NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The National Rifle Association has released a free smartphone and tablet application that allows users to practice their aim.
“NRA: Practice Range” was released over the weekend and was rated for use by children as young as 4 years old, according to the iTunes rating system.
According to iTunes, apps are rated 4+ if they “contain no objectionable materials.”
Sen. Charles Schumer had called on Apple to raise the age rating of the app to 17+. Apple partially complied with the request Tuesday afternoon, boosting the age rating to 12+ for “frequent/intense realistic violence.”
“Apple did the right thing by acknowledging that this game isn’t for young children, but should go farther and make the restrictions as tight as possible,” said Schumer. “The NRA has acted in an unbelievably hypocritical fashion by blaming the nation’s gun violence on video games and movies, then coming out with a game for children featuring assault weapons. Apple should not facilitate children using it.”
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a fierce gun control advocate who has blasted the NRA in the month since the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, again slammed the powerful gun lobby for the new app.
“It is the height of hypocrisy. If you remember the head of the NRA’s speech on television, he blamed violent children’s games for causing things like the terrible tragedy in Connecticut,” Bloomberg said on Tuesday.
A $.99 upgrade is available so users can access higher-capacity guns for target shooting.
“One month and one day or maybe one month to the day, the NRA comes up with its own violent app. I don’t know what else to say. I don’t know how to describe it. The PR, the stupidity of doing it, is just mind-boggling,” Bloomberg added.
One week after the Dec. 14 Newtown, Conn. massacre that left 20 first graders and six educators dead, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre announced the group’s call for placing armed guards at every school in America.
LaPierre also blamed the media for allowing violent culture to come into children’s homes.
“There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?
Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’ that are aired like propaganda loops on ‘Splatterdays’ and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it ‘entertainment,’” LaPierre said in his remarks.
According to the app’s description, it offers users a “3D shooting game that instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations.”
The description also says the app “strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education.”
The app includes gun safety tips and access to a gun law database.
What do you think of the NRA’s app? Is it offensive, or another tool to teach gun safety? Sound off in the comments section below…