NRA iOS game draws criticism

Connecticut gov says "How dumb can you get?" about National Rifle Association's new education-themed Practice Range game.

Political leaders across the country are none too pleased with the National Rifle Association's recently released iOS game, NRA: Practice Range. The free app was released one month after the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, and allows players to shoot targets at a range with numerous weapons, including handguns and automatic rifles like the ones used in the real-world killings.

Dannel Malloy.

"How dumb can you get? How insulting can you be? How tone deaf can you be? You can quote me on anyone of those," Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy said at a press conference Tuesday, as reported by CBS news affiliate WFSB. "The idea that they decided on the one month anniversary to release that, and I've been on the app and you can push a button and hear a gun going off and it's clearly, it's offensive," he said.

In addition to letting gamers shoot guns in a virtual range, NRA: Practice Range offers facts, safety tips, and educational materials related to gun ownership. It also includes the latest news and legislation updates as well as state-by-state gun rights information.

Malloy was not the only Connecticut political leader to take issue with the app. Democratic senator Chris Murphy issued a statement Tuesday lambasting the NRA and its decision to release the app on the anniversary of the shooting.

"The NRA seems intent on continuing to insult the families of the victims of Sandy Hook," Murphy said. "How could they think it was a good idea to use the one-month anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook to release a game that teaches 4-year-olds to shoot assault weapons? No matter what outrageous new tool they use, the NRA cannot make a straight-faced case that sport shooters need military-style weapons to enjoy their hobby."

During a much-publicized press conference in December, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre blamed games, among other forms of media, for the deadly shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Criticism over the app extended outside of Connecticut borders. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CBS New York that the app represents "the height of hypocrisy" and called on Apple to change the app's age rating. This would later happen, as Apple altered the game's rating from being appropriate for children 4 and up to being appropriate for children 12 and up.

“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,” Bloomberg said.

Not all politicians took issue with NRA: Practice Range. During a recent CBS This Morning interview, Republican former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich defended the app, saying people should take a look at the app before they pass judgment.

"My understanding is that it is a gun safety app and that it's for young hunters to learn gun safety," Gingrich said. "I would recommend people watch the entire app before they render judgment."

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

eddienoteddy

Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
556 comments
Codebreaker-X
Codebreaker-X

As important as it is to understand gun responsibility, law, and safety. the circumstances and methods utilized by the NRA in this case makes them look like they're trying to send subliminal messages to our nation's youth to me.

Steakface
Steakface

"In addition to letting gamers shoot guns in a virtual range, NRA: Practice Range offers facts, safety tips, and educational materials related to gun ownership."

Listen, the talking heads of the NRA are just as stupid and ignorant as the gun control advocates... but how is this a bad thing? They are promoting gun safety which is important and relevant. We should just bury our heads in the sand and pretend guns don't exist?

PahraohYami
PahraohYami

so.....wait.  They say that video games are to blame....and then they go and release an app? (which lets face it, is essentially mostly a game).  Is it me? or are people getting stupider and stupider every day?

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

I get that it's a huge hypocrisy (NOTICE IT'S A 'Y' THERE GUYS *facepalm*) to see an organization that wants to put blame on another organization... or well... a MASSIVE media craze that all kids and adults take part in to some degree of video games; and then you see them release an app to practise shooting various guns. I am amazed that I am agreeing with a REPUBLICAN though... it's a damn gun safety app... it shows what guns are meant for what sports, and it gives tons of tips on how to safely handle, store and use guns in an environment where they are MEANT to be used. It's not like they had little kids as the targets and you got higher scores for shooting them in the head or the heart for an "INSTA-KILL!!!". I really don't understand the NRA really.. they seem to always have some messed up controversy after every single school shooting that makes the headlines over the entire North American airwaves.

Why isn't the news media ever to blame for kids going out and blasting other kids at their school? Some suicidal egotist who thinks "Man, look at all that fame! I would be IMMEDIATELY known and talked about and analysed around North America if I did something like that too!" I know it sounds like a goofy argument, but it really isn't. It's certainly more logical than "He played Call of Duty just like 6 million other kids, so the game is to blame." If that was the case, I would've probably killed a massive amount of people myself in high school. But surprise! I listen to all of the music that is always in the media as causing violence; rap, metal, Marilyn Manson =O (although I also listen to classic rock, classical, jazz, blues, fusion, etc.) and I have played everything from every Call of Duty to every GTA to both Manhunts and all three Postal games. I should be out there cutting people's heads off with chainsaws and unzipping my pants urinating on them afterwards. Although this again isn't the case. Why am I not in the media for being able to control my behaviour from the insane amount of violent media influences I have had, and be praised for NOT shooting up my school or workplace? Oh right... because death, mutilation, agony, depression, hatred, violence is all that makes the papers and news stories. 

