A father was criticized on social media for posting a photo of himself along with his infant daughter on a hunting trip.
Travis Zatopek, the owner of a hunting company, posted the photo online as a joke.
“When it’s dove season, and you have baby duty! Owner of Hacienda, Travis Zatopek, making it happen,” the caption alongside the photo read.
Angry viewers soon began expressing their outrage in comments, calling him irresponsible for carrying a gun in front of him and a baby on his back. Some felt he was putting his daughter in danger.
“As American citizens, we have the right to raise our children utilizing what we, as their parents, feel is right and wrong. We do not apologize for raising our girls around guns and hunting. Educating them young is a huge attribute for their future,” he wrote in a statement that followed the backlash.
“We feel it is important for our girls to experience the great outdoors and wildlife versus video games and elusive Pokemons. This is our choice, and we stand true to our values. I would like to thank the keyboard warriors, because for every one negative comment, five positive comments have evolved. She was briefly placed in it for a photo opportunity and was enjoying it so much that we let her sit that way, while numerous people were watching her. As soon as she dozed off, my wife immediately took her inside.”
After the story of Zatopek’s response went viral, many applauded him for choosing to raise his child the way he wants.
“Down here in the south we refer to it as teaching! It starts at a young age for many of us and your never too young to get started besides what do they want him to do leave the baby at home alone like they would do? Not gonna happen because we care about our kids and most of us dont rely on society to raise em!” one Newsiosity reader commented on the site’s Facebook page.
“Great father for sharing values for the outdoors, great idea, we have taken our babies to target shooting outings and they have been in my deer hunts also. My kids, now in their 50’s use guns, never shot anyone, haven’t broken gun laws nor had an unsafe incident. Safety and behavior aren’t accidental, it’s good teaching, good learning and good behavior,” another added.