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

john January 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Oh and another thing....."lets honor" the victims by not using them for political gain!
Tom K January 17, 2013 at 12:13 PM
I agree whole-heartedly with john. Chris Murphy is a political opportunist who is interested in one thing - himself. How he was elected is anyone's guess.
Bombur January 17, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Anyone who expresses an opinion on this matter is a political opprtunist. It would be helpful if people could better understand why people think they need to own savage, military-grade weaponry. These weapons inflict horrible damage to human flesh; that's what war is. I hear many reasons for ownership: to protect themselves and their families from intruders, to protect themselves from when the intrusive government comes to get them, for hunting. I fail to see the rationality of these reasons because all those purposes can be served by weapons not designed for armies in warfare. Hoffman Firearms Co. sold an entire shopment of 100 assault rifles last Friday, the line began to form at 3 AM.THere is a feverish need to buy these weapons. I believe the percieved need for assault rifle ownership in large part is due to testosterone and the satisfied feeling owners get when they carress and/or shoot these weapons. As a gun owner and shooter, I hope that Americans can come to grips with the fact that the 2nd amendment was written when the US Army used muzzle loaders and that banning modern weapons of mass killing will be a positive act toward a long term solution to mass gun violence. The Framers would be appalled at the mass gun related murders we face today. And Tom K, our newest senator was elected because he made much more sense than his opponent.
Yooper January 18, 2013 at 12:50 AM
Thank you. Well said.
Tom K January 18, 2013 at 02:54 AM
I wouldn't expect her to make sense to a tax-and-spend liberal like yourself. What part of 'smaller government' don't you understand?


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