Photo of Jessa Duggar holding semi-automatic rifle stirs the pot

Ben Seewald posted this photo of girlfriend Jessa Duggar to his Facebook page on May 16.
Ben Seewald posted this photo of girlfriend Jessa Duggar to his Facebook page on May 16. © Facebook

A Facebook photo of 21-year-old Jessa Duggar holding a pink-trimmed, semi-automatic rifle has created a bit of a stir.

Duggar and her Arkansas family are the stars of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.”

Jessa’s boyfriend, Ben Seewald, 19, posted the photo on his Facebook page on May 16.

Inexplicably, the photo only surfaced on Monday when RadarOnline and then The Daily Mail posted stories about it.

“My AWESOME girlfriend. #DontmesswithJessa,” Seewald wrote in the photo caption.

More than 400 people have “liked” the photo since it was first posted, but not everyone sees the awesomeness.

One comment on Twitter: “By Duggar Family logic, kissing before marriage is dangerous, but apparently playing with automatic rifles is A-OK!”

Negative comments like this – “No human needs a machine gun” – have picked up on Seewald’s Facebook page since it was made public.

“Wow, would Jesus carry that weapon?” wrote one commenter.

To which someone responded: “Jesus would carry that, were he walking among us today. He exhorts his followers to buy the best personal defense weapon of the day, the sword, even if they had to sell their only cloak to get one. Luke 22:36.”

The back-and-forth of clashing opinions got a little squirrely.

“Just because the gun looks scary, doesn’t mean that it is big and bad. This is a .22lr built in on an AR platform. This is essentially a cool looking squirrel gun. Just because you don’t understand why someone needs one, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have it,” wrote one commenter.

To which one someone else wrote: “Why do we need to shoot squirrels. Most serial killers started out torturing and killing small animals.”

The Duggars have spoken publicly about teaching their children gun safety and how they keep their guns in a safe that is accessible to just a few family members.