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Photographer defends ‘A Christmas Story’-themed picture of ‘Baby Ralphie’ with a toy gun

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. – A baby in glasses, dressed in a pink bunny suit, asleep on a miniature couch with a leg lamp and Christmas tree in the background.

Cute, right? Depends who you ask.

If you look closely at the “A Christmas Story“-themed picture, you’ll see the baby is holding a pretend BB gun.

The Indiana photographer who took the picture posted it on her business Facebook page.

“Only 49 days until Christmas!” Amy Haehl wrote in the caption. “Ralphie loved his pink bunny suit I had made for him!”

She also posted a disclaimer about the BB gun.

“Disclaimer** the BB gun is made of wood to ensure that he did NOT shoot his eye out during the creation of this photo,” she wrote.

Still, a small handful of the nearly 450 comments that were posted as of Friday morning questioned the use of the gun.

“Will now unfollow you. Who the hell would take a picture of a baby and a gun just for money,” Lyn Farrelly wrote. “Such a waste since you are so talented. Think hard about your lack of principles.”

“In a world where there’s so much negative let’s be positive and laugh a little,” Haehl responded. “I clearly stated the gun was wood just in case someone would be concerned.”

“How do you think the parents of the babies that were killed in Newtown would feel looking at this photo?” Karen Lewis Dalton wrote.

“I completely agree that there are issues with gun violence in the world and of course I would never do anything to encourage that,” Haehl responded. “This gun is in reference to a BB gun which is not typically the culprit when it comes to gun violence and this isn’t in any way meant to be distasteful and I’m sorry if you feel that way and can’t see the innocence and light-heartedness of this photo.”

An overwhelming majority of the comments were positive.

“This is sooo fantastic!” Amy Holder Weiblinger wrote.

“This is the best thing on the internet,” Ali Roddam posted.

Jill Wallsmith called the picture the “cutest thing I’ve ever seen.”

According to her website, Haehl is a former nurse who worked in an emergency room for 11 years before deciding to focus on photography full time.

The exterior shots of the house in “A Christmas Story” were shot in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. The original house has been turned into a popular tourist attraction that includes a museum and gift shop. The owner purchased the home next door and turned it into the “Bumpus House” where visitors can spend the night.