Donald Trump Jr. is facing backlash again for a social media post, this time showing a picture of his 9-year-old son holding a gun.
As Yahoo News reports, the president’s eldest son took to Instagram this week to share photos that he apparently snapped at some point last year. According to captions of the photo and others from the same trip, Donald Jr. and “the best hunting buddy ever” went to Texas last year to hunt ducks.
“Get them outdoors early and often.”
In one of the photos, 9-year-old Donald Trump III, or “Donnie,” as his dad calls him, can be seen holding a double-barreled shotgun.
Needless to say, the photo has generated plenty of controversies. Some commenters debated the morality of hunting, while others were concerned about a child so young holding a powerful weapon in his hands.
“A gun in a child’s hands… Donny. No.”
“Donald, you know hunting is dangerous, please be careful of your kids. God bless them.”
Others, however, praised Donald Jr. for teaching the young lad about guns.
“Kudos to you for getting him set up with great ear protection and teaching gun safety at an early age!”
The ages at which it’s considered appropriate for children to begin hunting – and indeed, even begin handling weapons – is a matter of dispute, and the answer will depend largely upon who you ask.
The National Rifle Association, for example, has a program, Eddie the Eagle, aimed at teaching kids from preschool through third grade about gun safety, and the first rule is to not touch a gun at all. Of course, the gun-rights advocacy organization also professes that kids who are taught about guns and gun safety from an early age are less likely to misuse them (such as a commit a crime with them) or have an accident with them.
Similarly, Field and Stream writers Will Brantley and Michael Pendley write that, when considering whether or not to take kids hunting, there are several factors to consider besides just the child’s age. One 9-year-old, for example, may not be ready to carry a gun and fire it at animals, while another 9-year-old may be. For what it’s worth, one of the two writers (it’s not clear which) took his son hunting – bow hunting – for the first time at age nine.
Speaking of bow hunting: just a few weeks ago, Trump Jr. caught heat for posting an Instagram photo showing his 6-year-old son, Tristan, playing with a bow and arrow.