Maybe the news media should take a look at itself and see what it's reporting on every minute of the day and realize they should be equally to blame for all of these things going wrong in society. I also have to point out; it takes a lot longer than one month to make an app with as much content as the NRA did. They have likely had this thing in development for at LEAST six or more months. They happened to release it on the day one month later where a huge shooting took place. Oh no! Those bastards! They should've looked at the calendar and made DAMN sure they released that game ONE DAY LATER! I don't understand why people place significance on days the way they do. I would think you'd be in more pain the day BEFORE the one month-iversary than the next day. It's one more day to get over it. Sadly enough this isn't the case though because if a parent happens to be watching the news one month after their tragedy, they get to see all the reports about it being "EXACTLY ONE MONTH AFTER THE WORST SHOOTING IN AMERICAN HISTORY TOOK PLACE!!!" because they don't have anything more gruesome to talk about in the media.


LinkLuigi
LinkLuigi

 This is just tasteless. I can't even give them the "people are being to too sensitive" pass, as this is just in poor, poor taste.


I thought the NRA was quoted on blaming violent video games? I can't believe I wanted to join them when I was a kid; I thought they advocated safe use for a gun hobby, in a safe environment (I've always wanted to take competitive shooting).  Then I checked their site, and it was nothing but a huge b#$%^fest, moaning about their right to bear arms.


Idiots, they are.

GYIYGABITE
GYIYGABITE

IDIOTS! That's what the NRA are! I can't believe they had the guts to release a game like this, when it's been a month since the tragedy, and to top it of, they say that the only way to prevent a similar attack is to have armed security forces in school campus? 

NRA + Ignorance = Hipocrites

I'm GYIYGABITE, and I disapprove the NRA.

Wej_accept_it
Wej_accept_it

So the NRA blames video games with guns for gun violence, not the guns themselves. In response to this, the NRA just released an NRA themed game about shooting things, with guns.
What the...?

JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

I wonder if the game's news update feature links to the five people that were shot at gun shows during gun appreciation day... 

Brakkyn
Brakkyn

It's one of those "too soon" moments with a serious twist.

A man, who played violent video games, went to a school and shot 26 people.  BUT WAIT.  Let's ignore that last part.  Guns aren't the problem, here...it was *DEFLECTOR SHIELD*...the games he played, obviously!

If guns apparently don't kill people, NRA, then a video game sure as heck can't, either.

number1nick123
number1nick123

Just ban all guns and gun safety is no issue. Just ban all guns and the shootings will end. I live in Canada and we have very few murders compared to the USA and we eat the same food, play the same video games, and watch the same TV shows, we however do not have easy access to guns.

Dizzy1976
Dizzy1976

Lol   .......More hypocrite's calling other hypocrite's hypocritical.

Thought that was used in the definition of a politician........isn't it??  O-o

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

I'm not sure if I should leave this comment. If anyone has thoughts reply under my username. What would've happened if John Howard didn't legislate the gun laws after the Port Author massacre? Well half a century after Ned Kelly. It's part of Australian history and it's a what if question. I'll be checking back since I'm in a middle of a game. The Last Story which is why I have a Calista icon. It's near the end so no spoilers for you.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

That this guy is offended by the sound of a gun going off in an app... whatever.  Also: food for thought for you "People shouldn't have guns" people:  nearly all major shootings occur in "Gun Free Zones" because the shooter knows that no-one will shoot back.  Lets take Chicago.  Possibly the strictest gun laws in the country and more people die there than in active war zones.  I also love the "If we banned guns, everyone would be safer."  As if the people already breaking the law with guns will suddenly start obeying and turn in their guns.  Lets not forget the fact that the whole point of the second amendment is to ensure that We, the People, are never in a position where a government can start taking away our rights and push us around (the whole reason we broke away from England in the first place... and they were not even close to screwing us over like the gov't does now.....Tax your income, tax when you buy stuff, tax when you invest your already taxed money... THEN they take HALF OF WHAT YOU HAVE LEFT WHEN YOU DIE!!!)  The Bill of Rights mentions firearms because we have a right to defend ourselves.  I'd never move somewhere where I couldn't own a gun..... if someone busts in the door at night be DAMNED if I'll let the gov't tell me I have to defend my family with a baseball bat. 

