The new NRA iPhone app will no doubt upset some people

Regardless of one’s view on the National Rifle Association, it’s hard for anyone to deny that the timing and execution of their new NRA: Practice Range app is rather poor.


It’s been less than a month since the Sandy Hook tragedy and the finger pointing continues, with most of the blame being placed on video games. Just last week, you had a three day long meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and various members of the game industry. Elsewhere, you have various towns, mostly in the northeast, having public demonstrations in which offensive games are being destroyed.

As some might recall, the NRA placed a large degree of the blame on video games. So what better time than to release an iPhone app in which you get to shoot stuff! To be fair, you don’t run around shooting people; it’s a basic target practice app, one that attempts to also instill valuable lessons that all responsible gun owners should own. But the press is having a field day, since the irony has not gone unnoticed by anyone.

One main point of contention, that outlets like The Next Web and The Cult of Mac have pointed out, is how it’s appropriate for 4 year olds.

To be honest, that’s really not a fair assessment; no where does the NRA advocate little kids play it. Every app is given a rating based on fairly arbitrary factors, and an appropriate age is thusly awarded. Context has very little to do with things. But hey, it makes for a great headline, right?

Though I will say, speaking as someone who has shot guns numerous times before, at assorted gun ranges, I’ve never seen a target that resembles a coffin, which is present in one of the modes. That’s pretty weird, I must say. As well as fairly tasteless, sorry.

But what I find most telling is that the app is frankly a shoddy mess; it looks bad and plays worse. So I have to wonder if it was rushed out the door, as a part of their half-hearted attempt to, again, convey gun education. In a manner that just makes that them look even worse than before. But for those interested, simply download your copy here.