Apple announced Monday that iOS 10, the new version of the operating system for iPhones and iPads, will feature more than 100 new or redesigned emojis when it is released this fall. The new emojis focus on creating more gender options for existing characters, adding female versions of professions like bodybuilder, basketball player, and private eye. In addition, the new OS will include single-parent family emoji and a rainbow flag. But the pistol emoji, until now represented on Apple devices with a drawing of a revolver, is being replaced with a water gun.
CNN reports that the change to the pistol emoji was urged on by a group called New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, who wrote an open letter encouraging Apple to remove the emoji from their products “as a symbolic gesture to limit gun accessibility.” Each manufacturer gets to design its own drawing for emoji characters: Microsoft also uses a toy gun, while Google, Samsung, Facebook, and Twitter still use realistic-looking guns. The executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence told CNN, “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.”
Meanwhile, in the non-emoji world, the Senate continues to express itself by voting down any attempt at gun control, and the nation’s brave gun manufacturers are expressing themselves with new variations on the trusty AR-15 platform, a civilian-legal version of the M249 SAW light machine gun, and, of course, a gold-hued titanium coated semi-automatic replica of the Thompson 1927A-1 submachine gun—the “Chicago Typewriter.” Happy texting!