Ishiban
Ishiban

An educational gaming app that teaches the user real world facts about guns?  Not really a problem in itself.  Had the NRA not decided to use video games as a scapegoat, this wouldn't even be an issue.  As for the comments from Bloomberg and other politicians, they are right to call out the NRA for their hypocrisy but they need to wake up to the fact that games are not intended solely for children.  It's apparent that many members of our government have archaic misconceptions about games and gaming as a hobby.   

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

Verdict? zombieseesmeat YouTube videos is one sided. All its arguing is "we're Americans and we don't like anyone giving crap about guns. The right to bear arms is a must and anyone disagreeing with me should ---- off!" My verdict: Gun restrictions is a must no matter the logistics, second, mental insitutions better resourced managed and last, kids. If you don't love kids, you have no right to call yourself a hero if shooting kids and criminals is something your proud of. After all, restricting guns is the way to take down crime. Not the other way around.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

On one hand, I can't believe the NRA would be so hypocritical as to release a game like this, one month after the shooting, and even sooner after they blamed video games violence as the cause (Ignorant jerks)

At the same time, I can see someone approving this on their end.

If they believed games showing you shoot people at a moments whim caused something like this, it does make logical sense to use the same form of media to try to show guns being used in a responsible manner.

I'm not saying it's ok, in fact it's absolutely appaling... I'm just saying I can see how/why that may have been approved.

MisguidedPirate
MisguidedPirate

"The idea that they decided on one month anniversary to release that..."

That part of the argument - fair enough. Extreme bad taste from whoever made that call.

"...and I've been on the app and you can push a button and hear a gun going off and it's clearly, it's offensive,"

But that part is just plain idiotic. "It makes a gun sound" does not constitute as offensive by any stretch of the imagination - it's a bloody firing range simulator, why would it NOT make a gun sound?

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

NRA hypocrits? Nahhhhhh, what gave you that idea?

Seriously tho....I dont get why people are against a simple background check...WTH is wrong with those people.

alchie11
alchie11

I like how Gingrich casts it for "Young Hunters," but doesn't specify if it is for hunting people (potential killers) or animals - though I believe you need to be a certain age and attain a license for the latter. The starting age for the app at 4 was preposterous  Nobody, except die-hard fear-mongering people, want their kids to use, learn, or play with a game that teaches you about guns - forgot using it, but guns itself.

bodeeremita
bodeeremita

I suggest a referendum. Let the people tell what is good for society. Whatever the people decides cannot be changed. But I'm warning you: banning guns will not stop mass murders. Brazil is a perferct exemple of this. Guns are banned here, but we find guns everywhere! 2013 starts with two mass murders in restaurants only in Sao Paulo. In this week, 6 people, including a pregnant woman, have been killed while driving, just for fun (all by guns). Banning guns won't make a safer society, education does. Although guns are legal in U.S., you are safer than us brazilians.
Sorry for the grammar...

jhonMalcovich
jhonMalcovich

 The gun lovers on this comment section are total paranoid dumbasses. It´s impossible to argue with them or reason. Your right to bear arms ends when other people´s rights begin.

And other people´s right is to not be shot by dumbasses like you. You are total morons than can keep your weaponry locked up in a safe. We don´t need to be protected from crazies, we need to be protected from you, because you are craziest m*therf*ckers around who actually believe that they need guns to protect themselves against

Tyranny,

Communists,

Black People,

Alien Invasion,

Other crazy m*therf*cker gun owners like yourselves.

You need a serious mental help.

Sorry for my language. But I just can´t keep it inside me.  F*ck political correctness. I needed to put it in plain words.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Why do 4 year olds need to know gun safety... They shouldn't  have guns, heck do you guys have the "don't touch matches because they're dangerous" thing going on, because that's a bit of a mixed messege if you can play with guns but not with a small burning piece of wood.

northArrow
northArrow

Although I loathe to defend the terrorist organization known as the NRA, I really can't find fault with the application. It's a gun safety app and there's nothing inappropriate in it. the targets in it aren't school kids, it's just targets.

Condemning this is similar to a few years ago when Fox condemned Mass Effect for its sex scene.

notlukesfather
notlukesfather

Its nice to see such well reasoned arguments that are completely relevant to the topic such as: " good luck mr kung fu" or "try and stop a terrorist bullet power ranger."

America was founded with the belief that its citizens should have the right to bear arms.  This is a fundamentally abused right, seeing as how it was so a citizen could protect himself from government  and we don't seem to be able to protect ourselves from each other.  

While insensitive, an app promoting information and proper use of fire arms does not seem to be that bad of a thing.  I haven't played it myself, but I'm pretty sure there's not a target in the shape of a kindergarten student.  I'm also pretty sure there's no theater setting.  This seems to be an informative app, and while I'm not in support of an individual's unlimited ability to possess guns (and grenades, and rocket launchers, etc), I'm vehemently opposed to idiots owning guns with no proper course to learn what it is they actually own.

