A tale of two guns.
I read, with some recognition, of the sobering tale of David Lubin, an actor, who found himself in a perilous situation on set, recently. Mr. Lubin had been playing a masked gunman, whilst “shooting”, in Alpha Market, in the Cole Valley area of San Francisco. Unfortunately, for Mr. Lubin, a local resident was strangely observant and unobservant at the same time: they saw his gun, but didn’t see the camera crew attending to him. The local reported a crime in progress and the police responded.
Now, Mr. Lubin was not expecting real life police to turn up. When asked to drop his gun, under gunpoint, he froze and neither moved nor complied. Luckily for him, the police decided to disarm him, rather than shoot him. He was arrested – but not charged when the police found out the true situation.
I note that quite a few Internet commenters chimed in with remarks about police brutality, heavy-handedness and general stupidity. However, that is not what I saw in this situation. I see a remarkably and very fortunate restraint in the police response. Had the police been as they are so often portrayed, Mr. David Lubin would now have the credentials R.I.P after his name.
In contrast, I would like to remind you of the case of Kirk Abella, an actor in the British film “Going Somewhere” who went somewhere he didn’t expect: the afterlife. Kirk Abella was shot dead on a film set in the Philippines under almost identical circumstances. Kirk was playing a gunman on a motorbike, when a local resident reported a crime underway. A community watchman, Eddie Cuizon, gave chase and shot the actor in the back, when he saw a gun being drawn. The gun, of course, was a plastic replica. Cuizon gave himself up to the police when he finally understood what he had done. He was charged with murder.
Curiously, community watchmen in the Philippines are not even supposed to be armed. They are supposed to carry nothing more than batons. So, it seems that Eddie Cuizon took his own initiative to arm himself. No doubt that won’t look too good at sentencing.
These two tales make me reflect that David Lubin was very lucky indeed. He could so easily be a dead man, today. Worringly, the film that David Lubin had been working on, had all the right permits for shooting. Apparently, though, this information didn’t reach the policemen on the ground.
I hope that lessons are learnt from these two cases. Policemen should always try to make an arrest, of a living suspect, if at all possible and should not do as Eddie Cuizon – shoot first, and find out later what it was all about.
I am led to wonder how many actors, on film sets, have been harmed by the police, the world over. After all, most contemporary films seem to involve guns. So, out of the hundreds of thousands of fake gun crimes, on film sets around the world each year – how many of them lead to police intervention? It is a worrying thought. If anyone has the answer, please respond below.
Posted by Valentine Cawley
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