between police and prosecutors.

Anyway, power and influence have a funny way of allowing those who wield them to escape rightful responsibility for fuckups that rise to the level of a criminal act. That’s nothing new. It needs to change, and I’m wasting my time wishing for such change. Aesop needs to rethink his rationalization of the rules as they exist, people can rationalize any old shit; that doesn’t make to right, just makes it legal so the culpable can conveniently escape prosecution.

Steve S · October 23, 2021 at 6:59 pm

Yeah, he throws a good bluster. Attention seek much?

“Literally the very first (of 44, so far) Industry-Wide Safety Bulletins whose rules are, quite literally, written in blood.”

The site he pulled the Safety Bulletin from (of the 44 only two are firearm related) states:
“Safety Bulletins are guidelines recommended by the Safety Committee. They are not binding laws or regulations. State, federal, and/or local regulations, where applicable, override these guidelines. Modifications in these guidelines should be made, as circumstances warrant, to ensure the safety of the cast and crew.”

Written in blood? Nope.

Tidbits from the bulletin (and sorry, but the actor is not listed as responsible for checking the gun).
“These guidelines are intended to give recommendations on the safe handling, use, and storage of firearms. Firearms include prop guns, rubber guns, plastic guns, non-guns, flintlock guns, pistols, machine guns, rifles, and shotguns that shoot “Blank Ammunition.”

No one shall be issued a firearm until he or she is trained in safe handling, safe use, the safety lock, and proper firing procedures.

1. Refrain from pointing a firearm at anyone, including yourself. If it is absolutely necessary to do so on camera, consult the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) or other safety representative, such as the First A.D./Stage Manager. Remember that any object at which you point a firearm could be destroyed.
2. NEVER place your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. Keep
your finger alongside the firearm and off the trigger.
3. KNOW where and what your intended target is.
4. DO NOT engage in horseplay with any firearms.

7. NEVER lay down a firearm or leave it unattended. Unless actively filming or rehearsing, all firearms should be safely secured.

11. Protective shields, eye, and hearing protection or other appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shall be issued and utilized by all personnel in close proximity and/or directly in the line of fire.

13. All personnel should remain a set safe distance from the weapon firing area (to be determined by the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production), Stunt Coordinator and/or designated Studio Safety Representative) to ensure personal safety from blank debris and hot ejected blank casings.

The Property Master (or, in his/her absence, a weapons handler and/or other
appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production)
is responsible for the following:
1. Ensuring the control and distribution of all firearms on the set.
2. Ensuring that all firearms which will be used on the production (whether company owned, rented, or privately owned) are given to and are in possession of the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production).

4. Their own qualifications for working with the type of firearms being used, the knowledge of their safe handling, use, and safekeeping, and familiarity with the “BLANK AMMUNITION” to be utilized.

12. Ensuring that any actor who is required to stand near the line of fire be allowed to witness the loading of the firearms.

15. The possession of all firearms except during actual filming or rehearsal. Afterwards, the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, a weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) will immediately unload the “BLANK AMMUNITION” from the firearm.
16. Checking all firearms before each use. All firearms must be cleaned, checked and inventoried at the close of each day’s shooting.

The second bulletin addresses using live ammunition on the “very rare occasion.”

Russell G. · October 23, 2021 at 7:18 pm

What’s even more weird to me is that, according to some web sites I’ve looked at, he fired an engraved 1862 Colt Pocket Navy (cap and ball). So, if that is true (and I have no clue whether it is), you couldn’t really tell from the outside whether or not the black powder or Trailboss or whatever flash compound they were ‘prop’ using was in the cylinder. You would see the percussion cap, and perhaps the lead ball in the cylinder (in a frontal remote shot), but that BP would be ‘uninspectable’. This is just goofy as shit, and points me in the direction of something intentional by who knows who.

Now, you have to take some time to load those cylinders with powder, wads, bore butter, etc., and you can’t install a conversion cylinder for a centerfire cartridge in an old timer (especially that Colt) that doesn’t have a backstrap. Then, you have to take time to install the percussion caps. Even if, as a prop gun, you fired a couple of packed wads out of that with propellant I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be in front of it. But, apparently they had a through and through, so, that means some mass to the ball and some velocity.

There’s apparently more to this story…

    Beans · October 23, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Some reports state that Balwin was joking and fooling around.

    But according to Aesop, because he’s a functional retard, that absolves him of all guilt.

    Eh, nope.

    Now the real question is, will the prosecutor do a forensic study of all of Baldwin’s emails and personal correspondence and any tapes of his phone calls and look at his history of being extremely abusive towards women and factor that into the indictment? You know, like the prosecutor would do if you or I picked up a gun that was supposedly unloaded and plugged someone with it.

Scott A Worack · October 23, 2021 at 7:46 pm

He lives in California. Enough said.

Delta Mike · October 23, 2021 at 11:21 pm

First off, Baldwin is a douchbag, rabid anti-Second Ammendment. Thinking that Alec the Fluckstick is remotely capable of anything beside snorting, drinking, and screwing is retarded. He is an actor, not at all a capable Man.
Second, not gonna much get into a silly blogger pissy match, but Aesop is USMC, talks the talk and walks the walk, so by default he gets the win. Shake and make up Divemedic, you know he will.

Semper Fi

    E M Johnson · October 24, 2021 at 6:34 am

    if you think being a marine precludes being a drama queen your wrong. his response to criticism is frequently over the top. No free pass for the globe and anchor mate

    Divemedic · October 24, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Got it. Stupid people get a pass on legal liability and Marines are experts on the law and ethics.

    ChuckInBama · October 24, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Doesn’t really matter what branch he served in, he strapped on his golf shoes and stomped on his dick.

