Shooting themselves in the foot?

Posted by Emma Woollacott

In what would be a masterly stroke of self-parody, if it weren't all too true, the National Rifle Association has launched a shoot-em-up game aimed at children as young as four, exactly one month after the Newtown school massacre.

The move comes despite the fact that the NRA has routinely blamed video games, rather than people with guns, for gun violence.

"There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting
shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people," NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre commented just three weeks ago.
 
"Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse."

The iOS game, NRA: Practice Range, is published by Medl Mobile, and available free from iTunes, where it's billed as being suitable for children over four. Players can choose from an indoor range, and outdoor range and a skeet shoot, with a choice of nine weapons including an M16, Beretta and Colt. The aim is to shoot as many targets as possible in the shortest time.

It 'instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations" and "strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education," says the NRA.

Reviewers of the game aren't quite so sure. "I thought the NRA felt that video games were at fault for our violent culture?" writes one. "Oh, unless you can make money selling an app. I get it. Carry on."