AM 760 KFMB - Talk Radio Station - San Diego, CA - Apple has wiped gun violence off the face of the earth (or not)

The Brett Winterble Show

Apple has wiped gun violence off the face of the earth (or not)

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I'm all for being against hate. I'm all for being against violence whenever necessary. I'm all for differing opinions. We will disagree on a number of topics throughout our lives. One thing I will never understand is how companies or individuals feel they're doing something better for the world when, in fact, you're creating a "faux-troversy" just to keep themselves relevant.

Please read the following a couple times because it took me that many, if not more, to fully grasp what just transpired:

Apple has replaced its hand gun emoji with a water pistol – reflecting growing despair in America and worldwide over gun crime. (The Guardian)

Okay, I've had a couple minutes to process this sentence, as well as the rest of the article (I'll touch on that in a moment), and have come to a relatively simple conclusion. However, I want to take you on a trip down memory lane.

Remember when that swath of schoolgirls in Nigeria were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram? What did political dignitaries, celebrities and number of others try to do to spread the message in hopes of the girls returning home to safety? They started the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. I'm not here to disparage the idea of spreading the word in hopes of finding the culprits and getting innocent girls back home.

The problem I have is with these people who feel that posting a hashtag is the be-all and end-all of their support and it will magically end all bad things that happen in this world. It's this rainbow-colored, unicorn-tasting utopia in which a certain group of people want to believe exists.

Please indulge me spreading a little dose of reality across your lack of dystopian bread: what's happening to black men, women, and children across this great nation is no secret and those who refuse to acknowledge the problem are just as naive, blind and ignorant as the next. The disproportion of mistreatment, whether by police officers or not, is significant and there has to be a way or two to try and fix it.

That being said, if you're Apple, what makes you think that you're going to create any sort of change by taking out the hand gun emoji from your mobile operating systems (aka iOS)? Do you really feel the streets are much safer with your contribution to society in this form? Do you feel that children, teenagers, and young adults are no longer going to be able to "threaten" anyone else in their texts, Snapchat messages, etc., with a hand gun? It's supposed to make it less intense and not make anyone else "feel" threatened with a hand gun emoji?

Let's take it a step further: you've probably seen stories of children being suspended from school for merely making a gun out of their hand, pencil or some other school supply. What makes this any different if a child in his/her class decides to use this new "squirt-gun" emoji in a text to their friends or family? Can they be suspended for such a ridiculous action? There will be lawyers. I'll say that much. Here's a little bit of irony: Microsoft recently changed their "toy gun" emoji on some Android devices to reflect a real-life pistol. This is supposedly the reason that Apple decided to go from revolver to squirt gun, resulting in some insanity.

We all know the definition of insanity, yes? If you don't, please don't bother looking it up. It's logically defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I would have a lot more respect for the people who work for Apple that made this decision IF, and only if, they decided to remove the gun emoji altogether. You want to voice your opinion and take it away? Have it in a way that's an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality? Go for it. I would have so much respect for you. However, by replacing it with a more "sincere" version of a gun, you don't do anything except take a political stance on this issue at hand.

Are the lives of Philandro Castile, Alton Sterling, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and others who were gunned down remembered that much more now that Apple has made this move? No. Their lives DO matter, but getting rid of a hand gun emoji doesn't do a damn thing to help fix the problem.

Let's look at another perspective regarding the emoji altogether: I'm curious as to why Apple was originally so against any sort of violent emoji, including a rifle, as well as knives and cigarettes (somehow they are "violent"). These are pictures. It's as if no child/kid/teenager is allowed to learn from their parents/teachers/administrators/fellow employees that these are just PICTURES and they're not condoning violence, only because we don't know the context in which they are used.

Context is the key to this whole argument. A great majority of people flip out over the most innocuous of comments/quips/remarks, especially on social media, mainly because there's no emotion, tone or context involved. When we speak to one another in real life, there must always be those three characteristics to have an adult conversation and live normal lives.

This whole "zombie apocalypse" in which we're living today with our eyes glued to our phones and the social media addiction has really warped our senses of reality as well as what sort of "news" is delivered to us on a daily basis. It makes me wonder why this is even a story in the first place. The fact of the matter is that Apple took the right step, but unfortunately in the wrong direction. Surely, it's an election year, and more people want change than those who don't, and I don't blame them for that. We need to create change in the right ways and with our brains rather than our hearts and emotions. Stop wearing your heart on your sleeve and start wearing it on your brain.

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