Jim Bob Duggar is on the defensive. He is speaking out against a backlash of comments received when one of the 19 Duggar kids was photographed with guns.
According to a report from RadarOnline, Duggar, the patriarch of the 19 Kids and Counting TLC reality show brood, says the picture can easily be explained.
He says that the photo is nothing more than a couple of young men going out for target practice on their own property. The photo shows John Duggar, who is 20, along with a foreign exchange student who is visiting the family (a foreign exchange student--aren't 19 kids enough?) posing for a photo with their guns.
Since the Duggar's are constantly in the media promoting their show 19 Kids and Counting, it's not surprising that people would make such comments about one of their kids photographed with guns. The Duggar's, however, need to remember that anything appearing on a social networking site is instant fodder for the public.
Michelle Duggar says the unpleasant looks on the boy's faces can be explained, too.
"They were both being silly before they went out to target practice," she says, in defense of the scowls on both boy's faces.
The photos wound up on a cousin's Facebook page, and the whole situation escalated. In light of the recent tragedies in Arizona, where six were killed and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords--the intended target--wound up seriously wounded, many are even more on edge than ever regarding gun control.
Jim Bob Duggar expressed his deepest sympathies for what happened in Arizona, but maintains that that happened as a result of the shooter, and not the gun.
"That is one of our constitutional rights," he explains.
Duggar says that as each of the Duggar children reaches a certain age, they are taught to use a gun and a knife. He and Michelle both stressed that gun safety is of the utmost importance in their home. They also explain how they often hunt for their own food.
In fact, Michelle Duggar describes a version of chicken and dumplings that she prepares for the family, made with squirrel instead of chicken.
"You need a lot of squirrels to feed our family," she says.
Jim Bob Duggar sums up his and Michelle's feelings about guns and their family. He insists that the photo of the boys and their guns was nothing more than a prelude to target practice.
"We believe it is important for children to learn safety about guns and knives. To learn how to use them properly and to learn not to use them to hurt others but to use them as a tool," he says.
Guns are dangerous weapons, but when maintained and handled properly they do have their place. It is when they fall into the hands of devious or disturbed people that they most often cause serious harm. However, accidents do occur when guns are present. Does it seem irresponsible to you for a family with so many children in their home to have guns available?
It will be interesting to see if this issue ever appears on 19 Kids and Counting. Do you think TLC would allow them to air a gun control issue, with Jim Bob Duggar explaining their family's views?
Photo Source: Facebook