Apple, Don’t Cave to Anti-Gun Zealots Over iPhone Apps

It seems that some new iPhone games in the App Store have the British anti-gun lobby’s knickers in a knot.

Macworld UK’s Nick Spence says reports in British newspapers claim the series of iPhone and iPod touch apps developed by the French firm Damabia, such as Boom!BOOM! Shotgun Pro, Boom!BOOM! Shotgun Free, Bang!BANG!, Bang!BANG! OG Edition and Tak!TAK!, are glamorizing “gun culture,” particularly among young people, and have caused “outrage among anti-gun campaigners.”

Claudia Webbe, chair of an independent advisory group for the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Trident gun-crime force, is quoted commenting, “I am stunned this game should ever have been allowed to have been made. We have spent years trying to get imitation guns out of shops and this sort of product undermines that effort.”

The always-strident anti-gun lobby is demanding that Apple (s aapl) pull the Damabia apps, which are either free or sell for 99 cents and are rated 9+ in the App Store for “Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes” and “Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence.”

I say get a grip, and I profoundly hope Apple will resist this political-correctness bullying.

I’m old enough to have spent my formative years in an era before the bane of political correctness had exerted its clammy grip on our culture, and in which youngsters playing “cops and robbers” with “imitation guns,” was not only not frowned upon, but considered a normal and commendable rite of childhood.

I’ve been around guns, imitation and real, literally all my life — a part of “gun culture” if you will, and it’s not something I have any inclination to apologize for. As a young child living in rural Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada, just about every family in the communities I lived in owned (and still do today) a gun — usually several. One wall of my bedroom was a floor-to-ceiling pegboard mounted with firearms replicas (I would bridle if anyone called them “toys”). I wouldn’t have anything that wasn’t a passable likeness of a real weapon.

I was given my first real rifle when I was 12, a bolt-action Winchester .22 that belonged to my father when he was a boy, and in turn to my older half-brother who passed it along to me. Virtually all my male peers during my early teenage years had their own .22s. We had a lot of fun with those guns and 40-odd years later, to the best of my knowledge, not one of us ever became a homicidal maniac or killed, hurt, or even threatened anyone with a gun. Guns don’t make people evil.

I consider gun culture a positive element in society, and know for a fact from experience that high levels of firearms ownership (probably 75 percent, in the virtually crime-free community where I currently reside) do not increase crime and social violence. The opposite obtains, and is scientifically verifiable. A major study by John Lott at the University of Chicago found that for each 1 percent reduction in gun ownership, there is a 3 percent increase in violent crime. Lott observes, “When crimes are committed with guns, there is a somewhat natural inclination toward eliminating all guns. While understandable, this reaction actually endangers people’s lives.”

I’m not insensitive to agonizingly relentless incidents of senseless, insane violence that keep occurring all over the world these days, many of them involving guns. However, in one of the most shocking and disturbing recent ones, in a Boston suburb this week, the weapon used was a kitchen knife, the only guns involved being in the hands of police, one of whom used his to dispatch a deranged predator and save a life. So, should we go hysterical about demonizing and banning kitchen knives?

Damabia’s latest App Store offering Boom!BOOM! Shotgun Pro Edition for iPhone and touch, includes the eponymous shotgun, as well as a .40 cal semi-automatic handgun, a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, a submini automatic handgun and a fully automatic assault rifle. Damibia says Boom!BOOM! Shotgun Pro Edition “lets you experience this childhood game of cops and robbers in a whole new way… with stunning visuals, ear-popping sound.”

Hmmm. Damibia’s ad copy seems almost purposefully inflammatory, which is especially interesting being as they’re based in France of all places, and not the supposedly gun-besotted U.S. I would suggest they tone it down a bit, but I still support their right to develop and distribute these programs. Censorship scares me a lot more than guns do.