We reported recently that tech giant Apple is replacing its cartoonish depiction of a handgun in its emoji roster for mobile devices with a brightly colored water pistol when its iOS 10 operating system update rolls out.
If the change has irked you since you heard about it, there may be a solution on the horizon. A new app called Gunmoji is going in the complete opposite direction, allowing Apple users to add a veritable arsenal to its texting vocabulary. http://gunmojiapp.com/index.html
“We’ve designed high-resolution gun emojis of pistols, rifles, shotguns, and bombs to share with all your friends and express your first two Constitutional rights!” the app’s website touts.
Other than that, the site doesn’t have much more info accept a slogan: #ArmYourPhone. Though no release date is specified, you can sign up to be notified when Gunmoji drops. Some Tweets from the company hint that the app may be released as soon as next week for Apple and Android and photos indicate that the app will work right through iMessage, Apple’s messenger app.
Gunmoji’s entire presentation paints it as a kind of digital middle-finger to Apple’s bowing to political pressure with the gun debate raging perhaps hotter than ever as the 2016 presidential election draws closer.
From the app’s website: “Emoji is like a language and if a company like Apple removes words from that language, even if they’re pictures, it’s censorship. How far does this go? If we type the letters G-U-N will they be autocorrected to S-U-N, P-U-N, or F-U-N or not shown at all? Besides, emoji guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
Some have brought up the fact that, because of the impending change, an Apple user may send a playful water gun emoji to someone on an Android phone, who would see it as a handgun emoji, which could drastically change the meaning.
Firearm and other threatening emojis have been taken very seriously by police in a number of instances. A man in France was sentenced to three months in jail for sending the image to his ex-girlfriend after they split, with the court saying it constituted a threat.
This story from the Washington Post says that a 12-year-old from Virginia was charged with threatening her school after police say she posted a message on Instagram including gun, bomb, and knife emojis.
How exactly should one interpret an RPG, or a gold-plated Desert Eagle? It seems we’ll find out soon.