With all the recent mass shootings, it is no surprise that gun control is a topic on everyone’s minds. Lately, it seems that every time you turn to the news, our second amendment rights are being discussed. The NRA, National Rifle Association, is the biggest defender of second amendment rights to bear arms and have recently been in the media’s limelight for their views on gun usage.  The NRA has historically promoted firearm ownership, marksmanship, safety, hunting, and self-defense in the United States. The NRA sponsors firearm training courses in addition to a range of safety programs to educate and encourage the safe use of firearms.

That being said, the NRA recently launched a target shooting iOS app. This might seem a little out of place with the tragedies in the media and have given some people a bad taste in their mouth. That’s not it, folks. Even more controversy surrounds the fact that this app is said to be intended for ages 4 and up. Some argue this is not the appropriate direction to go into, especially after the unspeakable tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut.

The app’s description says it is “the NRA’s new mobile nerve center”, offering “one-touch access to the NRA network of news, laws, facts, knowledge, safety tips, educational materials and online resources.” The app attempts to educate users on gun safety and offers tips along the way such as, “Gun Safety Tip #8, Never use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting”. Users then have a minute to shoot as many targets as possible from a choice of three gameplay modes; indoor range, outdoor range, and skeet shooting. Afterwards, the results of your accuracy are displayed.

While it offers safety tips, some argue that it should not be marketed to such a young age group. The other issue is that all of this is coming too soon in the wake of recent tragedies. Is the NRA justified in coming out with this app so soon, especially intending its use for ages 4 and up? Should we become wearier of guns or should we use this as a means of educating the public, regardless of age, on the use of firearms? What do you think? 

For more information about the NRA and their views on gun control issues click here.