Apple removes handgun emoji, replaces it with a squirt gun

“Apple’s latest software update for the iPhone and iPad features one of its subtlest but most symbolically significant design changes yet. iOS 10, which will be available for free download this fall, removes the revolver emoji and replaces it with a squirt gun,” Carl Franzen reports for Popular Science.

“The change is available now to developers who download iOS 10 beta,” Franzen reports. “But if you do install iOS 10 beta 4, the revolver is gone and a green squirt gun with an orange tip appears in its place. The squirt gun emoji change comes alongside ‘more than 100’ other changes to Apple’s emoji, including more options for skin tones, more women in diverse professional roles, and more detailed characters. In one example, the ‘Running Man’ emoji appears more 3D.”

Current handgun emoji (left) and Apple's replacement, a green squirt gun (right)
Current handgun emoji (left) and Apple’s replacement, a green squirt gun (right)

“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,” Franzen reports. “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.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Leave it to Apple to solve the pressing issue of gun violence via text message.

What’s next, replacing the knife emoji with a spork? The bomb with a firecracker? The sword with a feather?

iOS knife, bomb, and sword emoji
iOS knife, bomb, and sword emoji

This is political correctness run amok.

And, BTW, that squirt gun doesn’t hold water, it’s full of hydrochloric acid.

Acid beaker and squirt gun emoji

Apple quashes rifle Emoji – June 20, 2016


    1. So true!

      Where is the “safe zone” emoji?

      Yes, I know we have a snowflake emoji. Your mother wants to know if you want peas with your Mac and cheese and dino-nuggets.

      Don’t keep her waiting, it’s tacky.

    1. Thanks for pointing out the obvious Herself. I think if I had made a comment like the the post would have gotten the axe. The other day a new topic heading went up:

      “Australian banks accuse Apple of anti-competitive behavior, want access to iPhone’s NFC chip to take on Apple Pay”

      Now I replied (paraphrase): “This is what the negotiations will be like.” and I put up a youtube link of a bona fide commercial that ran on down under TV, one of a series from the Commonwealth Bank, an actual bank from down under and the post was removed.

      Now I thought of asking them why or just dropping it, after all I love MDN for 95% of the stuff, no sense making a mountain out of a molehill and then I saw your post and realized it’s not worth the bother cause anyone who suggest putting hydrochloric acid in a plastic container instead of hydrofluoric acid is dealing with a great issue, that of super patriotism.

      You see if you put hydrofluoric acid in a squirt pistol you only get the person you were aiming at, or in the case of using an “aim for Bin hit Saddam guidance system” someone not necessarily the person you were aiming for at, but that doesn’t matter, just as long as you squirt someone in a violent way.

      However, if you put hydrochloric acid the gun will last long enough to injure someone, and the plastic melting will burn the hand but destroy the evidence, not that evidence matters in some places anymore.

      So your suggestion, while intelligent articulate and accurate does not have the level of violence and intelligence demonstrated by MDN’s reply.

      And that’s why they run the place, using superior technology to defend inferior morality.

      Super patriots.

      Oh and just to make absolutely, positively sure here is the /shjtt tag that means satire, humor, joke, tall tale.

      1. If the only purpose of a gun is to kill, then the vast majority of the approximately 350 million guns present in the U.S. must be design failures, because the vast majority will never kill anyone or anything.

        Imagine if you had another product — say, a washing machine — that failed in 99.99% of the time in its intended function. You would absolutely say that the product was a failure. But since manufacturers still produce and sell guns, and there’s plenty of people who want to buy them, it follows that those guns must be being used for purposes other than killing.

        1. Hey Superior Being, thanks for the reply.

          You are spot on, there are alternatives to purpose of a gun other than to kill (or wound), it can be used in sporting events and I think many people use it as a deterrent, a protection device or as a display piece/collectable.

          The functionality of a gun is to release a bullet, and that is what it does quite well. Where that bullet ends up is up to the user/operator of the gun, and therein lies the situation. A washing machine is designed to wash clothes, not dry or fold them. Moving clothes from a washing machine to the dryer and so on is up to the operator.

