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'19 Kids and Counting' Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Criticized for Buying 16 Year Old Son Jedidiah a Shotgun

( [email protected] ) Jan 07, 2015 06:07 PM EST

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of the hit TLC show "19 Kids and Counting" came under fire after posting a photo of their son, 16 year old Jedediah, holding a shotgun.  However, the family argues that their children are trained in gun safety, and the right to carry a gun is protected in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  

In a photo shared on the conservative family's Facebook page, Jedidiah Duggar, who turned 16 on December 30, proudly holds a 12 gauge shotgun which he received from his parents for his birthday.

Jedediah Duggar
Jedediah Duggar turned 16 on Dec. 30, 2015. (Facebook)

Instantly, the internet lit up with criticism.

A commentator named Linda Lawless wrote, "All it takes is one time of not locking it up properly for one of the dozens of curious young kids in that house to get a hold of it and have an accident."

"Don't understand why a Christian family who values life would want to own devices that were specifically designed to destroy it."

Others, however, voiced their support for the Duggar family's choice to allow their son to own a gun.

"There is nothing wrong with guns. It's how they are misused that's the problem," wrote a Facebook user named Lacy Garcia.

"Awesome! If you really watch the show, you would know they do an awesome job teaching these kids gun safety," added another commenter.

While the Duggar parents have not directly responded to the criticism, patriarch Jim Bob Duggar has previously stated his belief in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows U.S. citizens the right to keep and bear arms.

"Bearing arms is one of our Constitutional rights. We believe it is important for children to learn safety about guns and knives," he said in a 2011 interview. "To learn how to use them properly and to learn not to use them to hurt others but to use them as a tool."

The Duggars faced a similar controversy in May 2014, when Ben Seewald shared an Instagram photo of then-girlfriend, Jessa Duggar, holding an assault rifle.

"My awesome girlfriend. #dontmesswithjessa," Ben wrote under the photo.

The Duggar parents and children often voice their conservative political views, including their opposition to abortion and homosexuality.

"Even though this is happening out of God's designed order, He loves you both and will forgive you," the Duggar girls wrote in their latest book, "Growing Up Duggar." "Abortion might seem like a quick fix to a big problem, but we personally know several women who have done this, and they have said they regret ending the life of their baby; it haunts them every day. You cannot get un-pregnant. If you are pregnant, take responsibility and take care of yourself and your baby and God will take care of you."