HANNAH GUTIERREZ-REED, head armourer on Hollywood movie Rust, told a podcast last month: “The best part about my job is just showing people who are normally kind of freaked out by guns how safe they can be.

“And how they’re not really problematic unless put in the wrong hands.”


Ah yes, that old chestnut that’s peddled out every time someone argues for greater gun control in the States.

Given that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins appears to have lost her life when the wrong gun was placed in the hands of a right-thinking person who is now devastated, that argument weakens.

Factor in the sobering statistic that there are around 458 “unintentional firearm deaths” in the US each year and it looks very shaky indeed.

Now, mother-of-one Halyna has become yet another deadly statistic after the principal actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot her during a rehearsal for the Western set in New Mexico.

The truth of what went wrong has yet to be determined but meanwhile the on-set blame game is in full swing, as every-one weighs in with theories.

Assistant director David Halls reportedly handed the gun to Baldwin and declared it “cold” — meaning it was unloaded or carrying blanks — but head armourer Hannah is ultimately responsible for weapons on set and many are saying that, at 24, she is too young and green for the job.

Chief electrician Serge Svetnoy, who had been standing next to Halyna when she was shot, says he believes Hannah was the “wrong hands” — and an independent prop master commented that, done properly, there should be a big chain of command when it comes to handling guns on sets so that tragedies like this don’t happen.

On the sets of big-budget Hollywood blockbusters, that chain of command is rigidly adhered to.

But according to Paul Biddiss, a former British soldier turned military adviser to films, many US movies are financially stretched by budget cuts and long hours to keep up with the relentless demand for content from online streaming giants.

So ultimately, one wonders whether cost-cutting will end up being the real culprit.

Rumours are emerging that Rust’s tight budget meant that cheaper, ie, less experienced, crew were used and the general mood was “rush, rush, rush”.

Indeed, just hours before the tragedy occurred, seven crew members reportedly walked off set in a row over conditions and safety.

Undoubtedly, health and safety has become an industry and we are sometimes subjected to ludicrous examples of it.

Like the time Bridlington Council in East Yorkshire banned kite-flying on the beach in case someone was injured, or a fully grown adult was asked for ID to buy Christmas crackers because they “contain explosives”.

But when it comes to some-thing such as operating factory or farm machinery, or indeed the use of guns in any working environment, health and safety protocols undoubtedly save lives.

Meaning that 42-year-old Halyna losing her life at work presents a double dilemma for the man holding the weapon that killed her.

There’s Alec Baldwin the actor, utterly devastated at being handed a “hot gun” for the first time in his long career.

And Alec Baldwin, also the producer of Rust, who will have to answer some very difficult questions about whether cost-cutting contributed to this terrible tragedy.

Canu give her a break

TENNIS star Emma Raducanu has topped Tatler magazine’s Little Black Book list of the 200 “hottest dates in the land”.

She’s fluent in Mandarin and Romanian, has an A* in maths and A in economics at A level, and is the first British woman to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

Now, to add to her list of admirable achievements, she can celebrate the fact that someone finds her sexually attractive.

Whoopy-doo.

Do not bottle it Bojo

WHEN children around the country are relentlessly having the “recycle” message drummed into them during lessons, PM Boris Johnson plonks himself down in front of them to say it’s a “red herring” and doesn’t really work.

“What you’ve got to do is stop the production of plastic,” he added.

He’s right, of course. But that particular dream is still a long way off.

In the meantime, we produce more plastic waste per person than any other country outside the US, so surely it’s better than nothing that we teach kids to recycle and, consequently, they return home and persuade any doubting parents to adopt the practice too?

Plastic isn’t infinitely recyclable like glass, but at least we get a couple of other uses out of it before it has to be disposed of.

On top of that, household recycling teaches an all-important gateway behaviour that will hopefully lead to society becoming greener in general.

As a political “duh” moment, it takes some beating.

Hancock Split

MATT HANCOCK and lover Gina Coladangelo have been spotted enjoying a romantic getaway in the Croatian city of Split.

Let’s hope that’s not an omen.

Jess too unsafe

BEAR GRYLLS’ adventurer son makes his dad’s antics look like child’s play.

Jesse, 18, is a keen base jumper and his latest escapade saw him leaping off a perilously high road bridge with a parachute attached only by four metal hooks embedded in his bare back.

Sharing a video of the daredevil stunt, Bear said of his son: “His first big wall base jump.

"Under canopy by ten seconds or it’s toast.

"As we say, ‘Pull high, don’t die’.”
Er, right. Firstly, what’s the point of this dangerously daft behaviour?

Secondly, pity the poor medics who will have to deal with the gruesome fallout if it goes wrong.

Planet Reality Check

ELLE MACPHERSON tells Vogue: “My eyes are almost black, that’s the Aborigine in me.”

She adds: “Being seven generations Australian, they don’t reflect light the same way blue eyes do.”

Meanwhile, back on Planet Reality Check, her publicist was asked if the model was claiming to be indigenous, but answer came there none.

However, Elle’s sister Mimi says: “We are not indigenous, nor have we traced our ancestry.”

Something tells me that the search might lead fanciful fashionista Elle towards Scotland, where the Macpherson (meaning “son of parson”) clan has its own association and four official tartans.

Perhaps she could model them in the next issue of Vogue?

Trolls’ lot of old rot

WHEN dealing with trolls on social media, it is always wise to look at it from the perspective that the unkind comments are their problem, not yours.

After all, they’re usually spitting their anonymous venom from the “safe space” of their mother’s spare bedroom on a bleak Monday afternoon, given that they’re often unemployable.

But equally, it sometimes take a sterling effort not to be affected by some of the more vicious observations about personal appearance – in my case, “ageing old hag” is a particular favourite.

But now, my resolve to simply ignore these deeply troubled souls has been strengthened by the arrival of a new trolling victim among our ranks.

“There’s this thing about age now – age is used as a weapon. I get, ‘You’re so old now, look at your wrinkles’,” says male model David Gandy who’s, er, 41.

“It doesn’t bother me, as I’ve always been an old man in a young man’s body anyway,” he adds, with admirable couldn’t-care-less-ness.

But the next time I get trolled about my age (60 in May, as you ask) I’m going to remind myself that if David Gandy gets gip over a wrinkle then the world truly has gone mad.

Besides, we should be celebrating age, not weaponising it.

After all, the alternative is being six feet under.

Bloke a bit sore

THE selective appetite of mosquitoes has been a source of much discussion between myself and The Bloke over the years.

Particularly on a holiday to Cyprus where, despite spraying himself from head to toe in vile- smelling “repellant” (I didn’t bother) we awoke the next day to find me untouched, him looking like a relief map of Mars.

Now, according to new book Funny You Should Ask, one in five of us is a “high attractor” type for mozzies and the reasons why include having type O blood (mine is A), greater body mass and liking a drink or three.

Mystery solved.

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