IT'S not very often The Bulletin gets such a response as it has this week to its front page from Monday.
On Tuesday, Clare Botfield posted this comment on The Bulletin's Facebook wall: What is this! Front page of our local news on Monday; Child playing with weapon of war. Caption: "Which way do I point it Mummy?" Is this some kind of a sick joke? What has happened to humanity when people think its funny/cute/entertaining to joke about children playing with war weapons? What do you think this image would evoke in someone who has lost loved ones on the battle fields? Where is the discretion of the editor here? This is not OK.
She said she doesn't have a problem with that event, or that parents take their kids along to see what's on display, just that she thought the caption, together with the image was in very poor taste.
Susy Goldsworthy said "I agree Clare! Since when is it funny to associate children with guns and war! "Which way do I point it, mum"...really..."
Others have resorted to text messages and letters to the editor to express their views over the front page.
Many of the texts messages were simply signed as anonymous. Read Facebook comments here:
One said "I find the image of the boy aiming the machine gun on today's cover of the MB extremely disturbing. No wonder the world is in such a mess. Disgusting."
Another said "is this image really the image we should be promoting to our children. How many people has that tank killed. Shame on you Morning Bulletin."
Due to this reaction, we decided to open the door and ask readers what they thought about the front page.
Within two hours, we had 30 comments on our Facebook post.
Merryn Lea said "People take the simplest things way to serious these days... thats my opinion..."
Charmaine Nelson said "When I was serving my little fella if he was at work with me he would be in the armoury looking at everything and seeing the vehicles and such. He has grown up with the utmost respect of things and the people doing this job.. Some people need to get a life and a brain and stop over reacting."
Kelly Jeremy - This photo is more harmless than some of the violent games played. Get a life. I remember being a kid climbing over old guns etc in parks.
Billie Fraser - Loved the photo - even a little bit jealous of the young fella
Naomi Shaw - hell no! those idiots need to get over themselves - did they never even play cowboys and indians as a kid? i'm willing to bet the same people chucking tanties played with toy guns as kids - at least this little fella is learning to have some respect for our armed forces whilst having fun!
Robert Coleman - Go Little man YEP YEP if it wasn't for people that defend our country and our allies we wouldn't be free !!!!!!!
And then there is:
Karen Ricks - in the greater scheme of things... its not great.
Cy Calabio - Simply a "moment." But the caption seems to be very "provocative, insensitive." It could have been better if the caption would go something like " Mum, one day ill be one them to defend our country and my people." The word "point" maybe misinterpreted for a young mind as something 'violent."