This may one of the most repulsive moves yet by gun worshiping extremists bent on preserving the legitimate rights of the 2nd Amendment for murderers and madmen.
The Daily Caller, a web site run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, posted an article that posits a theory about people who have survived gun violence or the families of deceased victims. The authors propose that such people are mentally unfit to express their opinions about the tragedies that they and their loved ones endured. These committed reformers, the authors allege, are suffering from “hoplophobia,” a fake condition that is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association or any other mental health authority.
The term was coined by the late Jeff Cooper, a former board member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), and is defined by him as “a morbid fear of guns.” TheDC argues that people who have had traumatic experiences involving gun violence cannot construct rational opinions about public firearms policy because they have been damaged psychologically. The article falsely asserts that hoplophobia is “a real, extremely dangerous, widespread, and clinically recognizable complex specific phobia.” No, actually, it is none of those things. It is the creation of a politically motivated lobbyist for weapons manufacturers. Which makes this statement from the article all the more absurd:
“Many doctors are guilty of ‘boundary violations’ when they, with some frequency, inject anti-gun political opinions or content into their clinical work as health-care providers. It is our assertion that this constitutes several serious ethical violations including at least: mixing politics and health care.”
As a representative of the NRA, and not a medical professional, it is undeniable that Cooper’s conflation of politics and medicine is an outright ethical violation that the article itself later condemns as “practicing outside one’s recognized fields of expertise.” As the article progresses interminably through its jargon-laden mush of pseudo-science, it never makes a coherent argument to support its premise that victims are not credible witnesses or activists. Yet it does glorify its own intellectual silliness with the hyperbolic claim that “Hoplophobia is far and away the most dangerous of all phobias.”
It is easy to assert that a phobia you make up yourself is the worst one ever, but it is much harder to support such a claim. In fact, hoplophobia is a cognitive disaster area that makes little sense. One of the obvious flaws of this crackpot theory is the assertion that gun violence victims have a generalized fear of guns. To the contrary, many are themselves gun owners and continue to endorse the right to keep and bear arms even after their traumatic episodes. There is nothing inconsistent (or insane) in advocating reasonable regulations for obtaining dangerous weapons and supporting legislation to keep such items out of the hands of those who will misuse them.
Which brings us to another glaring flaw. The authors attribute opposition to unfettered access to any type of weapon as evidence of hoplophobia. Were that the case it would mean that in excess of 80% of the American people are sufferers, because that’s how many support the expanded regulations currently being debated in congress. Obviously, 80% of the country has not been victimized by gun violence, so TheDC will have to come up with another theory to explain this discrepancy. And luckily, they have one handy:
“The large-scale support such a program sometimes finds, including within the media, implies a mass-hysteria or mass-hypnosis effect.”
See? We’re all hypnotized and/or hysterical. Never mind the fact that many of us own guns and happily concede that right to others in an environment that is responsible and filters out felons and other unstable individuals. And set aside the reasonable perspective that a certain measure of managed fear is appropriate when dealing with instruments that are so potentially injurious. Far too many devastating accidents have occurred when people failed to respect the inherent destructive force that guns possess.
In the end, it seems that the inventors of the phony phobia are themselves the ones who suffer from irrational fears. They consider any approach to public safety that addresses guns is a covert attempt to disarm them, enslave them, and confiscate their guns and other private property. They explicitly state in this article that hoplophobia “can compromise the U.S. Constitution and human freedom itself.” If that isn’t an expression of a hyper-phobic personality, then what is?