NRA shooting game unloads preschooler-appropriate rating
APWASHINGTON -- A new shooting game for mobile devices by the powerful National Rifle Association is no longer being labeled suitable for preschoolers. The move came amid pushback from liberal organizations that called the game tasteless and criticized the timing of its release one month after a horrific elementary school shooting.
January 17, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
“NRA: Practice Range” changed its age recommendation on Tuesday from 4 years and up to at least 12 years of age with an added warning that the game depicts “intense” and “realistic” violence.
The game was released Sunday, amid a fierce national debate over gun control following of the Dec. 14 shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children and six adults dead. President Barack Obama is expected to announce a plan this week for curbing gun violence, including proposals for stricter gun laws that the NRA opposes.
A progressive advocacy organization, Courage Campaign, on Tuesday circulated an online petition asking Apple to drop the free mobile application from its store.
“This is a classic example of everything that is wrong with the NRA. Instead of coming to the table with constructive ideas to reduce gun violence, the NRA is instead developing a video game that glorifies guns and gun violence,” said Adam Bink, director of the group's online programs.
The NRA, the country's most influential pro-gun group, did not respond to repeated calls for comment. It also hasn't claimed ownership of the game, with no mention of it on its website. But the app refers to itself as the “National Rifle Association's new mobile nerve center, delivering one-touch access to the NRA network of news, laws, facts, knowledge, safety tips, educational materials and online resources.” The main menu in the game includes an NRA information section that leads users to the lobbying group's website.
Apple declined to comment.
A week after the Newtown shooting, NRA executive Wayne LaPierre blamed violent video games and movies, and not guns, for contributing to mass shootings.