SHOCKING! ‘Big Image’ Media Making Money Promoting Dangerous Gun Violence

Article Quick Summary: “Models – Keep Your Finger OFF the Trigger!”

ShutterStock Images Anton WatmanScreen Grab 7-10-2021 suicide
ShutterStock Images Anton WatmanScreen Grab 7-10-2021 suicide

USA –  -( The images are disgusting and above all else extremely dangerous: a crying woman with an AK barrel in her mouth, children pointing guns at their own heads, pregnant women pointing guns at their belly, a toddler pointing a Glock with their finger on the trigger – 1000’s of photos of children with fingers on triggers. 10,000’s of more images of adults carelessly mishandling what look like real guns!

These are stock images, known in the trade as photo illustrations, because they are set up in advance, as opposed to actual news photographs, which are taken live as news happens. Apparently, the majority of photojournalists have no understanding of basic gun safety. The big image licensing businesses take no responsibility, provide no safety guidelines, and choose to ignore the real-life dangers in the name of profit.

Not only do the images violate almost all of the basic tenets of gun safety, but they also portray gun handling that’s life-threatening, and they clearly exploit the children involved. Most of the images could never be used by a newspaper or legitimate website, as they depict suicide attempts and far worse.

Access is easy. These stock photographs websites can all be searched and browsed for free and the images can be purchased individually for a nominal fee or through a paid subscription. There are no age requirements or other safeguards in place to protect children from viewing these dangerous images. There are no warnings about the portayal of life-threatening gun handling?

They’re offered by multiple image services across the web with the largest being Shutterstock, Getty Images, and Getty’s discount subsidiary, iStock. These stock photo companies have massive archives and a broad reach.

Getty maintains an archive of 415 million photos and other digital assets from more than 340,000 individual contributors. Getty’s iStock brand has 125 million photos in its archive.

Shutterstock offers more than 300 million photos from more than 1 million contributors and operates in more than 150 countries.

Theirs is a multi-billion-dollar global business. It’s e-commerce on a massive scale.

ShutterStock Images Fails at Gun Safety Screen Grab 7-8-2021 suicide
ShutterStock Images Fails at Gun Safety Screen Grab 7-8-2021 suicide

All of the stock-image firms say they support press freedom, cultural awareness, creativity, and the rights of their contributors, but none of them were willing to discuss their stock photos depicting exploited children dangerously mishandling firearms.

Neither Shutterstock nor Getty Images or iStock returned the SAF Investigative Journalism Project’s calls or emails seeking comments for this story.

Similarly, none of the major organizations representing individual photographers were willing to comment for this story, including the National Press Photographers Association, the American Society of Media Photographers, American Photographic Artists, and the Professional Photographers of America.

“Toxic” Photography of Children

Dr. Roy Lubit MD, Ph.D., is board certified in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. He is an expert at evaluating emotional trauma in children and adults (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). He has served as an expert in criminal and civil sexual assault cases, civil rights cases, and psychological/psychiatric malpractice cases. Dr. Lubit has strong opinions on these 1000’s of reckless stock photos.

“I think it is best if children are not exposed to pictures of violence or pornography, and especially to things that involve other children. It’s problematic when people become desensitized to images of violence and inappropriate behavior, and it can also be very scary and upsetting,” he said. “Adults have slowly learned about the problems of the world and can deal with it, but for children, it will be much more shocking to see violence and much more likely that inappropriate images could impact their opinion of what happens in the world. And certainly, images of children with firearms could be very scary for them.”

ShutterStock Images Fails at Gun Safety Screen Grab 7-8-2021 Kids Guns
ShutterStock Images Fails at Gun Safety Screen Grab 7-8-2021 Kids Guns

Dr. Lubit is not alone in his opinion.

Dr. Helen Grusd is a licensed clinical psychologist, past president of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, and a past board member of the California Psychological Association’s Division of Clinical Psychology. She is a Certified Forensic Consultant by the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute and has worked on cases dealing with PTSD, sexual harassment, car accidents, and the psychological effects of alleged negligent surgery. She works with children, adults, and adolescents.

Dr. Grusd, too, has strong opinions of the stock images involving children and firearms.

