CT Politics

Connecticut Politics

Connecticut senator rips NRA over new “shooting” app for iPhone

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Elected to the U.S. Senate in November after three terms in the House, Connecticut Democrat Christopher Murphy took the National Rifle Association to task today over its newly-released target practice app that allows iPhone users to hone their shooting skills.

Murphy characterized the timing of the app’s release as highly insensitive in a letter to NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“The NRA seems intent on continuing to insult the families of the victims of Sandy Hook,” Murphy wrote. “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.”

When Murphy was in the House, he represented Connecticut’s 5th District, which includes Sandy Hook and Newtown.

The freshman senator also called on the NRA and Apple to rethink their ratings for the app, which is classified as suitable for children 4 and up.

A message seeking comment from the NRA was left with its public affairs office Tuesday by Hearst Newspapers.

Here is the full text from Murphy’s letter:

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

Categories: General

2 Responses

  1. jschm says:

    Chris It appears it isn’t an NRA sponsored game. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/nra-target-practice-game-not-nras/