It's a headline you'd expect from The Onion, but this one's actually true. The National Rifle Association, not content with transparently shifting the blame to video games when their precious 2nd amendment is being questioned, decided to make things easier on their opponents by hypocritically releasing their own iOS app in which you can shoot things.
The app is NRA: Practice Range, and it targets anyone from the age of 4 and up. It allows players to test out virtual guns, purchased at $0.99 each, in one of three firing ranges.
But wait, there's more! Other benefits to buying the app include:
NRA: Practice Range puts the NRA’s broad scope of resources in the palm of your hand – with 2nd Amendment newsfeeds, gun law information centers and educational materials that you can access anywhere, anytime.
The two main arguments regularly leveled against FPS games are that shooting games can desensitise kids to violence, and that they can train them to shoot. While this app only displays extreme violence against wooden targets, the whole "training to shoot" thing seems more than a little relevant, if not downright hypocritical.
Not to mention, releasing a shooting game at this time, after what's been said, is just downright bad taste. A few comments have started to appear on iTunes already:
"How dare the NRA release an app for kids (rated 4+?!) at a time like this that teaches them how to 'safely shoot'."
"What is wrong with America??? A month after Sandy Hook you are releasing this! The NRA and your idiotic love of guns are killing your people."
While developers may not always have control over exactly when their app is released on iTunes, surely the association knew it was in the pipeline. Thankfully, it seems more and more people are calling for discussion of gun control and mental health care, as less people accept the "video games" finger pointing, and the PR situation for the NRA gets even worse.