“I think they’re very dangerous. I think children are very vulnerable, and when they look at a picture, they see it over and over again. It’s stored in their memory banks, and they think it’s okay. I don’t know if there are voices in their lives to say that they’re precious and that life has value. I don’t know if they think it’s funny or fun, or if they offer a sense of power over their environment, in which they feel helpless, or if they come from a culture – mostly teens – where they have to prove they’re okay if empowered,” she said. “If they’re depressed, they might think it’s okay to use a gun … You don’t use violence. You don’t fight back with guns and violence. You should fight back with strong words and strong action. These images are toxic.”

Unified Reaction & Disgust By Those Who Live by Gun Safety

Getty Images Fails at Gun Safety Screen Grab 7-8-2021
Getty Images Fails at Gun Safety Screen Grab 7-8-2021

While the stock-image companies were all unwilling to address their dangerous photographs, pro-rights and Second Amendment organizations, leaders in portraying responsible gun handling, were united in their outrage.

“I find these images incredibly disturbing – they could become weapons themselves if viewed [or copied] by young children,” said Second Amendment Foundation founder and executive vice president Alan M. Gottlieb. “The media is clearly profiting by promoting gun violence, which is something they have accused the firearms industry of doing for years.”

“If you want to talk about an ‘epidemic of dangerous gun use,’ the blatant disregard for basic gun-handling safety standards by thousands of so-called professional photographers and every single major image licensing service is shocking. AmmoLand News has paid subscriptions with iStock, Getty, and others but it is very difficult to use almost every one of their images depicting firearms as they promote careless, if not life-threatening, gun misuse.” said Fredy Riehl, Editor-in-Chief of AmmoLand News.

“It may be a toss-up as to what is more detestable: these gruesome images or the Bloomberg apologists and other gun control lobbyists who squeal like stuck pigs whenever they see an NRA picture with an adult and a child practicing safe and responsible firearm handling,” said Marion Hammer, former president of the National Rifle Association and current NRA board member. “The double-standard is glaring and the gratuitous promotion of gun violence is disgusting.”

“The firearm industry has known that many in the media harbor a bias against firearms and it is a rare occurrence that firearm ownership is framed in a way that shows responsible ownership. Depictions of children mishandling firearm and even negligently pointing them at themselves or one another is reckless and only serves to drive a political agenda to vilify guns and gun owners,” said Mark Oliva, public affairs director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  “This is frustrating because if runs counter to the good that the firearm industry is doing through Project Childsafe. That program has brought partnership with 15,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states to distribute more than 40 million free firearm locking devices to ensure that firearms remain beyond the reach of those who shouldn’t haven them, including unsupervised minors. That program has been praised by the Government Accountability Office and the National Safety Council for the efficacy in reducing the negligent misuse of firearms to historic lows. That’s just one aspect of the Real Solutions campaign the firearm industry is leading to bring true gun safety to America.”

“I think it’s best that people know that the majority of firearms owners are not Elmer Fudd. We are not out there trying to do stupid crap with guns. We are the most law abiding, rule oriented, safe practiced conservationists that exist. When we take photos, we know they’re portraying the lifestyle that we enjoy,” said Thomas MacAulay, executive director of the Professional Outdoor Media Association.

ShutterStock Images Fails at Gun Safety Screen Grab 7-8-2021
ShutterStock Images Fails at Gun Safety Screen Grab 7-8-2021

Firearms Photography & Video Best Practices ~ Safety First

The Professional Outdoor Media Association, or POMA, seeks to “foster excellence in communications at all levels, help members build their businesses, connect media and industry, promote fair and honest communication of the traditional outdoor sports and conservation stories, and mentor the next generation of traditional outdoor sports communicators.”

The Professional Outdoor Media Association recently updated its’ “Firearms Photography & Video Creation Best Practices ~ Gun Safety First!” guidance for creating photographs and videos that involve firearms.

The organization stresses safety above all else, and a “rigid adherence to basic firearm safety protocols.” POMA also offers guidance on the use of minors and warnings about prohibited persons in photos with firearms. As well as best practices involving real guns and prop guns.

Before the photoshoot, POMA recommends:

  • Keep all weapons under strict control and out of the reach of minors, models, and assistants.
  • Make sure all weapons are clear or unloaded and free of ammunition before bringing on set.
  • Never have ammunition on-site or on-set. Live fire shooting being the exception.
  • Keep all weapons in locked containers before, after, and during the shoot or when not in direct use.
  • Individual weapons should have cable-style gun locks. Cable-style gun locks are available for free for the asking across most of the USA.

