Commentary

Remember: Freud said men who obsess over guns have small genitals

It is, rather, a quote falsely attributed to Freud, an opinion now circulating around the internet of Freud’s theories, specifically his 10th Lecture, “Symbolism in Dreams,” in General Introduction to Psychoanalysis.

Be that as it may, members of this Pro-Firearms with No More Regulations Movement have embraced a new term – stemming from the (non-)quote attributed to Sigmund Freud — in their attempts to make themselves come across as rational while pathologizing those of us who are working for common sense gun control.

Though the term holds no official acceptance within any medical or psychological academy or association, and the American Psychiatric Association has not included it anywhere within the most recent or previous versions of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), an American marine, Jeff Cooper, in 1962 coined the term “hoplophobia” (from the Greek ὅπλον – hoplon, meaning  “arms” or “weapons,” and φόβος – phobos, meaning “fear”) to explain a so-called “irrational” aversion to weapons, or the fear of firearms or of armed citizens.

These hoplophile members of the Pro-Firearms with No More Regulations Movement may actually believe this strategy holds promise in silencing us, and help them to counter the psychological discourse connected to their obsessive attachments to firearms, but it will fail (“hoplophile” — from the Greek ὅπλον – hoplon, meaning  “arms” or “weapons,” and ὅπλον – philia, meaning  “love” or “intense friendship or sexual desire for”).

Most clear thinking people understand that “hoplophobia” itself is an irrational term since there is nothing “irrational” about fearing that one could be listed among the 10,000+ gun-related homicides each year in the U.S., many perpetrated by people who purchased firearms legally. There is nothing “irrational” about fearing for women who date or are married to men with anger management issues who legally purchased firearms. There is nothing irrational about fearing for the safety of children who reside in homes with firearms.

To paraphrase something else Freud never said or wrote, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” (Sorry to expose yet another folk myth!), I say simply, “Fear of guns is just fear of guns since we have very good reason to fear guns. They kill, maim, permanently disable, and unalterably and negatively change lives.”

As a society, we must decide whether we will continue doing things over and over again as we have in the past and expecting different results (Albert Einstein’s definition of “insanity”), or try something new for our country in an attempt to extricate ourselves from the blood bath we ourselves created.

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