Everywhere You Go, It’s There

by Rosa Eberly

Associate Professor
Director, Intercollege Minor in Civic and Community Engagement
Depts. of Communication Arts and Sciences and English

Three provocations:

Apple moved to break tech companies’ longstanding agreement with Unicode and to replace
its pistol emoji, which was an image of a six-shooter, with a squirt gun,
with the potential result that “a squirt gun sent from an iPhone will turn
into a handgun when received by an Android device, and vice versa…. In the
United States, this confuses taking a particular position on the Second
Amendment, concerning the right to bear arms, with the First Amendment,
which guarantees freedom of speech, including speech about arms.”

Although the National Rifle Association continues to pressure Congress to
withhold funding for research on gun violence, gun violence is a public
health issue. After the June 2016 shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando,
that research ban once again came under question.

Finally, a law that allows concealed carry of guns in campus buildings at
public universities in Texas went into effect at the beginning of this
month, prompting many faculty and students there to wonder about the new
law’s potential effect on free speech on campus. And the law took effect on
the 50th anniversary of the first campus mass murder in the United States.