POMA also publishes weapon handling safety basics:

  • Do not touch the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
  • Keep firearms pointed in a safe direction.
  • Only point a firearm at something you intend to shoot.
  • Make sure that you positively identify your target before pulling the trigger.
  • Always know and verify what is beyond your target before shooting.
  • Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
  • Before using any firearm, read its instruction manual and understand how that firearm should be handled.
  • Ensure that your barrel is clean and clear of any debris. If debris is found, ensure that it’s completely removed and the barrel is clean before firing.
  • Inspect and check your ammunition. There are many types of ammunition and using the incorrect type of ammunition in the firearm can lead to death or injury.
  • Keep your firearm unloaded when it is not in use.
  • Do not run, jump, or climb with a loaded firearm.
  • Firearms and ammunition should be stored separately.
  • Do not use drugs or alcohol before or during the usage of any firearm.
Depositphotos Gun Safety Fail & Suicide Screen Grab 7-20-2021
Depositphotos Gun Safety Fail & Suicide Screen Grab 7-20-2021

Many of the stock images involving firearms violate the basic rules of firearm safety, The Professional Outdoor Media Association points out.

“Keeping a firearm always pointed in a safe direction includes not pointing it in the direction of the photographer. Often, we’ve seen images of firearms staring directly down the bore of the barrel. This clearly goes against this basic rule,” the organization states. “Never point firearms at other models, yourself, or anyone else during the media shoot. All weapons should be ‘pointed down range’ meaning in a direction that has nothing you intend to ever shoot.”

Criminal Negligence & Liability

Craig Schaeffer is the chief assistant state attorney for Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit and a seasoned prosecutor.

“The photo of the man simulating using a gun while holding a baby in his arms, and an apparent minor with a handgun pressed to his temple are particularly disturbing images,” Schaeffer said. “Using children in these types of photos or to advance a platform could potentially be a form of child exploitation or neglect, depending upon the jurisdiction.”

This story is presented by the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and wouldn’t be possible without you. Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support more pro-gun stories like this.

About Lee Williams

Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” is the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.

Lee Williams


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We shouldn’t be adopting their propagandist slurs,”Gun violence” should not be in the title unless in quotations.


Thank you!


Yes Thank you!
Add the less than esteemed dr fauci or dr F’er and his Wuhan and Echo group buddies to your list. Right up there dr mengele

Heed the Call-up

“COVID killed more people than cars, guns, and the flu together.”
100% false. Go to the CDC site and read the notes to their charts to learn the truth. Your Leftist propaganda is well-known here, and disregarded as such.

APG member

It is not leftist propaganda JonLordofShart is full of it’s authoritarian! Loves to perpetuate the Fear Uncertanty and Doubt!


Guns and cars killed no one. So boils down to whether COVID or flu killed more people.
People used cars and guns to kill themselves and others, but that was not how the statement was phrased.
COVID killed more people than the flu, thus COVID killed more people than the flu, cars and guns put together.


Covid did NOT kill more than flu, cars & guns together. Covid “death rates” are infested with fraud. 1) PCR sensitivity set intentionally far too high, yielding huge number of false positives. 2) Cause of Death fraud: E.g. If someone about to die of stage 4 cancer tests “positive” (real or fake), the death is counted as a Covid death. 3) Massive testing fraud: a) Labs in Florida were caught reporting 100% “positive” results. b) Anecdote 1: I know a teacher who tested all of her community college department students and staff. The tests came back 100% “positive”. Smelling a… Read more »


LOL. At least this time you pinched off a snippy little hypocritical strawman post instead of your usual schart.

As an officer of a biotech co, I think I know more about PCR than a blowhard ex-prison guard. With a masters in econ and having worked professionally in probability & statistics, I think I’m more aware of the limitations of anecdotes. That doesn’t mean anecdotes are not useful. The fact that I know personally of massive testing fraud is relevant. And peer reviewed articles are hardly necessary for proving testing fraud.

BTW, your scharts are full of self-congratulatory anecdotes.


I doubt I care what you doubt, Schart.

Heed the Call-up

Read the notes for that CDC data to understand the numbers. The claim is false according to their notes. You clearly did not read the CDC notes on their data and/or understand it.