Kingjames11
Kingjames11

Here in Colorado, a mother drowned her two kids in a bathtub, and then the other day I see a commercial for bathtubs. Can you believe the insensitivity? Also, there was a hit and run which killed one pedestrian. Next thing I know, I'm out getting my mail and people actually have the nerve to still be driving cars right past me. This is an insult. Ban it all. Ban everything. Because one person does something evil with an inanimate object must mean that everybody will do something evil with that object. My god, you know what, I just realized that I own assault rifles. Somebody ban me!

ellzhimself
ellzhimself

It's probably been said before and will no doubt be said again: The NRA are hypocrites.

GeneralTrouble
GeneralTrouble

Normal arguments aside, having the app originally available to 4 year olds? Seriously??

That alone beggars belief.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

The NRA cannot help what it is. As an organization whose purpose is to serve firearms and gun owners, including to promote firearm awareness and defend gun rights, this app is probably as good a tribute to the Connecticut masscre as they can make it. Something related to gun control would be in direct conflict with the NRA's nature of existence. It's not really a game but a shooting simulation and... an educational app, of sort. The quality is no doubt due to the short development time. Say what else you want about the app, it is on the low end of the violence spectrum.

The broader debate over gun control is far more complex and nuanced. There is no reason to diminish it to the scope of this one app.

face_ripper
face_ripper

everything is blamed on gamers nowadays.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

Well, that's what the NRA get for contradicting their argument, that somehow videogames causes people to get violent. Suddenly one of Apple videogame with the NRA messages, teaching anyone how to shoot and use guns? You could draw all types of people without a sweat. Last of all, there's the ad showing that if Barack Obama has security for his kids, what about the rest of the US? That's easily money wasted by putting armed security guards in every school. Why not focus on gun education and keep people from going beyond stress level and keep mental institutions under control. Also it's the school's choice whether they want guards or not.

The NRA will become like Australia by a long shot. America's obsession with guns should only be used as a last resort, or pending on the job like police, swat teams and the army. Criminals maybe an exception but not unpredictable citizens that may one day, kill their own. Playing videogames could end their anxiety and stress level and its just there for entertainment. Anyway, following the news today, the NRA will end up going overboard.

tahashaikh15
tahashaikh15

All the people who are defending guns and the NRA...REALLY...Cant you see what a fool you are making out of yourself....

Ratatoskr321
Ratatoskr321

I can respect that some people involved with this app may have had only the best intentions when releasing this but you know what they say about best intentions... probably should have had some more PR people working on this release. I don't own any Apple products so I can't pass judgment on the app itself but it sounds like it may have been a case of bad timing more than anything. I'm not a fan of the NRA by any means and I'm very much in favor of stricter gun laws but I can respect that not everyone agrees with me and I don't think anyone is in favor of continued gun violence in this country so good for them for trying, if that is indeed what they were attempting to do.

nwaboy79
nwaboy79

I'd like to take this time to apologize to anyone reading from around the world for the stupid GUN NUTS that have posted on here. You see, most Americans think that God granted them divine rights to have and own AR 15's.  They swear that somewhere in the bible, Jesus owned an AR 15 and told his followers in order to truly believe in thy lord God, they too must own an AR15.  

America doesn't think logically anymore.  You know how muslims get all pissed off when you talk about Mohammad, we do the same when you talk about meaningful smart gun regulation.  We have became a country of RELIGIOUS GUN FANATICS.  It is a shame to watch the once great and powerful America DEVOLVE into a staggering heap of Gun-Toting Religious Hypocrites that think Evolution is FAKE and Jesus owned an AR15.  Sorry world, so so so SORRY!!! 

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

I wish all the anti gun people on this website would take time to look into things, and the media could benefit from the same practice. GUN OWNERSHIP IN THE CONSTITUTION has NOTHING to do with HUNTING/TERRORISTS/MURDERERS/RAPISTS/GANGS. It was for the sole purpose of citizens protecting themselves from TYRANNY IN GOVERNMENT. They wanted to make SURE that what the british tried to do would never happen again. How ignorant and arrogant we all are now, thinking somehow,  we've moved on to a point where governments can be trusted. Its disgusting. Look at all the official documents releasing now by the US government, showing how many murders/corruption/wars/intentional infection of entire towns with STDs!!! started for LIES(ie vietnam/iraq etc), and you think we are safe trusting them?? The media and everyone else has you so caught up in these pointless arguements, rather than face the cold hard truth that our goverments are corrupt, and its only a matter of time before corruption leads to TRUE EVIL.

