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Nashville Republican Rep. John Ogles has defended a controversial family photo featuring him, his wife, and their children posing with guns.
The photo, which was posted to Ogles' personal Facebook page, shows the family standing in a line, with Ogles and his wife each holding a gun. The children, who range in age from 3 to 11, are also each holding a gun.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Ogles defended the photo, saying that the family was simply trying to honor their heritage of hunting and fishing.
“My family and I were simply participating in an activity that we have enjoyed for generations,” Ogles said. “We are a family of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, and we were celebrating that heritage by posing for a photo together.”
Ogles went on to say that he and his family believe in the Second Amendment and the importance of responsible gun ownership. He also noted that the guns in the photo were unloaded and that the children were taught gun safety and given appropriate instruction before the photo was taken.
The photo has sparked debate on social media, with some criticizing the family's decision to pose with guns while others defended it as a show of support for the Second Amendment. Ogles has since removed the photo from his page.
Regardless of the reaction to the photo, Ogles says that he and his family will continue to honor their heritage and beliefs.
“We will not be intimidated by those who disagree with us,” Ogles said. “We will continue to teach our children the importance of responsible gun ownership and the importance of the Second Amendment.”