Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar's oldest son and his wife are taking a bit of heat from a recent image that cropped up on the internet involving an assault rifle. But there's more to this controversial story.
Two 19 Kids and Counting cast members are under fire after an image of Josh Duggar and his wife Anna, was posted on their Twitter account last week. At issue is a prop in the photograph: an assault rifle.
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No, the Duggars are not channeling their inner-Duck Dynasty by taking an interest in guns, especially ones that have been at the center of brewing controversies in mass shootings and other high-profile crimes.
The uproar with the 19 Kids and Counting couple began when Josh posted a photograph on his social media account after a recent outing in Washington, D.C. At a glance, fans of the popular TLC show may think the image of Josh, Anna, an unnamed U.S. soldier and the Duggars’ two sons, Michael James and Marcus Anthony is Photoshopped.
For one, at the center of the photo is an assault weapon, one typically carried by law enforcement and military personnel. However, a tidal wave of anguish was unleashed by the general public because Josh and Anna’s boys were both touching the weapon, while the parents and solider smiled for the snap, according to a SheKnows report.
Here are a few mixed responses from the public over the Duggar image:
Chill! Nobody is handling an assault riffle. Josh is holding it. The babies are touching it. Nobody has their hand near the trigger or finger anywhere close. The barrel is not pointing to anybody. It is pointing to the grass. The soldier is right there in case anything happens. People that do not know anything about guns and/or never fire one, are the ones that criticize the most,”
As a responsible female gun owner and mother I disagree the best thing you can do is teach children that guns are not toys and if they find one not to touch it. Get a parent or other responsible adult to check it out. My child actually found a black plastic gun in some bushes and came to get mom just like he had been taught. Guns are for adults not for kids. Shame on Josh Duggar for not teaching his kids gun safety,” countered another reader.
It turns out that a picture is not always a thousand words. Simply put, although the image looks telling and an argument can be made against the parents’ decision to have an assumed loaded weapon that close to children, there’s a perfect explanation for the pic.
Sources say the 19 Kids reality TV stars had just enjoyed a performance of the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and the United States Army Band. While there, the couple and their two sons posed with a member of the Armed Forces.
Judging from the image, as one commenter said, the weapon was secured by Josh, who had a hand on it. Moreover, it is highly likely that the serviceman placed the weapon in the “safe” position prior to posing with the famous Duggar couple. But that is only speculation.
In defense of those outraged by the image, accidents can happen even in the best of circumstances. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea for Anna and Josh to err on the side of caution going forward. What’s more, with the last name of Duggar, the whole world is watching and waiting for the unblemished family of 19 -- and counting -- to make a move outside the confines of conservatism.
The long-running show debuted in September of 2008, and has built a loyal following over the seasons as cameras follow the loving family members around. In its eighth season, the family is experiencing one milestone after another, and at some point the show will have to be renamed again – or a spinoff isn’t a bad idea.
Jill and Derick have gone through an amazing courtship and recently jumped the broom. The newlyweds are over the moon by making their romance official. At some point – likely sooner than later – kids are on tap for the adorable couple.
Perhaps, the decision to pose in the picture with the military-style assault rifle wasn’t the wisest of decisions the Duggars could make. But perhaps, the best way to describe the family, that millions have grown to love, comes from one super-fan of the TLC series.
Leona Opuszynski shared fond words on Facebook about the 19 Kids and Counting family.
“I love the show no fighting no swearing only people who love, care and want to help people i think we should live by their beliefs then we would not have so much anger and hate and jelous [sic].”
Well said Leona, well said.
New episodes of the series starts Tuesday, September 2.
[Image source via Anna Duggar's Instagram]