Apple has replaced the pistol emoji with a green water gun in the latest iOS update, because apparently that's what will help solve gun violence.
I'm unaware of any mass shooter or murderer who confessed to his or her crime via text, writing: "I'm going to [pistol emoji] so and so."
But just in case, Apple is here to protect us all from the dangers of tiny pixelated weapons.
Apple has tried to remove the offending emoji previously, but it somehow barreled its way through a previous update. CEO Tim Cook has also spoken out about gun violence in the past. At least one gun-control group has made it part of their mission to save people from the cartoon image.
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence has been lobbying Apple to remove the emoji for some time, using the hashtag "#DisarmtheiPhone." Because a miniscule picture of a gun amounts to someone being "armed," apparently.
"Apple is doing what they can to be responsible, and Congress needs to also do what it needs to do," said Leah Guynn Barrett, a spokeswoman for the group.
Barrett also said she understood that removing the small image won't stop gun violence in the short term, but that this was a symbolic gesture nonetheless.
It's really not even that. Unless there's some kind of evidence that this emoji was somehow the cause of gun violence, removing it does nothing. It's like how in the '90s Jack Thompson tried to claim video games caused violence, even though there was no evidence to support his claim. No study could show that violent video games caused people to become violent instead of say, violent people being drawn to violent games.
Thompson's claims were generally dismissed two decades ago, but have resurfaced in a new social-justice-warrior package. The arguments are no better, but now they're being accepted in an uber politically correct world.
So now we have groups claiming meaningless victories by removing a dumb emoji. Hooray! Gun violence solved!
What these groups refuse to acknowledge is that the actual motives behind gun violence are not emojis or imitating movies and video games, but mental illness and radicalization. But talking about those things will only get one called a bigot, so it's much easier to go after pointless straw men.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.