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Your Take: NRA's New Target-Practice App For Children

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy doesn't mince words: '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.'

 

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) did not waste time ripping into the National Rifle Association and Apple on Tuesday for a newly-released app for iPhone and iPad that allows children as young as 4 to fire military-style weapons like M-16s and AK-47s.

"The NRA seems intent on continuing to insult the families of the victims of Sandy Hook,” said Murphy in a press release. “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 four 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."

Here is the full text of Senator Murphy’s letter. What do you think about this app? Add your thoughts in the comments.

January 15, 2013

Wayne LaPierre

Executive Vice President

National Rifle Association of America

11250 Waples Mill Road

Fairfax, VA 22030

 

 

Tim Cook

Chief Executive Office

Apple

1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014

 

Dear Messrs. LaPierre and Cook:

I write to you today with a mixture of grief, frustration and outrage.  As I’m sure you are both aware yesterday was the one month anniversary of the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  It was also the day that I learned about a new Apple iPhone and iPad app from the National Rifle Association (NRA), called NRA: Practice Range.  Not only does the release of this app demonstrate extremely poor taste and timing, it is deeply troubling that it is rated acceptable for children age four years and older.  I urge you to re-evaluate its rating.

As you know, NRA: Practice Range allows individuals to shoot targets in a variety of settings and with a number of different weapons, including handguns, an AK-47 and an M-16.  In particular, the M-16 is the military version of the Bushmaster AR-15, which was used in the shooting at Newtown.  As a parent of two young sons, one of whom is four years old, I find it appalling that this type of app is deemed acceptable for young children. 

Like most Americans, I was devastated to learn of the horrific events that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month.  The death of 26 innocent individuals, including 20 children, represents a new low point in our society.  To honor the victims, we must use this terrible national tragedy to reevaluate what we are doing as a country to protect against gun violence.  In his remarks after the shooting, Mr. LaPierre noted the role that violent video games play in de-sensitizing our society. It is the height of irony that now the NRA is releasing a game that teaches kids as young as four years old to shoot an AK-47.  Your organizations can play a role in beginning to change the culture of violence and gun glorification that plagues our society, by recognizing that selling this type of “game” contributes to the problem.

Furthermore, while target shooting is a legitimate sport, this game is a clumsy attempt to sanitize the role of military weapons, such as AK-47s and M-16s.  No hunter, marksman, or individual looking to protect themselves or their family needs a military weapon to do so.  Attempting to bring these guns into the mainstream as sport weapons masks their true purpose, which is to kill people, and they are used to do so every day all across the globe. 

Again, I urge you to take immediate steps to re-classify the rating of NRA: Practice Range.  Thank you in advance for your consideration and I look forward to your prompt response. 

Sincerely,

Christopher S. Murphy

United States Senator

 
JimH January 16, 2013 at 07:06 PM
How about discussing mental illness. Like for example, the mental case that wrote an app which allows you to have target practice with the NRA's president http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2013/01/15/new-video-game-allows-user-to-shoot-nra-president-in-the-head-n1489825
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Discussion from the Fairfield Patch Facebook page: Laura Robinson Keller: "what is it going to take for the NRA to back down? I pray it's not one of their own children who gets shot next. No one is taking away the right to bear arms and no one needs an assault weapon for protection." Anna Campbell: "Good lord. Such bad timing and insensitivity on Apple's part."
Jim Eastwood January 16, 2013 at 07:32 PM
To All Do you really think this is going to stop the Illegal guns?????? Just Look at what Prohibition did in the 1920,s and it's effect on the Liquor business. No One is Right nor is no one wrong on this issue. How about the Mental health issue, How about the Spoiled Kid issue??? How about drivers(Now they don't have to be Legal membersd of this Country?? How about the Doctors who prescribe Drug after drug yto your kids ?? Does this solve the problem Mr Murphy ???
R. Ludlowe January 16, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Jim, all of these things need to be addressed. They are all broken. But no one is as arrogant about these problems as the NRA. This app release is at minimum short-sited and insulting, and at most a slap in the face to all of the Newtown and other gun-violence effected families. The NRA could do themselves a favor by at least appearing to be sensitive to this issue, instead of taking the exact opposite approach. A mixture of arrogance and ignorance never leads to positive outcomes.
Jim Eastwood January 16, 2013 at 11:06 PM
R. Ludlowe You Got it !!! Thanks !!! I really think the NRA is really off base on their actions. How can any group be so stupid as to act like they have I just don't get it. I am awaiting the Governors Task force report on how to solve or at least attempt to solve the issues Stay Safe and Thanks !!!

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