Last year, tragic shooting events in Colorado and Connecticut reignited the debate regarding the issue of gun rights in the U.S. The National Rifle Association, after saying that violent media is to blame, has a new app release that may ruffle some feathers by mixing information about gun rights with a virtual shooting game.
The game, quietly released on Sunday, is called "NRA: Practice Range." Developed by California-based MEDL Mobile, the game allows users to practice their shooting skills in virtual outdoor and indoor gun ranges via the iPhone or iPad. The app's scoring system keeps track of your shooting accuracy and users also have the ability to upgrade their virtual weapons to a wide array of handguns and assault rifles for .99 cents each via in-app purchases. When I tested the app, game play was somewhat laggy, and for some reason there are no gunshot sounds when shooting, but overall it appears to be a relatively well constructed, albeit not very interesting app for those looking for a new virtual shooting game.
Oddly, the app is rated "4+" in the iTunes app store, which, according to Apple's rating system, means: "Applications in this category contain no objectionable material." Granted, there's no killing or blood in the game, but considering recent events, Apple's rating for this particular game might come under scrutiny from some quarters.
It's not clear whether the timing of this gun shooting gaming app was simply poorly timed, or specifically released as a means to bring more attention to the organization and its views now that possible new gun legislation is being discussed in Washington. In any case, the app's release is sure to spark a new round of attention for the organization and its commitment to gun rights in the U.S. You can take the app for a spin via iTunes here.