WASHINGTON, January 15 (RIA Novosti) - Weeks after the National Rifle Association (NRA) blamed video games for “the marketing of violence” to children, America’s largest gun industry lobby released a shooting game app of its own, one month after the school shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Guns don’t kill people. Video games, the media and Obama’s budget kill people,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at a press conference a week after the Dec. 14 shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a 20-year-old gunman shot 20 children and six adults, before shooting and killing himself.
The new app, called NRA: Practice Range, was released in Apple’s iTunes app store on Sunday. According to the iTunes rating system, the app is recommended for ages 4 and up and “offers a 3D shooting game that instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations,” read the app’s description.
NRA iPhone screenshot
“It strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education, allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible,” the app’s description said.
The free game allows users to choose from a variety of weapons including a Beretta M-9 handgun, a Colt M-16 assault rifle with 15-round clip or a Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun. Users can fire at either indoor or outdoor gun ranges or practice skeet shooting.
For 99 cents, players can “unlock” higher-capacity guns, similar to the one used in the Connecticut school shooting, including AK-47 assault rifles and M-11 sniper rifles. In between target practice sessions, users receive gun safety tips.
The app’s release has sparked a firestorm of criticism.
"Who are these people?" said US Rep. Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut on MSNBC Tuesday.
"How could they be so insensitive as to not understand the weight of what they are doing? And target practice, for starting at age 4, and shooting at coffins. Do they not understand what happened in Sandy Hook?" DeLauro asked in reference to the app’s shooting targets that resemble the shape of a coffin.
A Gallup poll released Monday showed 38 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with current gun legislation, up from 25 percent a year ago.
At a White House press conference Monday, US President Barack Obama said he will soon ask the US Congress to pass new federal gun control legislation.
Obama said that among the ideas under consideration are a ban on assault-style weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.
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