Apple jumps the shark by removing the handgun emoji; Gun owners might want to reconsider buying Apple’s products

“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


  1. What a cretinous moronic ammosexual troll! Getting upset about an emoji?!? Take your guns and pry it up your cold, dead butt. Go ahead, buy Samsung- maybe they’ll come out with a model that you can shoot yourself with.

    1. Do you not see it as hypocritical that there are features to include the diversity of different groups….but at the same time features are taken away from another group.

      If they took away the American flag as an emoji I’m sure other people would have a similar response.

      1. First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me. — Martin Niemöller

          1. As stated elsewhere within these threads: The issue isn’t the emoji itself. The issue is Apple’s “thought process” (or lack thereof) behind the change.

            1. It’s called political correctness, the religion of progressives. Expect Apple’s decisions to become increasingly absurd. For all the talk about diversity, I’d love to see the proportion of Democrats to Republicans at Apple, you can bet your ass that 90%+ are Obama voters. To each his own, but if you’re a group-thinking hivemind, expect braindead decisions like this one to happen often, we just won’t hear about most of them, but the stock will reflect it.

    2. I understand why he is upset. When Apple removed the handgun, all of his real guns turned into squirt guns and his NRA membership was automatically discontinued. Apple shouldn’t have done that.

      This switch will have a big impact on gun owners lives. The minute more than 50% of Americans click the squirt gun emoji the 2nd amendment will automatically be deleted.

      Apple should immediately stop using emojis as an electronic voting machine. He should be mad as hell!

        1. Their thought process is clear. They believe that kids are easily influenced and MAYBE (nobody knows for sure) by removing these influences we will have fewer incidents like Columbine and Sandy Hook.

          Ok, with that established, what is it that bothers you about their “Thought Process”?

            1. So you want separate EMOJIS for adults? Will messages be blocked when sent to minors?

              Nobody knows if it will work or not, but MAYBE when kids get messages like “I hate you” with a squirt gun, it will have a different meaning then “I hate you” with a real gun.

              You can’t see that?

            2. If you believe that the gun emoji causes kids to pick up a gun and shoot others, you might as well get rid of the cigarette and martini glass emoji since they can make the kids smoke and drink too.

            3. The difference between his post and his response to you are indicative of someone who is trying to have his cake and eat it, too. Which shouldn’t be a surprise considering his name.

              I knew this emoji thing was headed to left field when the “diversity” issue of different colored emoji faces reared its ugly head.

            4. Damn, I really hate it when I have to agree with First2014. But when he’s right, he’s right. Banning the emoji of guns is just silly — and hopefully, it’s just a bug in the beta. Banning guns is also stupid. Common-sense gun regulations is a whole ‘nother story (for a whole different forum).

        2. Bullcrap, Fwhatever. The issue is that Apple did something that you did not like, so you link it to Stalin, Hitler, etc. and start screaming Constitution and such. It really smacks of Chicken Little. If you are going to get worked up about an emoji, then who will pay any attention to you if you happen to have a legitimate gripe? Get over the persecution complex and the leftist blame game. You seem to be relatively intelligent, so you must realize that things are much more complex than a binary left/right and that you cannot truly understand or solve any problem with such a simplistic approach. It works for getting votes, perhaps, but not for taking productive action. Grow up.

    3. The thing is… the squirt gun is more inclusive. Some people are legally NOT allowed to possess a firearm… but I don’t know anyone who can’t own a water pistol.

      It’s still a gun, after all… and emoji are all about symbols and what they represent.

      They took a specific emoji and made it less specific. What’s the problem?

    1. And if the topic were something homosexual you’d be out waving the new colored flag emoji. It’s always about free speech unless it’s something “right wing.” Then it’s time for the Thought Gestapo to eradicate it.

      1. In my opinion, the issue is the fact that Fwhatever and NRA nuts will take any opportunity to play the “I am being persecuted” card. It is just a frigging emoji, not a threat to your Constitutional rights. I personally don’t care about emojis one way or the other, and it baffles me why it is so important that rifle and handgun emojis exist. I can understand the smiley face, sad face, crying face, etc. They expressed an emotion in a highly condensed manner. But what does a handgun emoji even mean, anyway?

        Should Apple have deleted it? Probably not. Not only did it stir up the gun nuts, but it probably does not make any material difference to our society. Gun nuts will likely just substitute something else to serve in place of the missing emoji. Again, who cares?

  2. As a gun owner, NRA member, and veteran why would we want a gun emoji? Guns are not toys they are tools for killing and defense. They do not need to be in jokes and cartoons.

    1. Thank you for cutting through all the political BS, Tom. I’m not a fan of American gun culture, and I’m sure we’d disagree on many things, but at the end of the day, emoji are meant to be a lighthearted way to express oneself. The idea that a realistic looking handgun is needed to make an emoji-related point is beyond ridiculous.

