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Hullinger reports: "Don't forget, says Annie-Rose Strasser at Think Progress, that the NRA 'rushed to blame video games, not guns, for inspiring' mass murders like the Newtown shooting."

The NRA has a new shooting app targeted at kids. (photo: Texas Observer)
The NRA has a new shooting app targeted at kids. (photo: Texas Observer)

The NRA's New Shooting App ... for 4-Year-Olds?

By Jessica Hullinger, The Week

15 January 13


amily bonding time! You and your kid can now perfect your shooting skills on your mobile device

One month after a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Conn., the NRA has released an iOS app called NRA: Practice Range that teaches players to shoot at targets on their mobile device. The NRA says the app "[i]nstills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations." Unsurprisingly, though, the app has people on edge, partially because it's approved for children ages 4 and up. "The organization really missed an opportunity here," says Leslie Horn at Gizmodo. "This would be an excellent time to teach kids about gun safety. I guess that's too much to ask of an organization whose only interest is to get guns into peoples' hands."

But even if NRA: Practice Range were approved for adults only, is it really wise for the NRA to release an app featuring targets that look remarkably like human coffins, and real-life models of guns (including an M9 pistol and an M16 rifle)? Don't forget, says Annie-Rose Strasser at Think Progress, that the NRA "rushed to blame video games, not guns, for inspiring" mass murders like the Newtown shooting.

In the NRA's defense, the game does give some safety tips, including "know your target and what's beyond it." In that sense, the organization "seems to be trying to position itself as a resource for safe and responsible gun owners," says Christina Chaey at Fast Company. But the game also encourages players to covet more powerful guns, like the MK11 sniper rifle, which can be purchased for $0.99. your social media marketing partner


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+8 # gcrawley 2013-01-15 23:27
Not a good PR move for the NRA. However, I’m guessing it’s not as graphic as “Angry Birds”. I think that shooting at target paper is far less harmful than prolonged exposure to violent images and sounds glamorizing murder. Hundreds of studies of media violence have shown the strong link between media violence and real-world violence. We need education and funding for depleted social programs, not more games.
+18 # RMDC 2013-01-16 05:23
What a disgusting photograph. This is child abuse. They are being trained to think that guns are a good solution to any problem that they may face. Their pose comes right out of gangster movies. They are learning to pose for violence.

All this just shows how sick much of Amerikkkan society really is. It will get a lot worse in the coming decade. Gun sales will explode.
+10 # Glen 2013-01-16 08:27
Gun sales have already exploded, and training these kids is not the same as EDUCATING kids.

So - you are right, U.S. society is sick and getting sicker and child abuse in many forms is increasing. Folks don't realize, any longer what child abuse includes. This photo, as you say, is nothing more than abuse and exploitation.
+3 # rockieball 2013-01-16 10:20
True how long before a child living in a gun loving NRA home gets mad at his/her parents and runs and gets one of the guns. After all he/she has heard the parents talk about using them to solve problems. How many times have they heard the "They should be shot," for saying or thinking this or that. So they get mad at mommy or daddy because they can't watch a movie, have a certain snack, go play with a certain friend and run and get that gun and shoot them. After all they have shown them how to use them, they have photo's of them with a their own gun. The odds of a gun in the home being used by one family member on another is around 90%.
+1 # MylesJ 2013-01-16 11:56
You are describing Columbine
+5 # rockieball 2013-01-16 10:14
This after all that crap about violent video games. They are hypocrites to their own policy statements.
+10 # hoodwinkednomore 2013-01-16 10:26

Sick Freaks

Poison beautiful childrens' minds with twisted violent adult fantasies of power to obliterate

+2 # ABen 2013-01-16 11:15
Gee, could there be a profit motive here? Gun manufacturers and the NRA types are laughing all the way to the bank. What could possibly go wrong with encouraging small children to see weapons use and shooting at another human as a game. This is just plain sick!
+3 # 4yourinformation 2013-01-16 11:17
Pretty stupid of the NRA. They should really think about what they say and what they do at the same time. I'm all for eliminating the mind candy priming of violence in media to kids. Violence in art should carry a high responsibility. If you are going to have it in creative works, make your work more that just just a dumb shootem up. Say something important, but be very careful that you don't end up promoting more anguish (Zero Dark Thirty).
0 # RnR 2013-01-17 08:17
I hear that Ollie North was claiming the NRA was the greatest protector of Civil Liberties in the world. /start sarcasm/ That must be the reason they fought the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act as vehemently as they did /end sarcasm/.
+1 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-01-18 18:52
Wayne Lapierre is one mentally unbalanced human being and should not be allowed to own a gun.

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