By Alan Korwin
PHOENIX, AZ --(Ammoland.com)- The lamestream media told you:
The fight over entries into the mental-disorder directory is heating up. Many of the disorders, like deciding what’s a planet, are judgment calls, not measurable science.
They do not hide this fact. What this means is that real disorders can get overlooked for decades, and trendy and cultural disorders can get surreal attention. So says Dr. Darrel Regier…
The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
While groups are lobbying to get marginal and questionable disorders into the official directory of mental disorders, the firearms and medical communities are falling down on the job of campaigning to get hoplophobia a well-known and politically damaging scourge the recognition and treatment its sufferers so desperately need.
The abject terror many people experience when even mentioning guns is often channeled into the political realm, where it literally affects legislation, infringes on fundamental human rights that have been part of the nation fabric since its inception, and attack the strongest underpinnings of a free society. The nation expends huge resources in political battles when psychological counseling is obviously at least a consideration.
It is often posited from within a small segment of the medical community that the core staff working on DSM-5, and indeed the medical professional as a whole is largely hoplophobic, and that this freezes out any serious consideration of the disorder. It would be funny if it weren’t so serious, a sort of doctor-heal-thyself conundrum.
Read Dr. Sarah Thompson’s seminal thesis on the subject, or Dr. Bruce Eimer’s commentaries. http://www.gunlaws.com/GunPhobia.htm
Idea: Ask YOUR doctor, dentist, gynocologist, whatever for an opinion about hoplophobia next time you have an appointment. You’re paying the salary. That’s your professional adviser. Get service. Ask. Tell me what you hear. I’ll spread the word. And your doc will think.
Medical doctor, name withheld on request: “The psych establishment is, well, hoplophobic, and I suspect any effort to get hoplophobia recognized as a serious diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would be a wasted one.”
Dr. Eimer describes the disorder concisely in a note to a reader:
“As a psychologist, I have been treating people with the emotional disorder of phobias for over 30 years. Phobias are emotional disorders characterized by an irrational fear of specific situations, activities or objects. They all have an underlying psychodynamic mechanism.
“Weapons phobias originate typically in childhood as a result of traumatic experiences that lead the afflicted individual to feel markedly vulnerable around knives, guns, sticks, etc. They do not necessarily stem from the phobic person’s being a victim of an assault although in many instances that is the case. Often, hoplohobics were abused emotionally and/or physically as children. As a result of their fears of annihilation, they feel vulnerable and angry. They both fear others and themselves such that if they were to lose control, they would be a menace too. The adult rationalization defense mechanism makes it safer to displace these fears on to an inanimate object such as a gun. Hence, the psychological unconscious really believes that guns have agency and kill. The idea of factoring bad people into the equation: gun + bad person = destruction does not occur to the psychological unconscious. It is too threatening to the psychological unconscious. It’s less threatening CONSCIOUSLY to blame problems on inanimate objects.”
Bruce N. Eimer, Ph.D., ABPP
Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PA & NJ) Certified School Psychologist (PA & NJ) Board Certified Diplomate in Cognitive & Behavioral Psychology with the American Board of Professional Psychology Fellow & Approved Consultant with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis Life Member, American Psychological Association NRA Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor
And a reply:
“I had never before made the connection between hoplophobia and projection. It’s obvious enough that some people are terrified of firearms and some are terrified of anyone having firearms but it never crossed my mind that someone would be terrified that they themselves could have access to firearms!”
Dr. Eimer again:
Many gun control advocates believe that only two types of folks have guns — cops and criminals. I grew up in New York City where this was and still is the prevailing view. People who believe that non-sworn citizens should not be allowed to own guns also tend to believe that anyone who owns a gun and is not a cop is a suspect.
Thus, you often hear the sarcastic refrain from people whose lives have been threatened: “What should I do, buy a gun?” Most of these folks fear firearms due to ignorance and their socialization. However, there is a larger group of folks who have an irrational fear (aka, “phobia”) of firearms (aka, “hoplophobia”).
I have met and also treated many such folks. As a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist with over 30 years of clinical and academic experience, I think hoplophobia should be added as a diagnostic category to the Anxiety and Phobia Disorders section of the soon to be published revised edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-DSM-V.
Given my dual clinical and academic training as both a Behavioral and Psychoanalytic/Freudian psychologist and psychotherapist, I know that “hoplophobia” (fear of firearms or firearm phobia) is real. It is as real as arachnophobia (fear of spiders), ophidiophobia (snake phobia), dentophobia (fear of dentists), aichmophobia (needle phobia), androphobia (fear of men), cynophobia (dog phobia), entomophobia (fear of insects), and ideophobia (fear of ideas).
However, hoplophobia may be more widespread than all of the above mentioned with the exception of ideophobia, and unlike most of these other phobias, hoplophobia pervades every level of our society and poses a serious threat to our Constitutional Second Amendment and First Amendment rights.
As a clinical psychologist, I know that what hoplophobics really fear is their own conscious and unconscious murderous rage. As with the psychodynamics of every true phobia, the hoplophobic person’s psychological defense mechanisms unconsciously project his or her murderous rage onto other people and objects. In this case, the objects of choice are firearms. Only some hoplophobics are insightful enough to recognize, as one pro-gun control physician stated that, “I don’t own a gun because if I did, I’d definitely shoot someone.” He is right. He and others like him should definitely NOT own firearms. But, this is not a matter for legislation. It is about having good sense and perhaps, psychotherapy – because after all, that is what good psychotherapeutic treatment is all about.
The source for the hoplophobia post is my blog: http://personaldefenseblog.com/2009/06/01/hoplophobia-is-a-real-problem/
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