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Old June 17, 2021, 03:03 PM   #1
Prof Young
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What do you call . . .

What do you call an irrational fear of firearms?

Was reloading some 30-06 today when that question occurred to me.

Looked it up.

Hoplophobia. Pronounced pretty much like it looks.

If you suffer from this you are hoplophobic.

I have some relatives who very much are.

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Old June 18, 2021, 06:07 AM   #2
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I always had a different name for people who had an irrational fear of a handgun; but cannot post it here cause it will be deleted. (I could understand the fear of some handgun owners.)

But they are everywhere, and it appears they are multiplying much too fast.
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Old June 18, 2021, 07:32 AM   #3
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Sir Roger Moore, the British actor, was viscerally terrified of firearms.

In order to take the Bond role he had to work with a psychologist to get over that fear.
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Old June 18, 2021, 10:12 AM   #4
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Hoplophobia

The word itself interests me. It seems like the root word is derived from hoplite?

A little googling indicates that it was coined by Jeff Cooper from the word hoplite, which I guess is Greek for weapon?

I thought hoplite meant something like a soldier or spearman.
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Old June 18, 2021, 11:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin
Sir Roger Moore, the British actor, was viscerally terrified of firearms.

In order to take the Bond role he had to work with a psychologist to get over that fear.
Interesting! He must also have had a hard time playing "The Saint" because he had to use and face firearms in almost every episode.
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Old June 18, 2021, 12:11 PM   #6
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Definitely used first by Jeff Cooper, - if you're not familiar with his books, - you should be.
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Old June 18, 2021, 09:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghbucky View Post
Hoplophobia

The word itself interests me. It seems like the root word is derived from hoplite?

A little googling indicates that it was coined by Jeff Cooper from the word hoplite, which I guess is Greek for weapon?

I thought hoplite meant something like a soldier or spearman.
Hoplite is an ancient Greek soldier, as in 400 BC and the wars with Persia and all the intermural Greek city-state skirmishes.
Carried a shield called a Hoplon or Aspis. See the movie 300 for the Spartan version, main difference being decoration. Shield names would vary by size and shape.
Several types of soldier were referred to by a variation of the shield name carried: Peltast from Pelta (a smaller shield used more by skirmishers) is another example. Theuros carried by Theurosophoi, same military role as Hoplite but generally lighter armor and later period historically.
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Old June 19, 2021, 02:00 AM   #8
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I've always called them crazy. If you have ever had the misfortune to talk to one for very long, that usually the least of their mental problems...

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Old June 19, 2021, 04:11 AM   #9
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I met Jeff Cooper, many years ago, on his ranch. My 18-year-old son was with me.
He showed us the Ranch Rifle he was building.
With his arm around my shoulder, Col Cooper and my Son were both 6'4"! I was 5ft 9".
"Quite a nice chap your Dad, despite his penchant for that pipsqueak calibre, the 9mm"
There were no classes at the ranch at that time, but we got the royal tour.
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Old June 19, 2021, 08:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Sir Roger Moore, the British actor, was viscerally terrified of firearms.

In order to take the Bond role he had to work with a psychologist to get over that fear.
Didn't he have to handle a gun when he was in the Maverick series?
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Old June 19, 2021, 10:15 AM   #11
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Didn't he have to handle a gun when he was in the Maverick series?
I don't remember Roger Moore being in Maverick, but you're right. He came in when James Garner left the series. Moore also did a television series called something like The Alaskans, IIRC.
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Old June 19, 2021, 01:31 PM   #12
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If you can, remind them it's not against any law for a gun to kill anyone.
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Old June 21, 2021, 09:17 AM   #13
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As an actor, Moore had to handle guns pretty much continuously throughout his career.

Supposedly his fear of guns stemmed from his brother accidentally shooting him in the leg with an air rifle when he was a little kid.
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Old June 22, 2021, 04:21 PM   #14
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Cooper coined the term and used it in his writings.

It does refer to the Greek Hoplite warriors, being that they were ARMED.

Be aware there are two (at least) different reasons for the condition, one being an actual irrational fear, and the other being something they call "projection".

They know that THEY are not safe with a weapon, and therefore project that no one else could be, either, and therefore fear the inanimate object, not quite so much for what it is, but for what someone would do with it.
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Old June 24, 2021, 11:26 PM   #15
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Be aware there are two (at least) different reasons for the condition, one being an actual irrational fear, and the other being something they call "projection".

They know that THEY are not safe with a weapon, and therefore project that no one else could be, either, and therefore fear the inanimate object, not quite so much for what it is, but for what someone would do with it.
An important distinction I believe. Certainly there are people with a straight irrational fear. Then there are people who are unfamiliar or who have had a bad experience and are deathly afraid based of the unknown or the experience.

I am afraid of flying but I force myself onto airplanes. It’s not actually flying, I have done it a ton. It’s the lack of control in putting my life in a complete stranger’s hands. I have the same thing if I’m ever forced to ride a bus.
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Old June 25, 2021, 07:38 AM   #16
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Ohh, I smell a T-shirt design in this.....

