How do you combat an escalation of violent crimes and deadly clashes between police and the public? By bringing a water pistol to a gun fight.
Apple has revealed a set of new emoji coming to its iOS 10 update this autumn, including the notable redesign of the revolver emoji as a plastic water pistol.
The new characters and "beautiful redesigns of popular emoji" adds a greater scope of gender diversity to Apple's emoji offering, including female athletes and professions, single parent families and a rainbow flag.
The move to replace the revolver with a water pistol would appear to follow Apple's recent strong stance against weapon emoji: the tech group joined Microsoft in objecting to the inclusion of a marksmanship rifle emoji amongst a release of 72 new designs. Tabled as part of a series of Olympic emoji set to celebrate this summer's Rio games, Apple and Microsoft were successful in ensuring the design wouldn't receive a full colour design.
The redesign of the revolver emoji has been well received by anti-gun groups in the US: the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) group, which set up the website disarmtheiphone.com last year, praised Apple's move. "Apple has stood up to the bullying tactics of the NRA and gun industry by showing that there are many more life-affirming ways to express oneself than with a gun," said Leah Barrett, NYAGV's Executive Director.
Here's the full set of Apple's redesigned emoji, headed to handsets this autumn.