    EN2 SS · October 24, 2021 at 10:55 am

    If Aesop gets a pass for being stupid, in your opinion because he was a marine, my respect for marines just took a major hit.

Therefore · October 24, 2021 at 7:43 am

I once worked at a company, small, that had an in office “culture” of airsoft battles. The first my supervisor pulled out a Colt 1911 and pointed it towards me I almost killed him.

I had moved and was getting ready to draw when he pointed it away “it is just an airsoft gun” and pulled the trigger.

They had all taken the orange muzzle markers off. Because it looked better.

I calmly explained that I would not be playing in their airsoft battles and that nobody should ever point one of those guns at me. I then told boss and owner that it was unsafe and I would not accept anybody pointing a gun at me.

They never did get how dangerous it was to them. They just considered me a little more antisocial than I actually am.

SAM · October 24, 2021 at 7:56 am

I like the way this guy puts it.

Jonathan · October 24, 2021 at 8:36 am

While I find Aesop has some good stuff, he pushes hard and can be over confident to point of arrogance at times, I still read him but less regularly than I used to
He has a good point about movies being penny wise and pound foolish – like what I’ve seen of the oil industry, but even worse.
Non union doesn’t mean incompetent (and union doesn’t always mean competent) but if the set changed to non union, the union is certainly going to try to make the others look foolish.
As mentioned above, there shouldn’t have been live ammo on site. Why was it there? Good question! I can think of several reasons, ranging from accidental to conspiracy…

Will · October 24, 2021 at 10:26 am

Here’s a question for you. If another nurse prepares the injection and hands you the syringe to administer, do you double check the contents? Interested in your answer because my wife, who is a retired RN, brought up this scenario.

    Divemedic · October 29, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    Whenever one person draws a drug that another will administer, the proper procedure is the provider that draws up the drug shows the empty vial and the syringe to the one who will administer it while reciting the contents. For example: “This is 50 milligrams of Haldol in 10 milliliters.” or “This is 10 milligrams of morphine in 10 milliliters” In the case of prefilled syringes, the label of the syringe is shown to the provider who will push the drug, i.e. “This is 1 milligram of 1 to 1,000 epi.”
    In the case of mixed drugs in a bag, same thing, but with the concentration. “This is Dopamine. 400 milligrams in 250 milliliters of normal saline, for a strength of 1600 mikes per milliliter.”

    The one administering it looks at the vial and the syringe, verifying that the drug is what it is claimed to be, and that the volume matches.

    Yes, even after decades, I still do it that way. I also teach my students and my preceptees that this is the way it is done. That is why I have never made a medication error. Not once.

Skeptic · October 24, 2021 at 10:31 am

Let’s see. Aesop “is” a marine, a 20 year veteran of the film industry, and a 20 year nurse, according to him.


    Jonathan · October 24, 2021 at 11:37 am

    I was wondering about that…
    In the past I’ve only seen mention of the nurse part…

    ChuckInBama · October 24, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Never added up to me, either. I’ve mentioned before that he’s probably a one-term Navy corpsman that desperately seeks attention.

Papa · October 24, 2021 at 2:16 pm

Aesop. Why do people still visit his blog?
I stopped awhile back after he would delete comments he did not agree with from others and myself, and reading his rants in posts and replies to commentors.
Then his flip flopping during this Coofid time.
Do yourself a favor and go cold turkey from Aesop.

Michael · October 24, 2021 at 7:04 pm

Sorry to see Divemedics fan club in action.

I’ll wander through the older posts and see why Aseop reads his blog.

And the 3 letter Agencies are Laughing at our ability to tear each other down.

At least Aseop is adult enough to Sundown his post. I will take a look after his post Sundown’s and see if this one is still screeching.

    Divemedic · October 24, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    I don’t delete or sundown anything. If I say something, I stand behind it, never editing or deleting anything. Even when I am wrong, I leave it out there, warts and all. It’s called integrity.

      Michael · October 25, 2021 at 7:46 am

      Integrity or Pride?

      Gee and I foolishly thought that Aseop was showing respect by not leaving a old battered billboard of your disagreement on the internet highway.

      His posting while acrid was at least showing his honor for Divemedic.

      Seems there is a proverb about good people making amends?

      But I am only a little guy without a blog and all the authority Responsibilities and such that follows. People who Do Things have opinions and often differ between themselves. The 3 letter folks are laughing at our ability to eat our own.

        Divemedic · October 25, 2021 at 12:03 pm

        Bloggers have authority and responsibilities? Bullshit.
        The only authority I have is the control over my server. I don’t owe you anything, nor do I have any responsibilities as a blogger.
        I highly doubt that the CIA cares one whit that you are here, leaving your footprints in this comment section.
        This comment thread has run its course. Comments are now closed on this post.

    ChuckInBama · October 24, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Michael, I just checked over at Asshat’s, and nothing has “sundowned”….

Paulb · October 25, 2021 at 7:28 am

I like both you guys.

Some poor nobody took a pill to the melon and some rich douchebag pulled the trigger. That’s reality. Why defend that system?

I disagree with Aesop’s logic and defense of the existing system, after some rich douchebag painted the walls with some poor nobody’s skull contents.

Each link in an error chain is an opportunity to stop the error. So there were multiple links available to choose from… but the last one, the biggest and brightest one, was in the hands of the rich douchebag. It was HIS JOB not to kill someone. It’s everyone’s job not to kill someone.

“Because it’s expensive and time-consuming” is the shittiest argument against not killing someone ever.

Ships use rocket-powered line throwing guns to pass a rope from one ship to the next to set up a tow in case of engine failure. Every deckhand must know how to do this, and every merchant ship in the world must practice quarterly, and with a live fire at least annually.
Guess who has to make the final check whether they have a dummy or live rocket in the gun? Guess who’s responsible for checking the backblast area?

Comments are closed.