Former NFL kicker Jay Feely posted a photo on Twitter with his daughter and her boyfriend ahead of their prom on April 21. All parents proudly share such photos. While the photo seems innocent enough, Feely is brandishing a gun in his right hand.
Feely says the staged photo is a reference to a scene in “Bad Boys” but it’s drawing a mixed reaction on social media. Most people understand the reference, but its timing is far from appropriate.
At approximately 4:30 a.m. ET on April 22, a gunman killed four people at a Waffle House in Tennessee, the latest of an endless cycle of vicious gun violence in the United States.
I understand Feely was joking, but this isn’t the time for gun humor. Gun control is one of the hottest issues being debated right now as people and children continue to be innocently massacred whether they’re eating food at a Waffle House, walking down the street holding a cell phone, or sitting in a classroom. It seems nowhere is safe.
Now is not the time to be waving guns around as props, jokingly threatening your daughter’s boyfriend with gun violence, or posting photos on social media while murderers and terrorists are using them as deadly weapons to hunt and kill innocent people, including children.
Students from more than 2,600 schools and institutions walked out of class on April 20 — the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre — in an effort to end gun violence and implement stricter gun laws. It’s the second such walk out this year; the first following the Feb. 14 massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Feely later apologized for posting the photo and said he takes gun safety seriously; the gun wasn’t loaded and had no clip in it.
No matter. Be sensitive to the current climate. Now’s not the time for jokes. It’s a time for change.