          Frankly I would have liked to see Apple, or someone design a dryer that folds clothes, that would be something.

          Nice post thanks.

          1. I have a feeling Apple has a secret, unheralded research lab in Duluth. There, dedicated engineers and psychologists are working on some of the most pressing problems of our time. Does anyone use an ironing board any more? No; too much risk of injury or damage to fabrics, caused by distracted ironing whilst watching today’s fiendishly compelling soap operas. Eddy Cue has a team working on daytime programming to solve that.

            Also, the Wearables team is experimenting with interlaced smart fibres, some of which can regulate body functions, others of which change appearance like a chameleon so one need purchase only a single garment. Apple’s legal team has concerns about the criminal potential of such an instant disguise, however, according to sources. And industry analysts are dubious, insisting that Apple is leaving money on the table—pointing out that competitors have already snapped up the smart underwear market with products like Smarty Pants™.

            My personal wish would be for a device that puts the pillowcase on the pillow, but I doubt Apple plans to bring robotics into the bedroom — that’s more Google’s thing, anyway.

            1. It may not be Apple working in that field but you are not far off from the truth. If you look up 3D printing fashion you’ll see that there are scanners that scan and measure your body size for clothes to fit better, 3D printers to print clothes that fit and will recycle the material. The shoes are really wild by the way.

              “Intelligent” no iron fabrics are being experimented with, and heck Gore-Tex is a bit revolutionary as well. I don’t watch TV anymore, they still have soap operas, they’ve made soap operas that are compelling? Egads, that’s a revolution.

              There are mood clothes too that change color I’ve seen those, they are pretty neat.

              Hey, if you are looking for a device to put the pillowcases on the pillow I’d certainly volunteer. My gut feeling is that you are the kind of person that likes to have lots of soft fluffy pillows.

              Whatever the situation, computers are becoming wearable and function and form will evolve into fashion.

              As usual, it is a pleasure to see you again. I leave with a smile on my face and light steps from my feet. I’ll leave it to your imagination what the other parts are doing.

        2. Wrong. If someone threatened you or a loved one with death or severe bodily injury a gun may change their mind without firing a shot. However, without a firearm you or your loved one would have no means of defense.

          Besides 80% of homicides with firearms occur among gangs – not exactly the sort of people who show community spirit or social graces.

    1. Oh, yes. This emoji change will solve everything.

      The Lib/Dem/Prog mind is certainly a wonder, that much is sure. No shred of logic ever need be entertained.

      1. Absolutely, nothing can affect the fundamental down-home American obsessions. When my father was dying, my mother removed his beloved .44 Magnum revolver that he always kept on the reading table next to his orthopaedic chair. He was so mad, he cursed her for days, but it did mean she had the benefit of his rages for another couple of years. She said it just wasn’t a Christian thing to do to make it easier for him to commit suicide, even if it would have made her life easier. Also, I think she didn’t exactly trust his aim after all of his strokes. They were both John Birch and Limbaugh followers of long standing, by the way. I realize a lot of you Americans are fond of claiming to be Christians, so that should help persuade you that sometimes you should take someone’s guns away even if they’re good ultra-conservatives. I’m proud of her.

        1. You’re confusing the tool with the motive, the symptom with the disease. Suicide is a tragedy. We should do everything reasonable to reduce the number of suicides. But, let’s not make an illogical leap and restrict a fundamental civil liberty in the process. The gun is not the problem — it’s obviously the mental frame of the person who’s morbidly depressed. You want to blame guns for suicide? Go check out Japan and South Korea’s suicide rates — they are astronomically higher than ours. No guns needed. If you’d like to exclude Asians, fine — go look at the U.K. Their suicide rate is 50% higher than the U.S.

          While guns certainly can be used for suicides, so can ropes, knives, razor blades, leaps from high buildings, poisons, car exhaust, airplanes, and so many others. If you provide better options for addressing mental health, you’ll not only reduce the number of suicides by gun, you’ll also see the benefit of seeing drops in all those other suicide methods at the same time! Seems like the logical thing to do — unless there is a specific reason you want to scapegoat guns above all other methods of suicide.

