With prom season in full bloom, many teenagers have taken to social media to share those adorable and sometimes awkward prom date photos. Holding a gun, this dad posted a picture of himself sandwiched between his daughter and her date. The controversial image went viral, sparking a heated debate on Twitter.
— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) April 22, 2018
Jay Feely, a former NFL player, captioned the photo, “ Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom
#BadBoys.” It quickly racked up over 55,000 likes and close to 10,000 retweets at the time of writing this story. It’s not clear what message Feely was trying to convey with the image, but Twitter users tried to interpret it.
How is this responsible gun ownership? When did guns become a vehicle for twisted humor? What in the hell is wrong with this guy? https://t.co/aV7Eyk8Der
— Tracy (@TracyFootworks) April 22, 2018
Some commenters understood the Bad Boys movie reference to mean t hat Feely was adopting the clichéd stereotype of the overprotective father.
I mean, we get the reference, but this was terribly out of touch with gun safety. And out of touch with not making that picture and night about you.
— Siege (@ourdailyquest) April 22, 2018
However, given the timing, the photo could not be more offensive and insensitive, according to some commenters. The Columbine school shooting was commemorated just days ago, and the Parkland shooting occurred just two months ago.
I understand the joke and all but do you think it’s wise to post this after multiple shootings have happened? I’m pretty sure if it was your child’s school that was shot up you wouldn’t post this.
— alex (@sunnyd_alex) April 22, 2018
Others argued that Feely was treating his daughter as a property by threating to shoot her date if they consented to any romantic activity.
Cool to know if your daughter has any self agency you’ll shoot her boyfriend.
— Ally Maynard (@missmayn) April 22, 2018
He is also apparently sending a message that he owns his daughter, and this kid better not trespass on his “property”.
— Anita Napp (@Anita_Nappzz) April 22, 2018
And out of touch with the idea that the daughter might be in control of her own decisions.
— Sarah (@itamer) April 22, 2018
Commenters have also sided with the young man, sharing how they’d feel if their son was put in the same position.
If someone did this to my son.
— Stephanie Marie (@smsauceda) April 22, 2018
Can you imagine seeing these pix of your son for the first time? Omg I would call the cops on that guy!
— Lorianne Gilmore (Cyanide) (@SipsOfCyanide) April 22, 2018
Some people wondered if it was safe and responsible to pull out a gun just for laughs.
Is threatening to injure or out-and-out murder a teenager what you consider responsible gun ownership?
— (An)T(h)ony In HTX (@anthonytx42) April 22, 2018
How sad you gotta pose w/handgun to prove your masculinity! Tragic, all around. Gun props are crutches that reveal your own inner weakness, cowardice, and total lack of virility and strength. Photo showed more than you knew, @jayfeely
— Green Boss Resistance (@VermontFoodies) April 22, 2018
After closer review of the situation this is completely safe. The barrel is pointed in a safe direction, the finger is off the trigger. A gun doesn’t just go off. Would you be upset if he had a baseball bat in his hand? What about a pill bottle?
— Blood Eagle (@leifhanson) April 22, 2018
The broadcaster later clarified the photo was a joke and apologized for being insensitive.
The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking.
I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue
— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) April 22, 2018
Was Feely’s controversial photo appropriate? Tell us what you think in the comments below!
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