I used to have a fear of knives when I was a kid. Probably based on the fact that I cut myself very regularly playing around with non-lock blade knives. I imagine a fear of firearms is more based on an overactive imagination rather than trial and error mistakes; those would be self correcting.

I got over it, but it's probably a real thing..

Now what's the word for "fear of a person who thinks he/she knows all about firearms"?
I still have that
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Old June 25, 2021, 11:48 AM   #17
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Now what's the word for "fear of a person who thinks he/she knows all about firearms"?
I still have that
Whatever the word is, it shouldn't end in "phobia." A phobia is an irrational fear. Being afraid of idiots who think they know everything is, IMHO, not in any way irrational.
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Old June 29, 2021, 07:10 AM   #18
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I think it's called "NDAphobia..."
And yeah AB, it's not irrational.
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Old June 29, 2021, 11:20 AM   #19
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I lol, hate to say the word "Root Cause". But I think the fear of firearms or guns is caused by Left wing Propaganda and total ignorance. I also believe that gun owners themselves have irrational fears. I think we see many of these irrational fears very frequently on gun forums.Most especially in recent times. Their imagination of type of gun fights as just one example, just seems to escalate and grow like a snowball effect. The word "Practical" will then go right out the window.

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Old June 30, 2021, 01:03 AM   #20
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I'd like to understand when the irrational part comes in and who defines it ? A firearm can take a life in a heart beat in countless ways so fearing that is not in it self irrational IMHO . It's not like being afraid of the dark where literally nothing can happen to you or being claustrophobic . Those are phobias that are actually irrational on there face . Being irrationally afraid of guns would seem to me to need a higher standard then just simply being afraid like other phobias are .

I was in a bad car accident in my teens and was literally terrified to be in a moving vehicle for months after that . Was that me just having an irrational fear ? I'd say no , there was a very good reason . It wasn't me afraid of my driving or who I was driving me . It was all the other cars/drivers on the road that I had zero control over that was the scary part . Someone that does not understand firearm's could reasonably fear firearms in the hands of some close to them .
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Old June 30, 2021, 01:12 AM   #21
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I'd like to understand when the irrational part comes in and who defines it ? A firearm can take a life in a heart beat in countless ways so fearing that is not in it self irrational IMHO . It's not like being afraid of the dark where literally nothing can happen to you or being claustrophobic . Those are phobias that are actually irrational on there face . Being irrationally afraid of guns would seem to me to need a higher standard then just simply being afraid like other phobias are .

I was in a bad car accident in my teens and was literally terrified to be in a moving vehicle for months after that . Was that me just having an irrational fear ? I'd say no , there was a very good reason .
To use your example, then, for a person who has been shot by a firearm it might not be irrational to fear firearms. (It also might be irrational, but let's not go there.)

For a person who has never fired a firearm and who has never been shot by (i.e. with) a firearm to break out in cold sweats at the mere sight of a firearm is decidedly irrational.

"But," you say, "A firearm can take a life in a heart beat in countless ways ..."

So can an automobile, but is it rational for a person who has never been injured in or by an automobile to be paralyzed at the sight of an automobile?
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Old June 30, 2021, 02:30 AM   #22
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Correct but are those examples “irrational” ? I say no , phobia of the dark or confined spaces or the like where there is nothing to actually fear is what’s irrational . If theres a reason to fear something, to make that fear irrational there must be something more then just being afraid for it to be irrational . That’s all my point is and where does the irrational part of Hoplophobia start ?

Is the irrational aspect of any phobia how one acts or reacts to the phobia in question and not so much the phobia it self ?
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Old June 30, 2021, 10:35 AM   #23
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So can an automobile, but is it rational for a person who has never been injured in or by an automobile to be paralyzed at the sight of an automobile?
No they should not and instead of asking the question, maybe ask why are firearms and cars different if at all in these examples . At there core what is a car designed to do and what is a firearm designed to do ? One is “designed” to kill or incapacitate while the other is not .
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Old July 1, 2021, 03:33 PM   #24
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My understanding is that hoplophobia isn't in the official diagnostic lists of the psychiatric association. Perhaps this debate indicates why.
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Old July 1, 2021, 08:29 PM   #25
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I'd like to understand when the irrational part comes in and who defines it ? A firearm can take a life in a heart beat in countless ways so fearing that is not in it self irrational IMHO . It's not like being afraid of the dark where literally nothing can happen to you or being claustrophobic . Those are phobias that are actually irrational on there face . Being irrationally afraid of guns would seem to me to need a higher standard then just simply being afraid like other phobias are .
I didn't grow up in a household that had guns, and my parents didn't like them. When I was growing up the only direct association I had with guns came when an uncle shot himself and then a friend was shot to death. Afterwards I associated guns with those outcomes until I met someone who taught me that guns were tools, and taught me how to use them.

It was patience and the use of facts that turned me around. Not mocking what I'd been conditioned to believe or lecturing me about the Constitution. But at the end of the day I had a fear of guns for a long time. In retrospect it was irrational, but it sure struck me as rational at the time.
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