For some it’s a harmless snapshot; for others it’s irresponsible — even a slap in the face to those affected by a mass shooting that took place over a year ago, about a half hour from where the photo was taken.
And what does the photo depict?
The infant is Genevieve; the object in her lap is a bolt-action rifle. Genevieve was with her dad, Christopher Duffy, at a gun store in Woodbridge, Conn. — a little over 30 minutes east of Newtown, where the 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy occurred.
“The little one actually latched onto (the rifle) when I first picked it up to see how heavy it was,” Duffy told WTNH-TV in New Haven. “It’s actually very light, to test the weight, so I just decided to take the picture.”
That photo, posted by Duffy on Facebook, ended up on the page of the Woodbridge Firearms Trading Post.
Once reports surfaced a few days ago that the photo was live, it’s been getting some angry responses.
“She can’t even speak yet, and she has a gun in her hand and it’s bizarre,” Alexa Grose told WTNH.
“It’s too much,” Bryanna Wingate told the station. “It’s a very bold statement.”
For Duffy, it’s nothing others should get upset about.
“I don’t force their kids to do anything,” he told WTNH. “My hand was on it, the bolt was open, it was safety checked…she’s clearly in her seat just sitting up, one hand on the scope, one hand on the barrel.”
That doesn’t change anything for Wingate.
“After everything that happened in Connecticut with Sandy Hook and everything that’s going on with the gun laws, why would you have your baby holding a gun…a big gun?” she asked.
But others took Duffy’s stance.
“It’s nothing,” Tom Wayland told WTNH. “I don’t know why that would bother people to be honest with you.”
The gun shop’s co-owner Mike Majewski agreed, adding: “If someone wants to share something with the rest of the community, I have no problem posting it on the page.”
WTNH reported that on Feb. 25, it went to the gun shop’s Facebook page and saw that the photo of the infant with the rifle was removed. TheBlaze checked Sunday for the photo on the page and did not see it.
The Woodbridge shop did, however, post an entry about WTNH’s visit for the story on the photo and reaction to it; most commented that there was nothing wrong with the photo.
“Does everyone think that baby is gonna shoot someone?” Pete Smith asked. “Freaking liberals!”
“No harm can caused by a unloaded rifle,” wrote Dan Luccia.
A handful of others disagreed, however.
“With all the negative media out there with regards to guns, why in God’s name would ANYONE take a picture and POST it on social media of a baby in a carseat and a rifle laying across him/her. WTF??” asked Craig Savage.
“Let me first say that my father’s a retired cop and we are a pro 2nd amendment family. I was raised with guns in the house. I have many friends in law enforcement both currently serving and retired,” wrote Caroline M. Leary. “But you guys lost me on this one.”
So, what do you say? Harmless photo…or unwise move? Let us know in the comments below.