Random Thoughts About Hoplophobia in San Antonio

 Remember the Alamo (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

At first I thought the Mom from Moms Demand Action was just being a bitch. When I asked her politely if we could talk for a moment she point blank refused. Tersely. Aggressively. She wouldn’t even tell me her name. This after spending twenty-minutes hanging around with an Al-Jezeera reporter at the back of the crowd at the Alamo gun rights rally, and another ten minutes answering questions on camera for a nationwide TV audience. Checking her dilated pupils and remembering her extremely stilted performance in front of the camera, I backed off . . .

When she unknowingly dropped a paper on the ground, I slowly moved forward, picked it up and handed it to her. This minor act of gallantry had the expected but nonetheless welcome effect.

“Can I talk to you as a person?” she asked a few moments later, approaching in a couple of quick steps.

“I’m a person,” I assured her.

“Do you understand why I’m frightened?” she asked, glancing furtively at the crowd of gun-toting Americans assembled in front of the Alamo.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” I said. “These are peaceful people.”

“Do you understand?” she repeated, pleadingly.

I understood. She had a phobia.

A phobia is what I call an inappropriate survival response. A great landing at the wrong airport. The right reaction to the wrong stimulus. Think of it this way . . .

If the people gathering for gun rights in the Texas sun had been a pride of hungry lions, Mom’s cold hands, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, dilated pupils, aggression and inability to speak or think clearly would have been a normal, natural response; fight, flight or freeze. An adrenalin dump prepares the individual to run away, fight the threat and/or freeze to avoid the attention of a potential predator.

By the same token, if the Alamo gun rights rally had been a conclave of neo-Nazis readying to rape and kill left-leaning Moms, all Mom’s mental, physical and emotional symptoms would have been fully justified. If the crowd was comprised of  mentally unhinged psycho killers moments away from spraying the plaza with lead, again, no one could blame her Mom for being scared witless.

But they were none of these things. The men and woman at the rally were law-abiding Americans assembling peacefully to assert their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Yes, they were armed. But no, they weren’t a threat to the MDA spokeswoman or, for that matter, anyone else. Which makes Mom a hoplophobe.

File this under What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been: I was a professional hypnotist for more than a decade. During that time, I cured thousands of phobics (and established The Friendly Spider Program at the London Zoo). If there’s one thing I learned about phobics it’s this: you can’t talk them out of it.

In the same way that you can’t convince an arachnophobe that spiders are shy creatures whose existence is key to our species’ survival you can’t tell a hoplophobe that more guns equal less crime. Even if they accept the idea on a rational basis, the fear remains, buried deep in their subconscious mind. Better to kill all spiders, or disarm all civilians, than cure the phobia. Because it can’t be done.

Or so they believe. They’ve tried. And failed. And so some phobics surrender themselves to their inappropriate survival response. They kill all spiders. They work for civilian disarmament. Some even band together to figure out ways to spider-proof their world or disarm all civilians. They become “invested” in their fear.

“Do you understand why I’m scared?” is another way of asking “Why the hell aren’t you scared?” Is an arachnophobe antagonistic towards someone who keeps tarantulas as pets or works to preserve spider habitats? You bet they are. Are gun control advocates antagonistic towards people who want to keep and bear arms, especially in public? Yup.

The obvious question: how do you cure a hoplophobe?

Luckily, phobics are naturally hypnotic. That’s how they got their irrational fear in the first place. At some point in their life, they were in a naturally occurring trance state. Someone or something made a subconscious stimulus => response connection between guns and life-threatening danger. So “all” you have to do to cure them of their hoplophobia is put them back in a trance state and “re-program” their subconscious mind to eliminate or replace the fear.

Unfortunately, a gun control advocate is unlikely to submit to a pro-gun hypnotist’s expert treatment. But there is an answer that we’ve discussed here before: take the hoplohobic gun control advocate to the range.

Their reaction will be the same as the one experienced by the San Antonio Action-Demanding Mom. Fear. Extreme fear. That’s a good thing not a bad thing. Extreme fear puts the phobic in a natural trance state. At that point they’re extremely susceptible to new stimulus => response patterns.

At that point they want an alpha to take control. Why else would gun-hating, RF-averse Mom approach me? She wanted me to understand. But more than that she wanted help. She’ll deny it, of course. She’ll rationalize the exchange. She’ll insist that’s not the way it happened. She may even become angry at the suggestion. So be it.

But I think this particular Action-demanding Mom does want to change. After all, she left the confines of the nice safe MDA get-together on the other side of town to stand in front of 600 or so people carrying guns. Her worst fear. By doing so, she may have cured herself of her hoplophobia. Well, with a little help. Because of the circumstances, the phrase “These are peaceful people” may resonate in ways she may eventually appreciate.