      1. Guns are for firing a projectile at a target whether you target shoot, hunt game, shoot to stop (defend), or shoot to kill (homicide / suicide). A side benefit of having a gun is deterrence as SOME people choose not do bad things to others because they may become the target. And of course, guns are misused by some for things like robbery, intimidation, assault, battery, and / or murder. With all this said I think this emoji change has no bearing on second amendment.

    2. If you feel this way, then to be consistent, the alcohol, knife, bomb, skull and cross bones emojis should be removed since when should they “be in jokes and cartoons?”

  3. We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. – CEO Tim Cook, Apple Inc. “Diversity” page.

    Unless your religion conflicts with our CEO’s LGBT crusade and then you’re shit out of luck.

    By the way, here’s a snapshot of Apple’s “Diversity” page for 2014, around when it first appeared. In it, Cook makes no mention of religion. He added it later when that omission was pointed out to him. He gives it lip service, but does not believe in protecting religious freedom.

    1. Now that gay marriage is legal, your religious rights are imposed. Now you can’t practice what you believe which is marry who you want and then tell everyone else who they should marry as well. You lost your freedom to dictate. I can see why that bothers you.

            1. I believe it is having a cake baked with a gay theme to it. I know that concept maybe hard to fathom but think of someone forcing your child to have a gun theme on their birthday cake.

      1. Not to derail us here, but the interesting thing about this sentiment is that marriage is, in fact, a religious institution. The government shouldn’t be involved in it at all. The government should most definitely be involved in who can file taxes jointly, who can receive survivor benefits of a partner, who can be considered a household for insurance purposes, and so on.

        The problem here isn’t that religions feel they can no longer dictate who can get “married”. The problem here is that religions feel as though the government is overstepping its bounds and commandeering that which is a religious institution; even if it’s just the word.

        Were you to not call the tax status “married”, change the license name to purely be a legal thing (household partnership or whatever), and then let folks do whatever they want to celebrate the partnership (in a church if that’s something their religion will do, or just on the beach or in your living room if that’s what you want) you’d have a lot less strife.

        1. Extremely well thought out. Your reasoning is spot on. Definitely the best post of the day on this subject.

          Thank you for pointing this out! I wish more people thought like you.

        2. The marriages were widely recorded in Anglo Saxon times ( roughly 5th to 10th century AD ) and was well known in other cultures long before that. The Catholic church started discussing the sacrament of marriage in the 11th century and it wasn’t until the Council of Trent in 1563 that marriage was officially deemed one of the seven sacraments. Therefore if any party has commandeered the institution of marriage, it is the church.

          Marriage is a long established term for people formally committing to each other and is used in many cultures and religions, whether done as a religious ceremony, or as a legal procedure.

          1. If this is true, why are so many people having trouble with the concept of Gay Marriage. As far as government is concerned this is a “contract” nothing more and recognized as such equally for all and gender neutral.

            When I go into a Real Estate contract, the validity of the contract doesn’t depend on my gender, why should a marriage contract be any different.

            If a church doesn’t want to host a ceremony in their church that is their business. I am find with that, but government shouldn’t concern itself with these matters.

            As far as who “owns” the world “Marriage”–nobody does. Outside of Trademark law nobody owns words so unless Marriage (c) has a trademark or copyright notice next to it, therefor nobody owns the word “marriage” and should not try to claim they own it’s meaning.

        3. “… the interesting thing about this sentiment is that marriage is, in fact, a religious institution. The government shouldn’t be involved in it at all.”

          Wrong. Marriage is a legal contract. And has such the government should be very much involved.

          You can have a a marriage without getting a church involved at all.

          1. nearly all words have more than one definition in the dictionary:
            1. a hypothetical particle of matter so minute as to admit of no division.
            2. anything extremely small; a minute quantity.

            1. A word used in Church Ceremonies to Unite man and woman
            2. A word used by government to represent the union of 2 people

            What’s wrong with that?

        4. The idea of government supporting marriage was to strengthen traditional families. Now that the word “family” has been redefined to mean anything, that goal has gone down the toilet.

      2. The gun emoji has nothing to do with gay marriage or legal rights, but since you brought it up, I’ll respond.

        The government attached benefits to a marriage license (joint tax returns, ability to make medical decisions, etc.) because it believed that promoting monogamous relationships was better for child-bearing, child-rearing, and society as a whole. Whether you agree or disagree with this doesn’t change the fact of why government used it to support traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Keeping in mind that promoting marriage does not ban any type of relationship.

