The National Rifle Association is well known for promoting and defending gun ownership, as well as gun safety, self defense, and other related matters – but their latest campaign (and the poor timing that accompanies it) has proven more controversial than most. TheNextWeb reports that the NRA has released a new gun range game for iOS. That in itself isn’t too radical – what’s shocking is that they are apparently targeting it towards children.
With the horrible crime that recently took place at Sandy Hook still fresh in our minds, the timing could not be worse for releasing a gun range app rated for children four and up. The game even features the ability to purchase and unlock assault weapons.
To be fair, the new app is probably the least violent gun range app I have seen, and focuses on teaching gun safety. Even with that in mind, I can hardly process the fact that the NRA chose to release and begin marketing the app so soon – and that they would target it toward such a young audience.
From the App Store description:
NRA: Practice Range also offers a 3D shooting game that instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations. It strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education, allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible.
✔ 9 firearms
✔ 3 immersive shooting ranges
✔ 3 distinct difficult levels
✔ Analog & Gyroscope game controls
✔ Game Center integration
To be clear, the app itself seems pretty benign – what’s concerning is the tasteless timing that went along with the NRA’s release, and the fact that it’s targeted at such a young audience – especially when it promotes controversial weapons, such as assault rifles. Perhaps a bit of tact should have gone into the planning of the release…
It’s perhaps the most ill-conceived PR move of the year so far. Check out the app for yourself and let us know your thoughts. NRA: Practice Range is available immediately from the App Store as a free download.
- NRA Practice Range (free, App Store link)