Apple has swapped out an emoji in what the Guardian describes as a reflection of "growing despair in America and worldwide" over gun violence. Starting in September, a neon-green water gun will replace the company's black-and-silver revolver, part of an iPhone and iPad iOS 10 update that "adds beautiful redesigns of popular emoji," Apple says in a release. Although Apple didn't specifically note in the release that the water pistol would send the revolver into obscurity, sources tell the Guardian that is indeed the case. More than 100 new or revamped emoji characters are part of the update, in which Apple worked with the nonprofit Unicode Consortium to "reflect the diversity of people everywhere." Other new emojis in the group include a rainbow flag, single-parent families, and new female athletes.
Per sources that spoke to BuzzFeed in June, resistance from Apple and other companies, including Microsoft, helped Unicode make its decision to drop a rifle from a list of new emoji candidates for 2016. And CNNMoney notes the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence group has been lobbying Apple since last year with its #DisarmTheiPhone campaign, designed to convince the company to drop the gun emoji. The decision to dump the revolver may even help keep some people out of trouble, as the use of weapon emojis in threatening messages and online posts has led to arrests. But some complain that cartoon representations of guns aren't the problem. "I'm so glad they did this now ALL THE CRIME IS GONE," tweeted conservative radio host Dana Loesch. (Some new Google-designed emojis aim to empower women.)