=-=-=-=

so no you ignorant f***s, you dont NEED more than 7 rounds to hunt with(unless you suck at hunting). But you better be right, one day people are going to need a lot more than 7 rounds in a clip when this and these countries go to chaos/riots/civil war. If you really think we have somehow moved passed that possibility, look at our history. You are being ignorant. The ONLY good use for guns IMO is to keep the government fearing its people. Fear can be a good thing you know. Till then, enjoy the end of the roman empire that is the current US, and please dont go asking your gun-owning neighbors for help when the s*** hits the fan, cause you are not worth the waste of ammo.

=-=-=-

"Those willing to surrender their freedoms/rights for security deserve neither."

SilenceLasting
SilenceLasting

I bet if the four year olds at Sandy Hook could shoot a assault rifle they may have lived.

I'm sick and fucking tired of this anti-gun hype. Only 3% of violent crimes in the US are committed with an assault rifle. Switzerland has the highest gun ownership per capita, yet the lowest gun crime/violence rate. Why are these facts not rubbed in the face of any person willing to hear???

5529319
5529319

Awful timing, more than anything else.

salvucci91
salvucci91

"I would recommend people watch the entire app before they render judgement." Yeah. I did. And it still looks like a game that's going to hook kids on the concept of firearms at a young age. I can't believe it was intended for 4 year-old's. Not to mention that a move like this contrasts the finger-pointing that they started in December. This literally makes them look like a bunch of crazies.

HeroKane
HeroKane

The whole thing is ridiculous. The governor is an idiot, this is no more insulting than any game or movie being released since the shooting, and no one thinks there being insulting. The NRA is just as stupid for placing blame on violent video games. Military style weapons are not needed, but that's not the point. Its about having that choice. The whole thing this country was founded on. Gun laws do not prevent gun crimes. That thought process is as ignorant as saying drug laws prevent drug use. Or that prohibition stopped alcohol use. If someone wants to kill a person or persons they will find away. 911 proved that. Quit punishing law abiding citizens for the crimes committed by stupid idiots. If people started running people over with cars and trucks would we outlaw them or restrict people from buying larger vehicles. No, we punish the one who break the law.

Cheekz77
Cheekz77

...Ridiculous...What Happened to Nerf?

cantor2537
cantor2537

As someone who lived in the US, I can say America is looking more and more nuts by the day. Why stop at guns? Why not allow grenades, rocket launchers and the like? Heck, a terrorist could hijack a plane and hit my office tower. Better have a rocket launcher in my office just in case.

The NRA are a bunch of pathetic losers who only care about pushing their far right agenda. Do Americans realize what the rest of the civilized world thinks of them and their crazy, it's my second amendment right to own an assault weapon BS? The 2nd Amendment should be repealed, is what I say.

Kabbalistica
Kabbalistica

Firearms do have a few limited uses for military, police and hunters. If you don't fall into any of these categories and you have a gun, you're a psycho.

The NRA are a bunch of overgrown children who like their boom-sticks. 

Smooth moves releasing a video game based on guns, NRA. This is obviously a ploy of some kind.

X-RS
X-RS

How dumb CAN you get?


Seriously...>_>

Arbalon
Arbalon

Not a good time to release an app like that if you're the NRA... Not exactly setting a good image for gun owners that would like to keep their guns in a harmless fashion. More fuel to the fire.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

"VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES MUST BE BANNED THEY ARE THE PROBLEM WITH GUN VIOLENCE "

now


"We made a game for the purpose of shooting guns and supporting the very organization that said that games were bad"


oh do fuc* off NRA. 

00J
00J

The NRA just did this to draw attention to video games, interesting ploy...

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

Like the NRA cares about who thinks what about them. The bad publicity doesn't bother them. More guns are joining every day. Our country is in a paranoid state right now. Personally, I think it's insulting, but then I find the NRA insulting in and of itself. I'm not the least bit surprised they'd introduce something like this exactly one month after children were killed with what they support. The only thing this app does is point out their hypocrisy. Irregardless of the purpose of the app, they are still turning machines of which the only purpose is to kill or injure into a game for children. Guns have only one purpose: to do harm to other. And we want to take these things and show children how cool and fun it is to use them. When is the attitude of this country towards firearms going to grow up?

mtait01
mtait01

The NRA have really shot themselves in the foot here - idiots

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

""The idea that they decided on one month anniversary...."

Unless you're a teenaged girl in high school, anniversaries are a yearly thing.