In a literally symbolic gesture, Apple is removing the gun emoji from its forthcoming mobile operating system, iOS 10, replacing the signifier of violence with an illustration of a toy water gun. Your move, Congress.
CNN Money reported on the revolutionary stance which is sure to solve the intractable problem of gun violence... or make a statement about how guns aren't fun cartoons or something. How will the NRA respond?!
Previously, Apple rejected a proposed rifle emoji, and CNN cites concerns over liability after some teens used violent emoji in perceived threats. Furthermore, a movement called #DisarmTheiPhone may also have played a part. That Twitter initiative targeted Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking him to make the decision to remove the gun emoji from Apple devices to "show Congress that we want stricter access to real guns."
In case you were worried, even after this move on behalf of Apple, that people weren't taking emoji seriously enough, here's some news to set your heart at ease. San Francisco will see its first EmojiCon, a conference to celebrate and dissect all things emoji, from Novemer 4-6. Held at CCA, attendees are promised emoji art, films, policy dicussions, and even emoji themed food (I think this means there will be pizza and eggplants, but don't know for certain). Some of the emoji luminaries on hand will be embers of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, the founder of Emojipedia, and a digital curator from MoMA. *smiley emoji* *fireworks emoji* *nail polish emoji*