Alec Baldwin is done laying low after the fatal shooting on the "Rust" movie set -- in fact, he put himself front and center as a master of ceremony.
Making his first appearance since the accidental death of cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, in October ... Alec was at the podium Thursday night in NYC for the Ripple of Hope Award Gala -- a Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights charity.
Alec was joined by his wife Hilaria, and feeling lighthearted enough to offer some humor -- he opened the night saying, "Thank you for all coming out tonight. It's great to be together in person. It's great to be with everyone. My wife and I have six kids, anything to get out of the house for 30 minutes.”
The event came a week after Alec's first interview about shooting Halyna aired, and RFK's daughter Kerry Kennedy thanked the actor for being there ... acknowledging he's still coping with tragedy. She said, "He's there in good times and bad, in your good times and bad and his good times and bad, he always shows up. I'm so proud."
During the ABC interview, Baldwin said he didn't feel guilt or responsibility for Halyna's death, claiming the blame lays solely with whoever brought live ammunition to the movie set.
He also explained why he was pointing the gun in Halyna's direction and claimed it went off even though he hadn't pulled the trigger.