The British royal family sparked criticism this week after 4-year-old Prince George was photographed playing with a toy gun at a polo match in Gloucestershire.
Duchess Kate, Prince George and Princess Charlotte were camped out on the grass watching Prince William play in the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy on Sunday when the 4-year-old heir to the throne was pictured pretending to shoot other children with a toy gun that had an orange indicator.
The toy was part of a toy police kit that the boy won at a fair and also included a fake knife, a pair of plastic handcuffs and walkie-talkies, according to reports.
Twitter users criticized the images as “tone-deaf” in light of the rapid increase in violent crime in the country. Others came the family’s defense.
This isn’t okay anymore… My American side here, biased maybe b/c of everyday #gunviolence in USA,but my British side agrees. No child in this day and age should look at any gun as a fun toy. This looks far too real. .(And I LOVE Prince George, don’t get me wrong!) @teamtracepic.twitter.com/UEqtFi5WTH— Daisy Torme (@daisytorme) June 10, 2018
Here’s why the sight of #PrinceGeorge playing with a toy gun is triggering for some of us. Black mothers in the US have to teach their sons not to play with anything (a toy gun, a cell phone, etc.) a policeman could claim looked like a real gun. Their lives depend on it.— Deesa Roberts (@DeesaRoberts) June 10, 2018
This isn’t okay anymore… My American side here, biased maybe b/c of everyday #gunviolence in USA, but my British side agrees. No child in this day and age should look at any gun as a fun toy. This looks far too real. (And I LOVE Prince George, don’t get me wrong!) pic.twitter.com/wPuIsuqsdY— LUISSOL66 (@LUISSOL66) June 12, 2018
People are complaining because Prince George had a plastic gun 🙄 I had a plastic gun when I was little guess what I grew out of it I didn’t grow up to be a mass shooter or become obsessed with guns I hate guns now so just leave the boy alone and let him be a child— Roxanne Fowler (@Roxanne_Tegan) June 10, 2018
I used to run around playing with toy guns as a kid, it didn’t mean I was going to shoot ppl as an adult. I also used to recreate Starlight Express & do Brett the Hitman Harts sharpshooter on my bro-it didn’t mean I thought I was a train or a WWF fighter!https://t.co/sh76mnYcAS— Katie (@flump9) June 12, 2018
While overall crime is down, England and Wales have experienced a 22 percent increase in knife crime and a 11 percent rise in gun crime since 2016.
Kensington Palace has not commented on the backlash.
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