          Look at Australia’s suicide rate: essentially no difference between that today and that before their infamous gun ban. People who want to kill themselves find a way.

          It takes only one shot from a gun for a person to kill himself. This is the capability of every gun out there, even single-shot flintlocks and muzzleloaders. So, let’s be clear — if your intent is to “restrict” guns, what you’re really saying is in some way or fashion, “generally banning guns from society,” since every single gun can fulfill the function for a suicide. We can argue whether or not such universal restriction is possible or legal, but let’s make clear from the outset the scope of the proposition you are making.

            1. Empathy doesn’t solve problems. Empathy creates mounds of candles and photos and handwritten signs that have to be scraped up and dumped in the landfill three weeks after the next Islamic Terrorist hit obliterates the previous one from the news (see: Orlando, Brussels, Paris, Nice, Bavaria, etc.). I don’t see the empathetic vigils solving anything, snowflake.

              Logic solves problems. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people – and with bombs, trucks, axes, etc., too). Should we ban trucks and axes? Bombs, I suppose, are already banned. How’s that “ban” working out for the terrorist victims?

              What exactly are you advocating, pajama boy?

            2. Something you apparently haven’t got, probably wouldn’t understand, and must scare you, judging by the tone of your response. Are you sure you’re emotionally equipped to have guns? 😉

    2. Too bad they don’t have a “white guilt” emoji, eh Matty?

      When there is violence and guns are involved, snowflakes ❄️ like you blame guns, that way no one gets confronted about their behavior or culture. Safe!

      When obesity is the issue, intellectuals like yourself talk about culture, education, choices, behavior…but don’t seem to blame the fork or spoon.

      Matty, this is called incongruent. Yell upstairs to your mom and ask her what that means…or did I interrupt your musings of how guilty you are that you’ve been afflicted with that pasty, dandruff-laden dermis?

      Hope I didn’t hurt your feels.


    3. Wrong!!! America has a serious mental problem! Don’t blame the tool! More people are killed by cars a year so blame that tool as well, the car? The problem is mental idiots!

      1. Ah yes, the the cars kill people too argument.

        There is one fundamental difference. The car’s intended purpose is one of transportation not killing or injuring someone or something. Cars can be used daily for a lifetime without causing any death or injury.

        However, a gun is by it’s very design a dangerous tool for killing, injuring, and threatening other living things. I am not aware of any other purpose that cannot be done better by a different tool.

        1. You’re right, there’s no comparison at all. Firearms are protected by an article of the Constitution as an inalienable right that “shall not be infringed.” The ability to drive a car on a public highway is a privilege and as such can be regulated in all sorts of ways.

          They’re different in some ways, but similar in important ones. They’re both potentially lethal objects we allow (almost) every person to own and operate. To that extent, they are very similar. Funny though how the gun-grabbers tend to get all defensive if we were to suggest that we reduce the speed limit to 40 miles per hour (analogous to mandating reduced magazine sizes) or talk about banning certain types of riskier vehicles like motorcycles (analogous to banning certain types of guns like semi-automatic rifles) or talk about “common sense” mandatory helmet laws (analogous to “common sense” safety laws like those mandating that gun owners own a safe, etc.).

          Oh, you need a car, you say? Too bad, I need my guns. And my guns are a Constitutionally protected right while your car is merely a convenience. You can get by without a car if you need to.

          Maybe we can get together and both agree to ban swimming pools first? Because the rates of swimming pool deaths are greater than for both guns or cars. More people die of accidental drownings in swimming pools per 100,000 pools than accidentally die from 100,000 guns. After we finally get all the swimming pools filled in and the construction of new ones banned, then we can move on to discussing cars and guns.

    4. Germany has a problem with knives, bombs, and swords. (Not to mention radical Islamic terrorists and a delusional “progressive” Chancellor intent on destroying the country.)

      I demand Apple “fix” this problem by removing the knives, bombs, and swords emoji, too, because I am as illogical and incapable of rational thought as Matt Miklic.

