“Apple released another beta of iOS 10 yesterday, and among the changes in that release was the introduction of a squirt gun emoji that replaced the hand gun emoji that had previously been available,” Jim Lynch writes for CIO. “I’m running beta four of iOS 10 so I verified the change yesterday after doing my upgrade, the handgun emoji is no longer available.”

“Before I get any further into this post, you should know that I’m a life member of the NRA, so my perspective on guns certainly does not match Apple’s,” Lynch writes. “I’ve been a life member for a long time now, and I always recommend that folks join the NRA to help protect 2nd amendment rights.”

More than one hundred new and redesigned emoji characters will be available to iPhone and iPad users this fall with iOS 10. This exciting update brings more gender options to existing characters, including new female athletes and professionals, adds beautiful redesigns of popular emoji, a new rainbow flag and more family options. Apple is working closely with the Unicode Consortium to ensure that popular emoji characters reflect the diversity of people everywhere. — Apple’s official statement about iOS 10 emoji changes

“Take very careful note of the sentence that mentions ‘popular emoji characters reflect the diversity of people everywhere,’ Lynch writes. “Apple is using what it considers to be the language of inclusion, while at the same time excluding people like me who own handguns and who use them safely and legally. So much for real diversity and inclusion on Apple’s part. Apparently diversity doesn’t include lawful gun owners in America and other parts of the world.”

“When a corporation’s power and software is used to slowly edge out free expression within its products then I think it’s time to step back and think carefully about supporting that company. Remember that getting rid of the handgun emoji was the second step after blocking the implementation of the rifle emoji, there will be more of this kind of ideological censorship coming from Apple in the future,” Lynch writes. “For me this means a freeze on buying any new Apple products for the foreseeable future.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Whether this fiasco was indeed prompted by a bug report about the handgun emoji (see the full article) or not, Apple would do better to more deeply consider their actions before acting like sanctimonious fools. Is this really a well-thought-out plan or just a knee-jerk reaction?

Perhaps a drop in product sales might be the wakeup call Apple’s brass so obviously needs to remind them that, like freedom of speech, diversity means actual diversity, not just including the types of people or entertaining thoughts or speech with which you happen to agree.

Some people have said that I shouldn’t get involved politically because probably half our customers are Republicans – maybe a little less, maybe more Dell than ours. But I do point out that there are more Democrats than Mac users so I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff because that was just a personal thing. — Steve Jobs, August 2004

Open Thread: Should Apple code their OSes to block video games that glorify guns and murder? – August 3, 2016
Apple removes handgun emoji, replaces it with a squirt gun – August 1, 2016
Apple’s politics may be hurting its brand – June 29, 2016
Apple CEO Steve Jobs: ‘I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff’ – August 25, 2004