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NRA in firing line after launching gun app

January 15, 2013 11:34 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 11:16 pm IST - WASHINGTON

Even as the White House continued to make tentative steps towards stricter gun control following the Newtown tragedy a month ago, more proof of the intractability of ‘gun problem’ emerged as the nation’s strongest pro-gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), introduced a shooting application for mobile devices that could be used by children as young as four.

Exactly one month after Adam Lanza went on a deadly shooting spree in Sandy Hook Elementary School and took the lives of 20 children and six adults, the NRA found itself receiving vitriolic reviews for its ‘Practice Range’ app, available for free on iTunes and designed for play on both the iPhone and the iPad.

In the app players have a choice of nine guns and though the Beretta M-9 handgun and a Colt M-16 assault rifle pistol are free, or ‘unlocked’, other locked weapons such as a Beretta and an AK-47 rifle can be obtained for 99 cents each.

Reviews say the app allows “would-be snipers to choose a weapon to fire at an indoor gun range, an outdoor range or for skeet shooting practice”, and shooters can take aim at clay ducks, or coffin-shaped targets with bull’s-eye at head and chest level.

Along with the unveiling of the NRA’s app, the one-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting also saw Vice-President Biden getting prepared to deliver a range of ideas to curb gun violence to President Obama.

Mr. Obama in the final press conference of his first term expressed what appeared to be frustration with the gun lobby in fear-mongering. He said, “But part of the challenge that we confront is, is that even the slightest hint of some sensible, responsible legislation in this area fans this notion that somehow, here it comes and everybody’s guns are going to be taken away. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the case.” He went on to say there was “probably an economic element” to gun lobbies “ginning up fear on the part of gun owners that somehow the federal government is about to take all your guns away.... It obviously is good for business”.

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