NRA Shooting Gallery App Controversy
On Sunday, January 13, the NRA released a mobile shooting gallery app. It is a shooting gallery where you shoot at targets, not people. Less than a week later, some anti-gun group has petitioned Apple to remove it because it was released on the one month anniversary of the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. It actually was released before the anniversary, but facts never stopped propaganda from spreading.
Violence On Paper
Apple has already caved somewhat. The game’s description now warns of “frequent/intense realistic violence”, and the age rating was bumped up from 4 to 12. I hate to stick up for the NRA here after they just bashed video games, but where does the madness end? The game is about shooting paper targets, skeet, and so on. Not living things. Since when is the simple act of shooting a gun considered violence? That would put the Olympic shooting sports into the same “intense realistic violence” category, if not more so because it involves real people. Shooting a gun at a paper target does not make someone violent. During World War II, only about 25% of U.S soldiers actually shot at the enemy. By Vietnam, this had increased to 90%. The U.S. military credits training, specifically mentioning “realistic marksmanship ranges”. That’s military speak for shooting at lifelike dummies instead of paper targets. Shooting at paper targets was not making soldiers more likely to fire their weapons. Also consider these were men whose lives were on the line, and not ordinary people playing with an iPhone app.
Never A Good Time
As to the app being released too soon, when should the NRA have released it? I might could get on board if it came out a week later. Children were murdered, a little respect is in order. Two weeks I could see as well. Three weeks later, I still wouldn’t do it. It’d be a bit of a gray area, being in poor taste more than anything else. To pitch a fit one month later though? Do you even know what happened one month ago today? Most people don’t. Looking at the petition page, its clear the group is just clamoring for attention. When Apple gave an inch, they wanted a mile. Their argument changed from the timing, to the app being played at all. So what are they really angry about? The timing or the app itself? Or is it both now? Any changes tomorrow? Are there really no apps worth protesting that depict worse violence than shooting at paper targets?
Testing Personal Beliefs.
I was a member of the NRA for a little while because I believe strongly in the second amendment. This is not about the second amendment though, this is about the first amendment. The Supreme Court has already ruled video games fall under first amendment protections. I encourage you to download the app and show your support for the first amendment, and tick up that download counter. To use a famous quote, “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
Or you can sign a petition in hopes of violating established constitutional rights. Hate groups do that kind of thing all the time.