Here is some free PR advice for the National Rifle Association in the US: Now is not the time to release a target practice iOS app — especially one intended for kids. According to the NRA, the app is intended for children as young as four years old.
In Target Practice you can choose to test your skills in an indoor or outdoor range or opt to shoot skeet. You get to pick your weapon, and you can pony up $1 to unlock better (more powerful) guns. For example, in the outdoor range your default is an M16, but you can upgrade to an AK47 or an MK11 if you pay. It's really just a point-and-shoot game, but the fact that it's meant for kids is straight up stupid.
It would be a different story if the app were teaching kids about gun safety. As advertised, Target Practice does give safety tips, but they aren't the kinds of things that are going to keep a child from accidentally setting off a gun in the home. They're tidbits like, "keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot" or "know your target and what is beyond it" And the official Safety Tips section just takes you out of the app to the NRA's website.
Not that it should surprise you at this point, but the organisation really missed an opportunity here. This would be an excellent time to teach kids about gun safety; too many children are killed each year by accidentally setting off firearms in their homes. Kids see guns in games and they think guns in real life are games. That's just how innocent minds work. And that's what makes this app — like most moves this out of touch lobbyist group has made in recent memory — both poorly timed and poorly executed. How about something productive for once? I guess that's too much to ask of an organisation whose only interest is to get guns into peoples' hands. [The Appside via TheNextWeb via iTunes App Store]