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WTF is Jeremy Calvert’s 3-year-old doing with a gun?

Teen Mom 2 star Jeremy Calvert (Leah Messer’s ex-husband and baby-daddy, in case you don’t know) has caused a mighty stink on Instagram with his latest photo of his daughter, 3-year-old Adalynn Faith Calvert.

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The tot looks happy and healthy with a beaming smile on her face. It’s her photo prop that has angered many of Calvert’s followers: She’s holding what appears to be a 50-caliber sniper rifle.

Jeremy Calvert daughter holding .50 cal sniper rifle
Image: jeremylcalvert505/Instagram

Reading the comments attached to the picture, you’d think everyone was behind Calvert’s decision to give his preschooler a gun for a photo opportunity. But this reality TV star is clearly social media savvy — at least enough to delete and/or block anyone who dared to criticize his move.

However, before he got busy with the block button, plenty of people put their views across, calling him irresponsible, both for promoting guns and for giving his young child a gun to pose with.

Kids with guns seems to be becoming something of a Teen Mom tradition — on Instagram at least. Last year, Teen Mom 3‘s Mackenzie Douthit McKee copped a load of flak for sharing a picture of her then-4-year-old, Gannon, wielding a gun.

McKee captioned the shot, “‘Don’t worry momma, I’ll put supper on the table’ #raisingthemright.”

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Shortly after the backlash against the photo of his daughter with a 50-caliber sniper rifle, Calvert posted to Instagram again, this time with a response to his critics, stating that he was taught how to handle a firearm correctly at a very young age, and that his child will be too. He also said all guns in his home are locked up behind a closed door, and he insisted his daughter is well-protected.

Many people commented to show their support for Calvert, with some stressing the importance of teaching children about gun safety from a young age and to learn to operate them correctly instead of fearing them.

It’s an argument that’s never going to disappear as long as people have the right to keep and bear arms. The anti-gun camp are never going to support anybody letting their kid hold a gun, whether it’s a reality TV star or not. Calvert’s absolutely right that nobody is entitled to tell him how to raise his kid — but he must have known how much of a stir this particular photo would cause.

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Having said all that, it’s also worth considering that around two children die in the U.S. every week from unintentional gun deaths, and 40 percent of those deaths occur in the room where the gun is stored. We can debate whether kids should handle guns ad infinitum, but nobody can deny those statistics.

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