    5. You obviously think that people killed or injured by people with firearms are more important than those killed or injured by people using other weapons. How can you rationalize the importance of a human life according to the means of injury or death.

  1. I think it’s a hilarious change and in a good way.

    It’s a still an icon of a gun, it’s just not the kind of gun that will scare any of our unique snowflakes out there

    Is brilliant.

    1. Agreed. I believe it to be a very whimsical solution for an apparent moral dilemma for many at Apple.

      The Constitution may allow actual weapons for Americans, but it does not guarantee the right to an emoji.

    1. No—instead, chastise the Apple person on the emoji committee. I just never have believed in the theory that you should kill the king for any infraction inflicted by a minion. That is too medieval for my refined taste. Actually, I prefer the pagan alternative: do penance through a sacrificial offering. A goat or pig is acceptable, especially as they can be eaten afterward. A virgin—no. I do have my principles.

  2. I feel so much safer now. Thanks Apple. Now if there was only a way to change the emojis for the rest of the shit going on in the world… Tim, get on it!

  3. This is a bad idea.

    Set aside the political correctness for a second regardless of how you feel about it, and here’s the problem:

    When you send an emoji, you aren’t sending the graphic image. You’re sending a Unicode. The recipient on the other end receives that code and then shows the corresponding image based on their platform.

    So, suppose a kid at school who was planning on having a watergun fight sends a text to another kid/teacher saying “I’m going to get you” followed by the watergun emoji. If the recipient has a different platform, they’re likely to see a handgun.

    People have been arrested for sending threatening emojis.

    If Apple wants to prevent people from sending “violent” emojis, again political correctness aside, they should simply remove those emojis from the keyboard.

    Apple shouldn’t mess with what the Unicode characters represent because it will have all kinds of consequences regarding miscommunication across different platforms.

    1. Very excellent point, I hope you communicated this with Apple feedback.

      There’s already cross-platform confusion over use of the 😁 emoji; Apple’s version looks like a grimace, but it’s in fact a “grinning face with smiling eyes”

    2. That’s a good point, but reading Apple’s press release, it looks like they’ve been working with the emoji consortium (I’m assuming that’s not a full-time job) to define new emojis and change existing ones. I think everyone is going to get the water pistol.

      1. Even if it’s a change at the unicode level itself, changing existing ones is a problem because of all the older devices and systems that don’t or can’t get updated. I still run Mavericks on one Mac and plenty of emojis in received messages show up as square boxes. Not to mention all the Androids that never get updated (although, it seems emoji support is separate from the OS itself; my girlfriend’s last phone was a 2012-era Android, and it never got Android updates ever but its WhatsApp could receive and send emoji that my Mavericks Mac can’t).

  4. Glad to see Timmy is worried about gun emoji’s but allows HUNDREDS of songs with the “N” word on iTunes, not to mention everything to do with degrading women and furthering gang violence! Great priorities Timmy! Where is your head at? Oh, never mind……

    1. The N word and degrading women IS hip-hop or what is also called rap music. (yea, I chocked a little when I used the word music) If you ever go to a hip-hop festival (I did) you will hear them use the N word more offten than the word “the”
      That’s no joke.
      I don’t like it, I don’t get it, and I’m no fan, but that is the way it is and it is accepted by millions.

      Apple needed to decide if they were going to be in the music business or not. Giving songs caution ratings seemed to be the best solution.

  5. Cool solution to a sticky dilemma. (Android users are on their own if you send a squirt gun emoji to them)

    Does it come in other colors other than green?

    1. Despite having a very high rate of private gun ownership, Switzerland has very little gun violence. Swiss gun homicides stood at 0.2389 per 100,000 residents in 2010 despite the fact that they are third in the world in terms of numbers of firearms owned by private individuals. This figure is among the lowest in the world. It has less to do with the availability of the guns and more to do with the culture and values of the people using them.

