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


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. 


Christopher S. Murphy

United States Senator

Just a person! January 22, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Imagine all this BS about an "APP "
Just a person! January 22, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Try the app it is terrible could not teach anyone ,anything!
Calvin Arey January 22, 2013 at 02:31 PM
General George Washington had a difficult time recruiting Southern men into the Revolutionary Army. The men were needed in the Southern States because the British were offering freedom to slaves who would join the British and run away from their owners. And those Southern men needed their guns not to protect themselves against their government but against slave uprising and rebellion.
Jay K. January 22, 2013 at 03:32 PM
The 2nd amendment states explicitly that its purpose is to maintain a militia: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." And it seems like you're also saying this. So then wouldn't you argue that we should be reducing the size of the federal government's armed forces such that "well regulated" militias fare a better chance of standing up to it? How do you reconcile the unparalleled power of the U.S. armed forces with the purpose of the 2nd amendment? Supporting the maintenance of such a dramatic power differential is logically inconsistent. Even if you permit the citizenry with access to purchase all the same weaponry, no militia, however well regulated, stands a chance against the U.S. military.
Briny O'Boy February 01, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Calvin that all sounds great, but the British were in fact Lying to the slaves. Oh yes they did free them as long as they fought, But so did Washington. All a slave had to do was fight for one year with a militia or with Washington's army and they were free. The only problem with it was it was only them, and they had to stay within the state to which they were freed. The British took most that survived and put them back into slavery once the war was over ,or turned them back over to loyalists, or shot them for refusing which was a pretty crappy deal. The only ones that made out were the ones that fought for Washington, but that wasn't really fair either. Stay,and don't leave. You could marry, but the female had to remain a slave. Bad deal all the way around. By the way, How was the Washington D.C. trip?


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