Hoplophobia is a political neologism coined by retired American military officer Jeff Cooper as a pejorative to describe an "irrational aversion to weapons." It is also used to describe the "fear of firearms"or the "fear of armed citizens." Hoplophobia is a political term and not a recognized medical phobia.I've been talking about people with an irrational fear of guns, and the people who own guns, for years no. (Actually, for decades; I started talking about them in 1984 .. which seems appropriate).
But I have
Recent articles which I have published addressed this cultural dichotomy in specific situations, but never referenced the word.
I'll be using this as a label on future articles, where appropriate, because it's a much more accurate term than those which I have most often used (such as "Gun Control").
I may, time permitting, go back to recent articles and attach that label to those articles which discuss people who area vehemently against private ownership of firearms because "guns kill people".
The best example of this that I can think of off-hand is the jamie lee curtis/ron silver movie "Blue Steel", where Ron Silver's character finds a revolver and becomes obsessed with shooting people ... merely because he has a gun, and because it empowers his latent psycho tendencies. (you can watch the movie on youtube)
From a review of Dirctor Kathryn Bigelow's credits:
Then a bystander, suit-clad stockbroker Eugene (Ron Silver), picks up the criminal’s gun. Something breaks inside Eugene during the robbery. It put him in a position of childlike helplessness: lying prone on the ground, hoping a woman with a big gun will keep him from being murdered by a man with an even bigger gun. Attempting to regain some of his lost power, Eugene takes the gun back to his huge, expensive home....
Something sick, sad, and twisted comes alive within Eugene during the robbery—he decides he’ll never feel powerless or vulnerable again, even if it means transforming himself into either a yuppie man-god or a mass-murdering angel of vengeance. He becomes particularly obsessed with the gun used in the robbery, as if by picking it up, he inherited a dark, sinister energy.I'm not saying that this is an "iconic" movie which established a national fear and hatred of firearms; I'm just saying that this is typical of the sick second-hand fantasizing of people who honestly believe that once the 'average person' gets his (her) hand on a gun, he turns into a homicidal maniac.
Ultimately, a core angst of the "hopolophobe" phenomenon is that a significant part of the population of America (oh hell, let's throw Europe in there, too!) projects their own fears that they too may become homicidal maniacs if they just once touched a gun. The protests against private firearms ownership are revealed as "save me from my own sick fantasies, don't let me have a gun!".
We're not battling to protect our own civil rights; we're battling to keep neurotics from succumbing to their own irrational fantasy/fears. Because when they fear, we lose our freedoms.