After a week of sitting on the sidelines, the National Rifle Association has held a press conference on the Sandy Hook shootings. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, spoke Friday in Washington, D.C., advocating for “armed police officers in every single school in this nation” on the theory that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
The real culprit in the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., said LaPierre, was not high-powered rifles but “monsters” like Adam Lanza and the problematic media they consumed, especially “vicious, violent video games.”
But the broad brush of that last statement may tar even the NRA itself. In the past six years, the NRA has put out four video games, including “NRA Gun Club,” “NRA High Power Competition” and “NRA Varmint Hunter,” Business Insider discovered. The video games themselves, according to one reviewer, are “abysmal," and put forward “an effective though unintended antigun message: Guns are boring.”
True to LaPierre's sentiments about "violent video games," the NRA's games are relatively nonviolent; in none of their games do you shoot targets more controversial than “varmint.”
Noncontroversial though the targets may be, the games’ Amazon.com pages selling the game have already become a hub of protest, with reviewers reacting to LaPierre’s statement in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. Reviewer “Jerk Alert” has this to say:
Mortal Kombat BAD! NRA Shooting Sports Games GOOD! Got it...I'm guessing that the "NRA Gun Club" game for the playstation is also good? While GTA is Satan in video game form? This is confusing...So..if the NRA make money from a video game it is ok? But if they don't then they are to blame for America's [and only America's] gun violence? Is that correct?
NRA skeptics outside of Amazon comment threads have also cited statistics that show no link between a country’s rate of video game playing and a country’s rate of homicide -- unlike the rather more well known (and extant) link between homicide rates and gun ownership.