Heed the Call-up

I could cite the source, but I do not feel like trying to help the willfully ignorant today. If you actually went to the CDC website, you would find the information there. I don’t need to cite the source as we all know the web address of the CDC and if you don’t know it, you just search for CDC and any search engine will provide you will the address. Yes, your claim about the death rate is not valid as the data you are citing is not valid. I did not personally attack you. I stated read the notes… Read more »


Why didn’t these commies clean up the gene pool…its infected…the world would be much better without commies

Henry Bowman

We can’t expect commies to voluntarily remove themselves from the gene pool. We need to follow Augusto Pinochet’s example, and give them a nudge… from helicopters, if possible!


If Facebook/ Twitter/ and OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA wants to ban people for statements that are not within their rules, WHY ISEN’T THIS BANNED?


Because this isn’t facebook or twitter?


Ammoland was just pointing out what is being putout on other sights that are trying to destroy gun ownership!!!!!


Boy they didn’t like that comment I just tried to post!!!!!!!!!


as the old Irish bricklayer’s song goes, “its not the falling but the landing that will alter social standing”.

Henry Bowman

You can STFU now… These commies have killed hundreds in the last 14 months, and when war has commenced, your BS pontificating will mean NOTHING. Actually some could argue it’s already started but I do not accept that since that’s not the consensus among Right Americans. No libertarian such as I would be the aggressor; but if you wanna start shit, I’ll be happy to end it. Communists are an existential threat to all that is good, decent and just in this nation. If you’re so triggered maybe it’s because you think like them.
Self-defense is not murder.

Henry Bowman

You repeat that line like you think you know what you are saying… Inigo Montoya would be unimpressed with you, JohnLardShart.

Like I said, you can GTFO now, troll.

Henry Bowman

Ever ask yourself why everyone downvotes all your comments?? You need to make like a tree. Go back to Daily Kos or whatever internet $h!thole you came from.


deadly force would include whatever means is employed to execute those who have knowingly and wilfully taken innocent human life. And the FAILURE of our society to apply such force under such circumstances is the main reason we HAVE so much death and violence in our society. This serves a a deterrent to those who might consider offing someone for no just cause, AND it removes without just cause. Until THIS principle is restored, our soceity will continue to devolve as it has been for at least the past fofty or hundred years. It is “inhumane” to execute a proven… Read more »

Mike the Limey

Communism & other leftist ideologies ARE a threat to the lives & well being of the innocent.
Remind me again how many they’ve murdered in the last 100 years or so; Is it 120 million, 160 million or more?

Oh & you’re the only one who suggested murdering anyone.

Mike the Limey

There’s nonsense, then there’s your posts.

Once again, YOU are accusing others of advocating murder, which they clearly DID NOT DO.

Oh & check out my name: I live in a democratic constitutional monarchy, NOT A REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC.

Mike the Limey

It would help if you quoted MY post, rather than someone else’s, you muppet.


The story failed to list two of the basic rules for firearms: (1) Keep all firearms out of the hands of the mentally deficient. (2) Keep all firearms out of the hands of the morally deficient.
Feel free to add to the list:


Such abuse of children and those of below average intelligence is “criminally negligent” and should be prosecuted; compensation for participating in a “life threatening” activity when one does not have capacity to understand the consequences of the the action is sufficiently documented by the images; no different than child pornography or abuse of the intellectually challenged.


The problem lies in who gets to determine who’s deficient.


How about you do your part with that which you can control and let others do the same. That is all anyone can really do anyway.


You do go on don’t you. It is so tiresome but you don’t care about that do you? Don’t let my comment slow you down or stop you as I am sure it is good therapy for you. It is most likely the only thing keeping you from going over the edge.


Actually he hints at a couple good points. Gvt-conducted “background checks” are a dangerous placebo. In a country with hundreds of millions of guns & gunowners, the only way to keep violent criminals and mental & moral defectives away from guns – and away from the many other ways, means & opportunities to kill people – is to keep them jailed or institutionalized. P.S. Mentally or morally deficient includes all Dems & Undocumented Dems (RINOs). Since Dems claim to believe background checks & other gun controls stop crime, they shouldn’t mind banning themselves from owning guns, especially since they hate… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

You seem to have limited your options.


You do deflect don’t you.


Good, good, let it flow.


That doesn’t address the issue Norm raised, and it’s an important issue.


Yes it is.

