Guns in Hollywood

The complications on the set of ‘Rust’ leads to a debate on whether or not guns are glamorized in Hollywood.



Youstina Shenouda (’24) advocates for the stop of gun violence. “I believe that gun violence can be reduced while also respecting the rights of responsible gun owners,” Shenouda said.

Maya Hernandez, staff reporter

On Oct. 21, Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that contained a live round, later killing cinematographer Haylna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza on the set of ‘Rust’. Hours before this occurrence, more than six crew members walked off due to safety concerns that were ignored. With lack of gun inspections and loose rules that have not been followed, the presence of real guns and bullets on movie sets has led many to speculate the safety of weapons on set at all.

Unlikely to be charged with the murder of Hutchins, Alec Baldwin may be charged if it is proven that he handled the weapon irresponsibly and with the intention to cause harm. A firm supporter in the ability to access guns, Nathanael Lone (’24), discusses whether or not Alec Baldwin should be prosecuted for the death of Hutchins as well as the inability to satisfy protocols.

“I think Alec Baldwin should definitely be charged. Yes, it was a mistake, but he still killed somebody. Third degree murder is still murder,” Lone said.

With the normality of guns on the Hollywood screen, it is almost impossible to stop dangerous occurrences like these. Violence draws an interest in crowds that, paired with guns, glamorizes weaponry to emphasize how “cool” a character is for firing a weapon. Advocate for reformed gun laws, Rhyse Sampang (’22)  agrees that weapons are heavily glamorized in the media.

“I do believe that guns are glamorized in the media. Some social media influencers are even posing with a firearm in order to sell their products. Social media is filled with images that make guns desirable or ‘fashionable’,” Sampang said.

If the image of guns and other weaponry do not escape the coverage of the media, a solution to on-set malfunctions can be to recreate these weapons as realistic as possible while keeping them completely dysfunctional. This can be done by strictly allowing prop guns on set that do not accept the passage of bullets through the chamber at all. Youstina Shenouda (’24) encourages the use of these fake guns if it is necessary to the production of the film.

“I think there are a lot of alternatives to guns on set. Producers can use C.G.I. and look-alike prop guns so the audience won’t recognize the difference on screen. It really isn’t necessary to have real guns to make a film, ” Shenouda said.

The media holds much of the influence regarding the usage of weaponry in Hollywood movies. Whether or not the character is using the gun to protect themselves or to commit crimes on screen, it is essential that it be conducted safely on set.