New York Senator Charles Schumer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized the National Rifle Association for releasing its iOS shooting range simulation app NRA Practice Range on the one month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown Connecticut. Pressure from politicians around the country ultimately forced Apple to change the rating from age 4+ to a rating of 12+. Schumer had called for a rating of 17+.
"Apple did the right thing by acknowledging that this game isn’t for young children, but should go farther and make the restrictions as tight as possible," said Schumer. "The NRA has acted in an unbelievably hypocritical fashion by blaming the nation’s gun violence on video games and movies, then coming out with a game for children featuring assault weapons. Apple should not facilitate children using it."
Meanwhile NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg lambasted the NRA for what he called hypocrisy:
"It is the height of hypocrisy," said Bloomberg. "If you remember the head of the NRA’s speech on television, he blamed violent children’s games for causing things like the terrible tragedy in Connecticut."
"One month and one day or maybe one month to the day, the NRA comes up with its own violent app. I don’t know what else to say. I don’t know how to describe it. The PR, the stupidity of doing it, is just mind-boggling," Bloomberg added.
Both Schumer and Bloomberg are strong advocates for tougher restrictions on the sale of assault rifles, high capacity clips, and tougher and more stringent background checks for gun purchases. New York State politicians this week fast-tracked the toughest gun control laws in the country, addressing many of the aforementioned issues.
On Tuesday night Connecticut Governor Dannel Patrick Malloy (D) also took aim at the NRA for its iOS game with an emotional series of statements about the timing of the app on iTunes just one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
"How dumb can you get?," the governor said of the NRA. "How insulting can you be?"
The governor and other state lawmakers sounded off about the NRA's new game, which at the time of release was rated age 4+ by Apple. That rating has since been changed to 12+, though some politicians asked apple to put the rating higher at 17+.
"It's offensive," he continued. "I can assure you they didn't call me before they chose the date."
It unclear if the NRA really had anything to do with the timing of the game's release, considering that it was developed by someone else and Apple may have decided the date as part of its approval process for the app.
"How outrageous can your behavior be?," he continued. "How tone deaf can you be?"
Connecticut Democrat Senate President Pro Tem Don. Williams added that the app was not helpful to the current discourse on gun violence:
"It certainly doesn't help elevate our society and help in addressing these issues," he said.
Connecticut lawmakers are working on stricter gun laws this week. New York passed brand new gun control measures on Tuesday.