F Riehl, Editor in Chief

Excellent feedback.


Here Here….


These photographs are depictions of violence and can therefore should be considered encouraging violence and the improper use of firearms. They are of the same ilk as photographs depicting the rape of child!
They should be outlawed!


Psychiatry and Psychology (and several other supposed medical professions) need be decertified. There is no “science” let alone “medical science” involved in these scam “professions” and manipulations of the vulnerable. … Let those that seek elective office claiming to know how to “restore America” pledge that these “medical treatments” will no longer be covered by Medicare and Medicaid. … There will be far fewer psychotics and “in your face” sexual deviants as a result (so I predict and history evidences).


Psychiatry IS a real science.. it is the study of the human braina nd hormonal and nervous system, and there are legitimate “shrinks” out there. Things like chemicalimbalances (rotten diet, physical trauma, chemical/substance abuse, traumatic experiences, can result in these imbalances, which are real, sometimes can be addressed and readjusted chemically owr with other therapy. Psychlogy is more a ‘dark art” messing with people’s “memories”, rge, feelings, etc, and is far less “real”. Most of today’s mental problems are from bad choices or bad upbringing, and the shrink taking notes as the “patient” (read gravy train) on the couch babbles… Read more »

Mike the Limey

Psychiatry IS a valid, medical & scientific profession when kept to dealing with such things as schizophrenia.
Unfortunately it’s been debased by the quacks who prescribe pills for fabricated neuroses.
Psychology & sociology are largely the refuge of agenda driven leftists with control freak tendencies.


It’s not about saving lives, it’s about disarming America.
Anyone saying they want to save lives should start with the biggest numbers….
Firearms kill roughly 40,000 people in the US each year.
Tobacco kills around 500,000 Americans plus who knows how many affected from 2nd hand smoke.

Mike the Limey

90,000 killed by overdoses of prescription medication (especially fentanyl) in 2020 but instead, the left focuses on firearms, rather than condemning China’s deliberate facilitation of production & smuggling these drugs into the US.

APG member

Guns like DRUGS are neither inherently good or evil. Prohibition fails, obviously; until you recognize this your right will always be in contention.

Mike the Limey

Indeed. It’s those manipulating them who have the capacity to be either.
Unfortunately, the left appears unwilling or incapable of recognising & countering evil.
Perhaps because doing so would alienate a not insignificant number of their adherents.


In my opinion I’d wish they’d all pull the trigger and make the world a better place. No sane self respecting gun owner would pull such a stunt unless they needed to.

Pa John

ATTENTION EDITORS: You forgot to put the caption “Voting Democrat” next to the suicide pictures above. The caption is necessary and fitting, because voting democrat is basically the same as shooting yourself in the head, just taking a more indirect path to a suicide that also devastates the liberty and freedom of the entire population when socialist democrats gain power.

Go ahead, scroll back up, and think “Voting Democrat” as you look at the pictures of people pointing guns at their own heads. Because that is what voting democrat is. Truth in advertising.

The more you know…

Mike the Limey

Ah yes; Big Media.
Never been known to care about the sheer hypocrisy of their actions, so long as they aid the leftist agenda.
This is the same media which refuses to endorse firearms training, the safe handling of firearms & even teaching children the basics of not messing with firearms.
Vile people with zero morals.

Henry Bowman

Is it my imagination, or is JohnLordofShart a world-class troll??
I’ve even briefly wondered if it’s Little Quisling Harold.
Either way, we need some QC in here and take out the trash.


When I saw these I got a visualization of pelosi with a gun in her mouth, it gave me a warm fuzzy felling inside


It looks like the leftist/ liberal media is promoting unsafe firearm handling. Don’t blame the law abiding and careful for this (to MSM).


I agree with much of what you posted, but respectfully disagree with the last paragraph. Anything mechanical can fail, and users should handle with expectation that it will fail. Not to excuse manufacturers from including safety features in design of modern guns, but guns can remain in service for over a hundred years – likely far longer. Even without modification, safety features can fail unobserved by even careful users. Our existing tort system is effective at encouraging product safety. It is most effective for mass produced products, with big corporations doing the production. Which happens to be the case gun… Read more »


cmon, this was disappointing. I thought Id get to see the suicidal leftists blowing their own heads off & NOPE ! Major let down.


Most of these are an instruction manual for lefties…