Jessa Duggar sparked controversy after posing with an assault rifle and posting the photo on social media. In the photo, Jessa is pictured holding a black and pink.22 caliber, high-capacity, semi-automatic assault rifle. The photo was taken by Jessa’s boyfriend, Ben Seewald, during a visit to a local gun shop.
Patriarch Jim Bob Duggar has been outspoken in his support of gun ownership. However, some fans were disturbed to see his young daughter posing with a powerful weapon.
The Duggar family gained notoriety through several reality programs, including 19 Kids and Counting. Most recently, 21-year-old Jessa has been in the spotlight as she and Seewald are “courting.”
As fundamental Christians, Jim Bob and Michelle do not allow their daughters to date. Instead, they are expected to enter a courtship, which is strictly supervised. The unusual arrangement has been a topic of debate as the girls and their potential husbands must follow a list of strict guidelines.
Following the announcement of Jenna and Ben’s courtship, Michelle outlined their rules:
“Dad allowed them to do a side hug when they were officially courting… when they initially greet each other… they have a quick 30 second or less side hug and a goodbye side hug and they agreed that would be the only contact they should have.”
As reported by People, Jenna Duggar said she and Ben will not kiss until they day they are married. Although the restrictions may seem unusual, the family believes the rules are necessary to ensure a strong and committed relationship.
Fox News reports that critics are having a hard time understanding why guns are acceptable and kisses are not. In response to the photo of Jessa Duggar with an assault rifle, one commenter was clearly appalled:
“They cannot do a front hug… or kiss… but it is okay to hold up an assault weapon for giggles… this sends a strong message… It is her right to do as she wishes, but come on… this is not tasteful… “
Others defended Jessa’s right to pose with the gun. Commenter Mikey Moore explained that Jessa is “not carrying, she is holding it in a picture.” As reported by Christian Post, Moore said the critics are simply “demean[ing] someone that may or may not share a similar viewpoint.”
Indeed, Jessa Duggar has a right to pose with an assault rifle. However, critics are concerned that she is sending the wrong message. Jessa and Ben have not responded to criticism of the photo.