        The common sense approach would be to attach any benefits to a Civil Union if the government believes promoting traditional marriage is no longer beneficial to society. Then, everyone would have equal rights. The general term “marriage” could be used for the actual ceremony itself or a new term could be coined. “Christian marriage” could be reserved for the church to designate as it sees fit.

        But rather than using common sense, we live in a nation where one group feels it necessary to force their opinions on everyone else.

  4. Personally I’m greatly reassured that Apple is a company with a conscience and morals. I don’t always agree with Apple’s stands, but I think that it’s good that they are prepared to stand up and do what they believe is right.

    In other countries, companies adopt political or ethical stances and it’s not a big deal. Only America seems to be so utterly polarised that a picture of a toy water pistol can become such an emotive subject.

      1. I’m pretty sure you weren’t in on the deliberations so you don’t actually know what that process was. You’re inferring from the outcome, as is the author of the original article. Apple is “far left” only depending upon where you think the center is.

      2. Apple have clearly thought about this issue and have come to a decision that doesn’t suit you. Get over it.

        As a shareholder, I’m impressed that Apple has the balls to rattle the cages of the NRA and other gun worshippers. It demonstrates that Apple has confidence in itself and it increases my confidence in the company.

    1. Not simply because of an emoji but it could be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Personally, I’m disappointed with Apple for multiple reasons right now. This is yet one more.

  5. Is there an emoji for ” Hey Tim, stop with the stupid emojis and spend more time fixing your software and updating your hardware. By the way, where’s the updated MacPro? And, keep the hell out of politics”

  6. This is one of the most ridiculous over reactions I have ever read. It’s a goddamned emoji. And it’s a beta… This happens in every beta, stuff gets removed constantly and put back. And if it is a bug with it, then it’ll be back. Jesus Christ.

    1. No, it’s not a “bug,” but the emoji change may be in response to some random iOS bug report. Basically someone misused the big reporting to make a political statement (they want U.S. citizens to be disarmed and helpless like many Europeans; they want only the government, terrorists and other criminals to have the guns, stupidly) and Apple actually did it.

    1. Therein lies the rub.

      Tim Cook’s Apple is not interested in freedom of expression – even in a product designed to express thoughts freely – how ironic! Tim Cook’s Apple is interested in dictating expression.

      1. Seems like they’e been doing a pretty good job of figuring out exactly what’s important to a large majority of consumers as well. They’ve certainly done better at predicting the future than you have Mr. 2008/2012/2016/2020 guy..

        Why don’t you whiners start your own company and build something better with all these choices that are so important to you, and the Constitution or whatever. Let’s see how well you succeed and choosing what consumers want and need.

        Get back to us in a few years, after you’ve likely lost a few more elections ok?

  7. I’m completely anti gun and the original emoji didn’t bother me at all, if the removal of it bothers you that much then you really need to look at your priorities, if you see this as even remotely important then there is something very wrong.

    1. If the original emoji bothered Apple so much that they removed it, then they really need to look at their priorities, if Apple sees this as even remotely important then there is something very wrong.

  8. random 2 cent thoughts:

    — watched an Anthony Bourdain (traveller , writer, chef) episode where he visited a Midwest state and made the comment that there is a divide in the USA: in some parts, mainly cities Guns were seen as dangerous, weapons of criminals etc while in a whole swatch of rural areas and in the midwest they were common and part of life, kids grew up with them. The Pro anti gun people generally fall on both sides of this divide.

    — I notice that advocates for causes that Apple supports seldom reciprocate, i.e they almost NEVER ASK their supporters to BUY Apple because Apple supports their cause. For example Apple is pro Gay rights, Diversity, Green energy etc yet how often have you seen leaders in these movements say “Buy Apple because they are behind us” ?

    For this post I googled “African American leaders urge followers to buy Apple because of Apple’s support of diversity”, the results NOTHING of relevance.

    Also say a person supports Green technology would that person pick a ‘Green’ roofer if his roofing product LEAKS? nope, 99% of consumers only care if the product is GOOD , not some political stand (from my personal anecdotal observation ) of the company.

    so Apple (whose stock P.E is rock bottom like one third google’s, i.e if it had Google’s/Alphabets P.E the stock price would be 300+) is potentially risking antagonizing a whole bunch of people (gun owners) with very little monetary gain.

    (look I understand not everything is money, there’s morals but still i wanted to point that out).

    — as others have noted Apple has some serious PRODUCT issues like the Mac line.
    as i’ve shown before, tests show a 2010 Mac Pro with upgraded video in a GPU test is almost three times faster than a current D700 cylinder Mac Pro… (this is absurd).

    if apple needs to do this emoji thing, OK, but spare a few dudes to do products maybe ?

    (and where the Mac marketing? Macs made more money than iPads last april yet no Mac ads, not even cheap web ads. no marketing PR guys available, all working on emojis ? )

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