In other news, Apple has announced their solution to eliminating gun violence in America: when their latest mobile operating system iOS 10 rolls out this fall, users will notice the software giant has replaced the revolver emoji with a green squirt gun with an orange tip.
So that happened.
The virtual pistol has a history of getting people into legal trouble. A 12-year-old girl was charged after she “threatened” her school via Instagram by including the knife, bomb and gun emojis in an online post and a Brooklyn teenager was arrested after he posted a police emoji with pistol emojis pointing at his head.
While charges were later dropped in those cases, it was the beginning of the end of Apple users’ right to bear virtual arms.
In 2015, the group New Yorkers Against Gun Violence launched a campaign to inform Apple of the dangers of the deadly pistol emoji by launching disarmtheiphone.com and sending an open letter saying their removal of the virtual gun would be “a symbolic gesture to limit gun accessibility.”
On Monday, NYAGV’s Executive Director Leah Barrett said, “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.”
Well done, Apple. I’m sure your enlightened move to censor virtual revolvers on your products will have virtually the same outcome as gun-free zone signs have across the country.