Chalk it up as another win for the hoplophobes, as presumably they have convinced Apple to replace its revolver emoji with a green water pistol in the latest version of its iPhone operating system, iOS10.
One will recall that last year New Yorkers Against Gun Violence started a campaign called, “DisarmTheiPhone.com” in an effort to get Apple to nix the emoji “as a symbolic gesture to limit gun accessibility.”
It’s not entirely clear whether Apple’s decision was in response to pressure from this particular gun-control organization or whether it was in reaction to the larger anti-gun sentiment that persists in this country, but either way, the gun emoji will be no more.
“Apple has stood up to the bullying tactics of the NRA and gun industry by showing that there are many more life-affirming ways to express oneself than with a gun,” said Leah Barrett, NYAGV’s Executive Director on Monday, as reported by CNNMoney.
Meanwhile, at least one pro-gun group, the Second Amendment Foundation, was quick to respond to the decision.
“This doesn’t just border on the absurd, it completely crosses the boundary,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb in a press release. “This is the sort of intolerance that comes from letting the gun prohibition lobby get away with demonization and hate.”
“While this story seems ridiculous on its face,” Gottlieb continued, “it raises alarms about the totalitarian mindset behind this kind of decision. This is no longer just about the Second Amendment, it’s about First Amendment rights, too. It shows that the gun prohibition lobby is so strident that they want to ban images of fake guns.”
Gottlieb indicated that president Obama and, his likely successor, Hillary Clinton bear some of the blame for fostering the current anti-gun atmosphere.
“There is no doubt that anti-gun comments by President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton help further this type of atmosphere,” Gottlieb said. “This is a perfect example of politically correct extremism, and at what point does even a tolerant society like ours need to draw the line?”
The removal of the revolver is just one of several changes Apple is making to the emoji repository. Along with the gun swap, Apple is going to include emojis that depict women doing certain jobs, e.g. a female construction worker, a female detective, a female police officer. There will also be emojis for single parents, female athletes, and a pride flag.
The new P.C.-friendly emojis will officially roll out this September when iOS10 becomes available.