NRA Releases Video Game, After Blaming Video Games For Sandy Hook Shooting

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre had harsh words for the video game industry last month, blaming game developers at least partially for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting which killed 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.

He called it “a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and sows violence against own people” that “[portrays] murder as a way of life and then [has] the nerve to call it entertainment … [I]sn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?”

Apparently the NRA assumes we have an extremely short attention span, because this month the organization released a new iOS shooting game rated appropriate for “ages four and up.”

Developer Medl Mobile released NRA: Practice Range on the iTunes App Store on Sunday. Described on its page as “the NRA’s new mobile nerve center,” it is apparently intended to allow “one-touch access to the NRA network of news, laws, facts, knowledge, safety tips, educational materials and online resources.”

The game is free, but allows the user to purchase upgrades like an AK-47 assault rifle for 99 cents. That may indicate the NRA’s aversion to large investments in video games after their last attempt at one, NRA Gun Glub, received abysmal ratings in 2006 and led Gamespot to quip that the only message it could send was that “guns are boring.”

Early reviews indicate this app is equally horrible, with one user noting that it is “just about blasting out bullets. No control required. Nothing learned.” 

To be fair to the NRA, however, none of the games have involved live targets.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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