NRA Releases Controversial Shooting Game

Image via NRA: Practice Range/iTunes

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the NRA, or National Rifle Association as of late. On the one month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the NRA has released its own iPhone and iPad app called the “NRA: Practice Range” (3D shooting app) that allows users to practice shooting weapons at designated targets.

Normally this wouldn’t stir any type of controversy, because let’s face it, everyone loves shooting games. Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield are some notable first-person shooters (FPS) that have hardcore fans from all age groups.

However the NRA has publicly stated that they are highly critical of games that feature any types of guns or methods of shooting. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre even blamed video games and the media for the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy in Newton, Connecticut.

Image via NRA: Practice Range/iTunes

Image via NRA: Practice Range/iTunes

LaPierre was quoted as saying, “vicious, violent games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse,” lead to real life violence. Well then, why would the NRA release an iPhone and iPad app called “NRA: Practice Range.” The NRA is pro-guns, but to come out with that type of statement and then release a shooting app on the one month anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting (could be a coincidence) makes zero sense.

Even worse, the app rating suggests that the game is appropriate for children as young as four years old. The app claims to instill “safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulation” for any users.

Demo testing of the game reveals that it is quite simple and will probably not be popular. Younger kids will still prefer Call of Duty and Halo to mobile shooting games. Regardless, the NRA needs to have some internal control and decide whether they support violent games or not, because right now it seems like they are supporting it and making their CEO’s previous statements irrelevant to the organization’s viewpoints.