The announcement by Apple that it is replacing a cartoon emoji of a revolver with a cartoon squirt gun brought a blistering reaction from one of the nation’s leading Second Amendment organizations.
The Second Amendment Foundation called the decision “a combination of childishness and anti-gun demagoguery.”
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb launched a verbal barrage of criticism at Apple executives. The computer giant reportedly decided on the emoji change to appear in September as part of an update of the iPhone and iPad iOS 10, and the change has already been cheered by anti-gun groups. It looks to be an exercise in political correctness run amok.
“This doesn’t just border on the absurd, it completely crosses the boundary,” Gottlieb said. “This is the sort of intolerance that comes from letting the gun prohibition lobby get away with demonization and hate.”
Over the years, gun prohibition lobbying groups have pressured various businesses to ban firearms on their premises. CNN Money reported that a group called New Yorkers Against Gun Violence had lobbied Apple starting in 2015 with a “DisarmTheiPhone” campaign to get rid of the revolver emoji.
“Now that they have bullied Apple into changing its emoji from a cartoon revolver to a water pistol,” Gottlieb wondered, “how long will it take the gun banners to demand that the squirt gun be removed?
“While this story seems ridiculous on its face,” he added, “it raises alarms about the totalitarian mindset behind this kind of decision. This is no longer just about the Second Amendment; it’s about First Amendment rights, too. It shows that the gun prohibition lobby is so strident that they want to ban images of fake guns.”
Gottlieb didn’t stop there. He spread the blame to anti-gun rhetoric from President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for helping “further this type of atmosphere.”
“This is a perfect example of politically correct extremism,” the veteran gun rights advocate asserted, “and at what point does even a tolerant society like ours need to draw the line?
“Maybe gun owners should think twice about buying any more Apple products,” he concluded, “unless they include a rotten Apple emoji.”