From the Bureau of ATF: Apple Shoots Down Gun Emoji

Oh, Apple.

A while back, the company dipped its toe into the #GunSense* arena by banning images of firearms from game previews inside its App Store, leading to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue for developers of popular first-person shooters, side-scrollers, military-themed strategy games and, ultimately, Apple itself. Since money trumps phony morals, that particular policy was deep-sixed faster than a disarmed serf** on a French promenade.

Now, following news of Tim Cook’s $50,000-a-plate fundraising dinner for the most rabidly antigun Presidential candidate this side of ever, Apple’s taking its anti-rights acitivism one step further: The company is getting rid of the kinda-sorta-realistic revolver emoji and replacing it with a neon green water gun.

A freaking water gun!


From Popular Science:

On its website, Apple says it wants to “ensure that popular emoji characters reflect the diversity of people everywhere.” And with millions of people using emoji in their daily communications, even the smallest changes will have significant impacts on our conversations. Apple’s stances on emoji can’t help but have political ramifications, in other words.

In this case, the change to the squirt gun emoji comes two years after a social media campaign called #DisarmTheiPhone was launched by advocacy group New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, with the goal of pressuring Apple to drop support for the revolver emoji.

Previously, Apple was reported to have pressured the emoji masters of the universe —the Unicode consortium, an international standards body — to drop plans to add a rifle emoji to the set.


OK, two things:

One, Popular Science is attributing this decision to the wrong entities, essentially declaring victory for the so-called #DisarmTheiPhone “movement” and its partner group NYAGV. In reality, #DisarmTheiPhone was and remains a trivial Twitter hashtag campaign that was abandoned about a week after it launched.


Similarly, the association alleged to be behind it likely had zero influence on Apple’s decision (potential Bloomberg puppet strings notwithstanding), as this is a change that’s been a long time coming for the California company. As noted, Apple is and has been consistently antigun, terrified of individual responsibility and self reliance in the interconnected world its future profits depend so dramatically upon. There is globalism, and there is tech globalism. It’s a tossup as to which version is more patently stupid.

Two, while this move will have no impact whatsoever on its PC purpose to “reduce gun violence,” it does have the rather insidious potential to make light of a serious matter in the minds of hundreds of millions of children and young adults the world over. See, water guns are toys. Kids point them at their friends and pull the trigger. But real guns — for which this naive nonsense will be substituted in the Pictionary-style communication that is emoji — are not toys. Far from it, firearms are potentially dangerous tools, deadly to the innocent when used improperly. And that improper usage, on a very basic level, is all Apple is encouraging with this move. When Johnny 10-Year-Old, raised on emoji and iDevice, finds a bright green gun or some zombie-themed Hornady hollow-points, he might not take those things too seriously. Indeed, like all such efforts to censor firearms from public consumption, the sole upshot (hopefully not into some poor kid’s developing brain) is the creation and curation of ignorance. Abstinence — and that’s all this really amounts to — doesn’t make children safer. It makes the taboo more mysterious, more enticing, and less familiar. If you want your kid to get the clap, never teach them about sex. If you want your kid to get banged, never teach them about guns.


Of course, Apple will never truly put its money where its progressive advocacy is. The company won’t ban games or apps where guns feature prominently, and you’ll still be able to buy John Wick and Deadpool from iTunes. Better, you’ll continue to have access to great firearms resources, retail stores, and auction sites through iOS’ Safari browser. Sure, you could protest this decision and boycott Apple (knowing, of course, that Google and Microsoft and Amazon et al. are no better on gun rights), but there is no more poignant mockery of such half-hearted #GunSense than to use the very tools built by these various anti-rights companies against them. Hell, I’m writing this post on an iPad, and I just used my iPhone to order 4000 rounds of remanufactured 124-grain 9mm JHP from Freedom Munitions.

Anyways, now that Apple has banned the scary, deadly, mass-murder-promoting cartoon handgun from its emoji lineup, I think it’s only fitting — and morally consistent — that the company also honor the hundreds of thousands of yearly victims whose deaths are likewise “represented” in the standard emoji alphabet. That is to say, as far as I can tell, Apple at the very least must now get rid of the following:

⚡️ 💥 🍔 🍟 🍩 🍺 🍷 🍾 🚗 🚚 🏍 ✈️ 🚤 💰 🔨 💣 🔪 🚬 💊 💉 🛁 🏥 👷 ⛪️ 🕌 🕍 🐊 🐅 🐍 🐷 👊 👞

Lightning, explosions, junk food, booze, vehicles, greed, hammers, bombs, knives, tobacco, pills, drugs, drownings, hospitals, doctors, houses of worship, various deadly critters, and hands and feet take countless lives annually, together (and many even separately) dwarfing the roughly 2000 innocents killed each year with firearms.

Worse, if one utilizes emoji combinations, one can get mighty specific about some mighty terrible events. Consider ✈️🏢🏢 or 😴🚝 or 🎇👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🚚. How delightfully subversive! We all probably know someone who’s been killed by 🍸🚙, too. And just recently, 🔪🇯🇵 made the news.

