"We have reached peak snowflake."
David and Victoria Beckham were dragged into the gun debate last week after a photo in British Vogue showing their children playing with water blasters triggered some on the left.
The family was featured in the cover of the October issue of the magazine, in which Victoria opened up about divorce rumors, her career, and parenting.
But it was a single photo that garnered much of the attention: A shot of
Although gun violence is not the hot-button issue in the UK, where gun control is extremely tight, as it is in the United States,
“Use of guns is utterly tasteless,” said one Instagram user.
"The use of any type of gun is tragic. Disappointed," added another.
"No guns please," complained yet another. "Even play guns."
Why Vogue thought it would be chic and modern to put the Beckhams on the cover, and photograph the kids pointing water guns at each other, I have no flipping idea - but would love to be enlightened.https://t.co/kcmLKNsBiZ— RebeccaChance (@MsRebeccaChance) September 4, 2018
But those who took issue with the toy-guns faced backlash themselves.
Most commenters praised the Beckhams, some calling them "family goals" and dismissing criticism of the photo as a ridiculous case of snowflake culture.
British commenters also noted that only Americans, who encounter stories of rampant gun violence on a tragically regular basis, could be find the photo in any way offensive.
"We have reached peak snowflake,"
Just gonna say it: someone, anyone, just end this world now. When you have people being offended by the Beckham family playing with water guns, there is no hope of return #TuesdayThoughts #GoodbyeCruelWorld— Christian Helwig (@ChristianHelwig) September 4, 2018
Others mocked the panic by proposing new water-gun control.
So what let them play. What's next a two week waiting period for water guns plus an intensive background check for a four year old.https://t.co/z4O5c5VNcf— Dave Neo (@DaveDave1500) September 4, 2018
Even self-identified liberals said the anger was unnecessary.
I certainly lean to the left, but are people really complaining about water guns in this Beckham Vogue thing?! Give me strength.— Dr JeckHELL (@AndrewJBreeds) September 5, 2018
Still, some users sought to bring perspective to the conversation:
"Beyond the water guns... Does 'Posh' ever crack a smile?? Really! every photo I see of her has the same sad dour semi smirk. Lighten up!! Crack a smile, I promise, it doesn't hurt!!" one commenter wrote.
Germania is a staff writer for Pluralist.