Next time you’re trying to fire off a quick text message inviting your friend to join you at the gun range, don’t bother looking for an emoji to represent you. The pistol emoji, the only firearm in Apple’s spread, is being replaced with a green plastic-looking water pistol.

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“More than one hundred new and redesigned emoji characters will be available to iPhone and iPad users this fall with iOS 10,” declares Apple’s website in a release titled “Apple adds more gender diverse emoji in iOS 10.” Joining Apple’s existing suite of emoji are a “rainbow flag,” “more family options,” and “new female athletes and professions.”

This slap in the face to both common sense and gun owners is not the first time Apple has successfully engaged in a campaign for gun emoji control in recent months. During discussions of proposed new emojis, including a hunting rifle, Apple stated that it “would not support a rifle on its platforms” after protests by gun control groups. These anti-gun groups objected to the addition of a rifle emoji because “It would be offensive to many people who have been injured or affected by gun incidents” and that “it would be familiarizing and popularizing the image of a weapon which is not a good idea.”

That’s right, popularizing even the cartoon images of weapons is a bad idea and offensive.

What then, of the trust Apple and its emoji-creating partners has placed in users for other emoji? Isn’t popularizing and familiarizing the image of a bomb “not a good idea,” either? The safety-conscious emoji lobby is predictably mum on the bomb, as well as the sword, knife, pickaxe, and lit cigarette emoji.

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Most disturbing is that the giddy creators of speech codes and never-bored thought police have decided people are unable to handle cartoon images, not just words or ideas. What next? Will someone say the multiplicity of alcohol emoji are insensitive to those who struggle with alcoholism and shouldn’t be popularized lest underage drinking increase? Or maybe some health nuts will decide the presence of the carb-filled cake, fat and sodium-saturated movie popcorn, or cavity-inducing lollipop are simply too much for tech users to handle?

The Left continues to push its nanny-state narrative, exerting control over the masses under the dangerous guise of good intentions. This latest push to control what appears on smartphone keyboards is hardly the first time leftists have sought to infringe on the rights of Americans. In the 1980s, Tipper Gore (then-married to Al Gore) championed a push to place parental advisory stickers on music products deemed inappropriate for younger children, especially those that glorified violence, drugs, or alcohol. Again, the Left sought to censor and limit the creativity of Americans under the guise of protecting children, who really ought to be protected by their parents’ common sense. Tipper Gore’s campaign was successful, and American record companies conceded to affixing parental advisory stickers on “objectionable” albums. One record company executive who testified before the U.S. Senate on Tipper Gore’s plan compared it to “treating dandruff by decapitation.”

Leftists coddle, rather than coach. That attitude has lead to a hypersensitive, trigger-warning-happy population, ripe for more top-down control. What tech users, college students, and people in general need is to be treated like capable, intelligent individuals. People need to be able to analyze situations and decide for themselves what the best course of action is, not told that they have “choice” when the only options available are those sanctioned by some allegedly omniscient authority.

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