Looking at that last icon above, a thought occurs: nothing has been more responsible for killing more innocent people over the last (insert huge number here) years than government. Thus, I expect Apple to firmly and boldly address the number-one killer of man in their next update and ban these odious symbols:

🇦🇫 🇦🇽 🇦🇱 🇩🇿 🇦🇸 🇦🇩 🇦🇴 🇦🇮 🇦🇶 🇦🇬 🇦🇷 🇦🇲 🇦🇼 🇦🇺 🇦🇹 🇦🇿 🇧🇸 🇧🇭 🇧🇩 🇧🇧 🇧🇾 🇧🇪 🇧🇿 🇧🇯 🇧🇲 🇧🇹 🇧🇴 🇧🇦 🇧🇼 🇧🇷 🇮🇴 🇻🇬 🇧🇳 🇧🇬 🇧🇫 🇧🇮 🇰🇭 🇨🇲 🇨🇦 🇮🇨 🇨🇻 🇧🇶 🇰🇾 🇨🇫 🇹🇩 🇨🇱 🇨🇳 🇨🇽 🇨🇨 🇨🇴 🇰🇲 🇨🇬 🇨🇩 🇨🇰 🇨🇷 🇨🇮 🇭🇷 🇨🇺 🇨🇼 🇨🇾 🇨🇿 🇩🇰 🇩🇯 🇩🇲 🇩🇴 🇪🇨 🇪🇬 🇸🇻 🇬🇶 🇪🇷 🇪🇪 🇪🇹 🇪🇺 🇫🇰 🇫🇴 🇫🇯 🇫🇮 🇫🇷 🇬🇫 🇵🇫 🇹🇫 🇬🇦 🇬🇲 🇬🇪 🇩🇪 🇬🇭 🇬🇮 🇬🇷 🇬🇱 🇬🇩 🇬🇵 🇬🇺 🇬🇹 🇬🇬 🇬🇳 🇬🇼 🇬🇾 🇭🇹 🇭🇳 🇭🇰 🇭🇺 🇮🇸 🇮🇳 🇮🇩 🇮🇷 🇮🇶 🇮🇪 🇮🇲 🇮🇱 🇮🇹 🇯🇲 🇯🇵 🇯🇪 🇯🇴 🇰🇿 🇰🇪 🇰🇮 🇽🇰 🇰🇼 🇰🇬 🇱🇦 🇱🇻 🇱🇧 🇱🇸 🇱🇷 🇱🇾 🇱🇮 🇱🇹 🇱🇺 🇲🇴 🇲🇰 🇲🇬 🇲🇼 🇲🇾 🇲🇻 🇲🇱 🇲🇹 🇲🇭 🇲🇶 🇲🇷 🇲🇺 🇾🇹 🇲🇽 🇫🇲 🇲🇩 🇲🇨 🇲🇳 🇲🇪 🇲🇸 🇲🇦 🇲🇿 🇲🇲 🇳🇦 🇳🇷 🇳🇵 🇳🇱 🇳🇨 🇳🇿 🇳🇮 🇳🇪 🇳🇬 🇳🇺 🇳🇫 🇰🇵 🇲🇵 🇳🇴 🇴🇲 🇵🇰 🇵🇼 🇵🇸 🇵🇦 🇵🇬 🇵🇾 🇵🇪 🇵🇭 🇵🇳 🇵🇱 🇵🇹 🇵🇷 🇶🇦 🇷🇪 🇷🇴 🇷🇺 🇷🇼 🇼🇸 🇸🇲 🇸🇹 🇸🇦 🇸🇳 🇷🇸 🇸🇨 🇸🇱 🇸🇬 🇸🇽 🇸🇰 🇸🇮 🇬🇸 🇸🇧 🇸🇴 🇿🇦 🇰🇷 🇸🇸 🇪🇸 🇱🇰 🇧🇱 🇸🇭 🇰🇳 🇱🇨 🇵🇲 🇻🇨 🇸🇩 🇸🇷 🇸🇿 🇸🇪 🇨🇭 🇸🇾 🇹🇼 🇹🇯 🇹🇿 🇹🇭 🇹🇱 🇹🇬 🇹🇰 🇹🇴 🇹🇹 🇹🇳 🇹🇷 🇹🇲 🇹🇨 🇹🇻 🇻🇮 🇺🇬 🇺🇦 🇦🇪 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇺🇾 🇺🇿 🇻🇺 🇻🇦 🇻🇪 🇻🇳 🇼🇫 🇪🇭 🇾🇪 🇿🇲 🇿🇼

I just have one more thing to say:



*A blending of the term “gun control” and the word “nonsense.”

**I am aware that “disarmed serf” is a redundancy. I just happen to like the way it sounds.

***I dont know if Apple added this emoji for its users or for itself. Both seem appropriate. Up mine? Up yours, Cook and Co.


Glock-carrying Kel-Tec fanboy. 22 TCM is the future. So is 9mm. Find me on Twitter. (Seriously, I'm not linking my account. When I say find, I mean find.)


  1. New pistol 🔫 emoji looks like a ray gun to me.

    Pew Pew!

    “Don’t move! Or I’ll fill you full of… little yellow bolts of light!”

    • B5 > Farscape.

      Also, I figured out why the water gun points in the opposite direction: 💦

      That’s not #GunSense, that’s squirt.

      (No wait, that IS #GunSense.)

      • Does B5 have a memorable, timeless raygun quote? Or foul puppet aliens that emit acid & helium?

        • Not that come quick… mostly Garibaldi shooting the PPG (Pulse Plasma Gun) handgun and rifle every month or so.
          He did have (against regulations) a .38 SPC revolver that was his grandmother’s service weapon when she was a NYPD. (Grey 17 is missing)

          • We don’t talk about Grey 17 is Missing. There is no episode by that name. Any rumors to the contrary are vicious lies spread by Star Wars fans.

        • Edit: GIF loses impact when it cannot post as thumbnail. Bah. Miguel, fix it. Fix it fix it fix it fix it fix it.

  2. Braden Lynch : August 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    There are apps that augment the emoji selections. I say let capitalism fix this small slight. I want them to offer all manner of weapons and irritating symbols like Confederate flags, just to give the Progressive control freaks fits.

    • System-wide, there aren’t. But for specific messaging, apps like Telegram have user-made sticker packs. I made an awesome one myself! (I’ll try to dig up the install link. If you’re not using Telegram, hop to it!)

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .

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