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Firearms authority and writer Colonel Jeff Cooper claims he coined the word in 1962: hoplo- ‎(weapon, arms) +‎ -phobia ‎(fear).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌhɒpləˈfəʊbɪə/


hoplophobia ‎(uncountable)

  1. (pejorative, rare) The fear of guns.
    • 1976: United States Congress’s House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime, Firearms Legislation: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Ninety-fourth Congress, First Session, part 7, page unknown (United States Government Printing Office)
      Gun control laws are proposed to control three basic areas: Crime, accidental shootings and to calm those suffering from hoplophobia — these people generally align themselves with the first two so I won’t even consider that category.
    • 1998, Bob Knauer, in alt.nuke.europe, soc.culture.scottish, talk.politics.guns, uk.politics.crime, and uk.politics.misc [1]
      One of the telltale characteristics of hoplophobia is terminal stupidity. That's because hoplophobia is a mental illness.
    • 1999, Barry B Wood, in dfw.general [2]
      You'll be happy to learn that "hoplophobia" (irrational fear of weapons) has been recognized as an illness by the AMA, is treatable, and is now covered by most HMOs. Get thee to a psychiatrist!
    • 2000, Frank Zember, in alt.fan.rush-limbaugh, misc.survivalism, talk.politics.guns, and alt.law-enforcement [3]
      Not exactly, subscribing to the hoplophobia of the left wing makes you a complete idiot.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Cooper coined the term to describe what he termed "mental disturbance characterized by irrational aversion to weapons". The word is not usually used in a true medical sense. For further notes and references, see the Wikipedia article.

See also[edit]