Legal definitions of homicide in the US and applicability to the accidental shooting on the 'Rust' movie set

In the US, there is no single set of terms for the kinds of homicide. The federal government has one set, and each state has its own. They
are very similar in principle, but are not identical, and may be named and worded quite differently.
Most of US law evolved from English Law, except for the Louisiana Purchase states, which instead evolved from the Napoleonic Code of France. New Mexico law likely evolved from English Law.
Not all kinds of homicide are considered murder. The main kinds (by whatever name) are as follows (by some old definition from California?):
First-degree Murder, for which one could be executed. Requires the action and the intent to kill someone, with success. It is not necessary to have had a specific person in mind. The classic examples are shooting into a crowd, or setting off a bomb - it's quite likely that someone will die, no matter who was unlucky that day.
It's Attempted Murder if intended but no success - it's the thought that counts.
Second-degree Murder, also known in some states as negligent homicide. Requires action, but no intent to kill, but with success. This is the typical charge when an automobile accident leads to a death. Another example is an industrial accident.
There is no such thing as attempted second-degree murder, for lack of murderous intent.
Accidents leading to injury but not death are handled by Tort Law, not Criminal Law, unless it is proven that the "accident" causing crippling was in fact intentional, leading to a charge of injury with intent to maim or the like.
There are some kinds of intentional homicide that are not crimes. The classic example is self-defense.
In the case of Alex Baldwin shooting two people, killing one of them, he had no intent to even fire a live round, never mind killing anyone, so it is unclear that he will be charged with anything criminal.
The Armorer and the Assistant Director may have been sloppy (this is disputed), but even if true, that's at most second-degree murder. I'd hazard that the Assistant Director is the likely focus, not the 24-year old Armorer, who reports to that Assistant Director.
If it turns out that someone did slip a live (meaning with a lead bullet and powder) round into the pistol that Alex Baldwin later used on set, whoever meddled with that pistol will likely be charged with first-degree murder, unless the law cannot figure out and prove beyond a reasonable doubt who did it.
Joe Gwinn
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"Joe Gwinn" wrote in message ... If it turns out that someone did slip a live (meaning with a lead bullet and powder) round into the pistol that Alex Baldwin later used on set, whoever meddled with that pistol will likely be charged with first-degree murder, unless the law cannot figure out and prove beyond a reasonable doubt who did it.
Joe Gwinn
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https://www.westernstageprops.com/5-in-1-Brass-Blank-Ammunition-p/sa13b.htm
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On Fri, 5 Nov 2021 17:34:00 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

Makes sense. But we don't yet know what was in fact being used on the set.
Joe Gwinn
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wrote:

What I find totally unbelievable is....
1.Why there was a real gun on set? It was a real gun, not a "prop" gun.
2. Why was there live ammo on set?
Randy
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What I find totally unbelievable is....
1.Why there was a real gun on set? It was a real gun, not a "prop" gun.
2. Why was there live ammo on set?
Randy
------------------
https://ascmag.com/blog/filmmakers-forum/filming-with-firearms
"...we use everything from fake firearms, designed to look acceptable from a distance, to real firearms that both look authentic and can fire blanks when desired. "
"CGI may be used for close-range gunshots that could not be safely achieved otherwise, but yes, even with all the advancements in visual effects and computer-generated imagery, we still fire guns with blanks. The reason is simple: We want the scene to look as real as possible. We want the story and characters to be believable. Blanks help contribute to the authenticity of a scene in ways that cannot be achieved in any other manner."
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On Mon, 08 Nov 2021 11:42:52 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Real guns look realistic in close shots. Prop guns look OK only at a distance.

That is the big question. A lot of people with badges are digging into that. Stay tuned.
Joe Gwinn
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wrote:

I always thought that "prop" guns were either non-firing replicas or real guns modified so that they cannot hold a real live round. Blanks are shorter than real rounds and the chamber can be blocked so a live round does not go in.
Barrels can be obstructed too. A sub caliber hole will still let flash and smoke out, but will stop a bullet, possibly with destructive results to the gun, better than a bullet traveling a mile or more until it hits something.
Huge budgets, but save $500 and use a real unmodified gun. ?????
I knew real guns were used in the early days maybe even to the 50's. Hollywood would hire marksmen to shoot near actors to get the bullet strike and wood splinters flying effect. I thought the use of all real guns was banned way back when. I can't remember if the show I watched said anything about that, I think it a special on stuntmen.

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On Thu, 11 Nov 2021 09:21:17 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Prop guns are non-functional look alikes, good enough for filming actors who are not close to the camera.

At which point the gun with obstructed barrel would explode, killing the actor. Whose estate will sue.
Blanks usually have a paper or plastic wad, to ensure that a reasonable gunshot sound is generated, which requires generation of essentially full chamber pressure, which is impossible without a solid wad of some kind. If this wad is blocked from escaping the barrel, the gun will explode as well.

This issue is not to save $500, which is insignificant on the scale of a movie budget, even a low-budget film. The biggest expense is usually payroll.
Real guns were and still are used for realism. Fake guns just don't look and sound right when filmed up close. One also needs to see a believable recoil effect on the actor for it to look right.
So, what kind of gun and round to use is at end an artistic decision.
Joe Gwinn
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Firearms aren't the only dangers film makers, stunt people and some actors willingly take on.
https://www.workandmoney.com/s/dangerous-movie-stunts-94cfb629789340f9
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