      Russia, where only 3 in 100 people own a gun, has a murder rate of about 20 people per 100,000, whereas Finland, where 40% own guns, has a murder rate of only 2 per 100,000.

      in Austria over 70,000 shotguns were sold in 2015. Over 100,000 so far in 2016. People in countries all over Europe want to buy more guns because they fear for their safety due to migrant populations entering their countries. Women are mostly driving the sales in Austria. Virtually all shotguns are currently sold out, because you don’t need a permit for them there.There are an estimated 1.1 million firearms out of a population of 8.5 million in Austria.

      1. And the US, which has more guns than it has alligators, but fewer than it has missing socks or something, has more gun-obsessed people who are more fanatical about guns than they are about the survival of their own communities or their country.

      2. “People in countries all over Europe want to buy more guns because they fear for their safety due to migrant populations entering their countries. ”

        Can you provide a European scorch for that claim? Here in Europe, the exact opposite appears to be the case. Germany already has fairly tight gun control laws and they are seriously considering tightening them up further.

        One little statistic that might amaze Americans is that last year in the UK, the number of times that the police discharged guns towards people was unusually high. They fired them during a total of just seven incidents during the entire year.

        1. The U.K. I do not want to emulate a country where the only legal form of self-defense is a rape whistle or where you have to be 18 to buy kitchen knives.

          According to the United Nations, the U.K. is 4th in the world in total crimes per capita, whereas the U.S. is only 22nd.

          The difference between a “subject” and a “citizen” is that the latter has the right to keep and bear arms.

        2. Terrorism fears prompt private armed security boom in Germany

          The recent terror attacks in Germany have boosted a demand for private security, Die Welt reports.

          After the series of bloody attacks that shocked the country, each festival or party is now more comfortable with having an armed guard, the newspaper says.

          Parties that used not to be guarded now want security. And even those that had security guards in the past ask for more.

          “We’ve had several requests for armed guards this week. Everyone is nervous at the moment. Since the last attacks, demand has boomed,” said the manager of one security firm in Bavaria.

          However, requests for armed personnel are being widely rejected, as events need special permission from state authorities to provide armed guards. Such permission is rarely granted.

          Germany saw several terrorism-related incidents in July.

          In Munich, an 18-year-old killed nine people with a handgun in a shopping mall before killing himself.

          A 27-year-old detonated a bomb in a pub in Ansbach, killing himself and injuring 15 others.

          A 17-year old Afghan refugee attacked passengers on a train in Bavaria with an ax, severely wounding four people before he was killed by police.

          In another case, a young Syrian refugee stabbed a co-worker in a kebab shop before attacking passersby.

          More companies are also introducing ‘spotter teams’ – security personnel that observe the crowd. However it is unclear whether this could have prevented the attack in Ansbach, where the bomber was reported to have been walking a strange way. Spotter teams work undercover but are prohibited from carrying firearms under strict German law.

          The number of people employed in security is rapidly growing in Germany. Last year, the number of employees grew more than 10 percent, according to BDSW. As of last September, 233,000 people were employed in the industry.

            1. The source is Die Welt. I gave you the RT account of the Die Welt report because it’s in English and you can barely understand that, much less German.

  6. The gun emoji frightened me. I am glad they removed it. Also, the music of Dr. Dre, MD, frightens me as well, they must take it down. As a millennial snowflake I DEMAND JUSTICE AND SAFE SPACE.

  7. I for one am getting real tired of Apple and their preaching. They’ll call out a state and pull business for not recognizing gay marriage but will happily sell their products where homosexuals are thrown off buildings.

    They’ll remove a gun emoji yet I am confident Tim Cook and apple has armed guards.

    It’s called being a hypocrite.

    Just make good products and i will decide on my own about guns. #tiredofapple

    1. Well, it’s the most important part of their day to scan the Internet for potential threats to the ongoing proliferation of guns. You wouldn’t want to take that away those little pleasures from them, would you?

      1. Symbols are worth organising your day around, and even worth fighting and dying for, once they have been stamped into your conscousness as triggers to engage your tribal instincts. Such symbols are associated in the mind with Truth and Survival, and generate the energy for ruthless battle. My only question is who does the stamping, and for what ulterior purpose.

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