At least eight new emoji will be arriving in 2017, including chopsticks, curling stones and dumplings, but one that won’t be coming to smartphones any time soon is the rifle emoji.

The gun had been proposed as part of a set of new icons representing winter sports (as was the curling stone emoji and a sled emoji, both of which have been approved). Rifles are used in the biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and shooting at a target.

The proposals were due to be part of Unicode 9, the latest version of the text-handling standard which, among its responsibilities, ensures that emoji work on devices from various manufacturers. But instead, the rifle emoji, as well as the emoji for the summer sport of Modern Pentathlon (which involves pistol shooting), was unceremoniously dropped from plans at the last minute, according to Emojipedia.

The change was so late in the plans that the characters have already been encoded, the site reports, “but only as pictographs. The result will be these are unlikely to be displayed in colour, nor shown on emoji keyboards.”

GOPUSA Editor’s Note: So… let’s get this straight…. The left in the form of weak-kneed corporations are bowing to political correctness, but this time by going after our text messages? What are they afraid of? That we are going to “shoot” each other in between our LOLs and OMGs? This is just crazy!

After the rifle emoji was first proposed, there was a campaign against its inclusion, but it looks like the final straw was opposition from Apple, which would have had to include the rifle emoji in a forthcoming version of iOS. According to Buzzfeed : “Apple started the discussion to remove the rifle emoji [and] told the consortium it would not support a rifle on its platforms and asked for it not to be made into an emoji.” Microsoft also expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to include the rifle, Buzzfeed’s Charlie Warzel writes.

The decision sparked confusion amongmany, who pointed out that Apple already includes a number of apparently violent emoji: a gun??,, a bomb?? and a knife, for instance. And unlike the proposed rifle, those emoji have no categorised link to sports.

But Apple has regularly been on the forefront of left-wing pushes when it comes to emoji. In 2014, the company joined an ultimately successful campaign to introduce more diverse emoji, eventually leading to the skin-tone choices available today. And Apple initially blocked the gun, bomb and knife from even showing up on OS X Yosemite, well after they’d appeared on the iPhone.

The final version of Unicode 9 is released on Tuesday 21 June, and is expected to include additions such as “Bat”, “Wilted Flower” and “Glass of Milk”.

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