We’re not entirely sure how many people were even calling for it, but perhaps getting a jump on future online petitions is Apple, who has apparently replaced the “controversial” pistol emoji with something a little more G-rated: a squirt gun. The changes arrived in the latest iOS 10 Beta as part of more than a hundred new emoji that have been added showcasing everything from women in previous “male” job roles, female athletes, a new pride flag, and additional family options for single parents, and the ability to change Santa’s skin color.
Earlier this year a rifle emoji — which was one of many proposed in Unicode 9.0’s big update that included everything from a clown, cowboy, and multiple Olympic themed sports — was met with strict opposition from Apple and Microsoft who reportedly pushed for its removal. This was after both the rifle emoji and the Olympic pentathlon (which also displayed a firearm in its glyph) had already made their way into Android N betas but have since been removed.
This left some to scratch their heads as to why, although the reasons seemed painfully obvious us. Those who oppose the decision feel firearms like the pistol and rifle also represent hunting or marksmanship sports, but in the wake of recent current events, may have motivated the move to leave them on the cutting room floor.
As it stands, Google’s mobile operating system still includes what is now the controversial pistol emoji as it stands: a lethal firearm. Of course, we’re sure those days are also numbered and it’s only a matter of time before that too is replaced with a child’s toy.