Will she remember the Alamo? I don’t know. But I will. I will remember it as the place where two worlds collided, and no one got hurt.

comments

  1. avatar Matt in FL says:

    RF, you knocked this one out of the park. Great job.

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      But did he offer to take her to the range? Or give her a business card and lay the groundwork for a future offer?

    2. avatar Chris says:

      +1, outstanding work. Well written and sound reasoning.

    3. avatar DisThunder says:

      Agreed. I would’ve never considered the similarities for these two phobias. It makes total sense. Insert the Keanu Reeves “Whoa” picture here.
      And yeah, MDA Supporter lady, cuz’ you gotta be out there somewhere, good on you for at least having the stones to face your fear. That’s a lot more than I could ever say for the elitist douchebags that run most of these outfits.
      Maybe someday we’ll see posts on here from “Ex-MDAMom33” eh?

  2. avatar Craig says:

    I’m doing a college project about Hoplophobia; if TTAG wants a copy when I’m done, I’ll be happy to send it over.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      Free content? Sign us up!

    2. avatar Davis Thompson says:

      I think many of us would love to read that. Thanks.

  3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “If there’s one thing I learned about phobics it’s this: you can’t talk them out of it.”

    Agreed. And anyone who follows The Truth About Guns may have noticed that many of my more recent posts often use the word “hysterical” when discussing gun grabbers. Hoplophobes are indeed hysterical.

    That being the case, I refuse to give up my rights because a hysterical person demands it.

  4. avatar Rob says:

    “In the same way that you can’t convince an arachnophobe that spiders are shy creatures whose existence is key to our species’ survival…”

    Stop right there! They are not. They are evil, malicious, satanic monsters who wish to kill all of humanity, and take over the world. Best to crush them all without mercy!

    I, like all good, God-Fearing, rational human beings who wish to live long and happy lives, HATE &^%$*ing spiders!!

    Other than that one minor mistake, that was a great write-up!

    1. avatar Dave says:

      Only thing worse; CAMEL SPIDERS. Kill it… Kill it with FIRE!!!

      1. avatar Jay1987 says:

        Idk the one I kept as a pet was pretty chill, however, there were others that were a lil more on the aggressive side.

      2. avatar Nanashi says:

        Nuke it from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.

        1. avatar Geoff says:

          +1 for the referance

        2. avatar Dave says:

          Game over man, game over.

        3. avatar Dook says:

          Drake! We are leaving!

      3. avatar SteveInCO says:

        Solpugids. I have to get more accurate with my .308 so I can shoot those.

      4. avatar Not So 1337 says:

        Why would you even mention those?!?? STFU or GTFO!

    2. avatar Mack Bolan says:

      Shoot that should have been my 10 word or less reason to carry a gun.

      To kill spiders! Duh!

    3. avatar OODAloop says:

      But they’re cute and furry, kinda like a puppy with 8 legs and 1000 eyes. Everyone loves puppies. You wouldn’t want to harm a slightly abnormal puppy, would you?

      1. avatar Nine says:

        What if I told you I was a cop?

        Would that answer your question?

    4. avatar Andrew says:

      Yes, I also hate spiders.

      By hate, I mean if somebody mentions they like spiders, I BURN THEM WITH FIRE

  5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Something just occurred to me. I think everyone would agree that you cannot possibly be a policeman/woman if you are a hoplophobe. Does everyone remember the website that surveyed 15,000 retired and active duty policemen/women about their views on gun control? In case you do not remember or are not aware of it, something like 94% of respondents were completely okay with citizens having firearms, 30 round magazine, etc.

    In other words there were almost no retired or active duty police officers that supported the vision of gun control coming from the various groups that we despise. Well that makes it pretty clear to me that most people who want gun control are hoplophobes. And then a few percent of people think that only the elite should have guns. Everyone else? They don’t care if a neighbor or co-worker owns or possesses a firearm.

      1. avatar RLC2 says:

        That survey is a very good resource. Amazing how little press that got, especially with the timing during the post Sandy Hook MSM feeding frenzy.

        Its worth re-posting, maybe with some more detail or commentary by other LEOs.

    1. avatar Rick says:

      My Chief would like everyone who can own a gun to be armed and taking part in their own defense. He sees way too much downside to people not carrying, be it open or concealed. He’s like me in that he thinks MO should go to Constitutional Carry and pretty much be able to carry anywhere anytime.

      1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

        We need more chiefs like him. Trust the people to defend themselves, 99% of them will not let you down.

        1. avatar Rick says:

          I only wish everyone had a Chief like I do. I’m blessed, my community is blessed, and as soon as we get done with our lobbying our community will be pretty much carry anywhere, anytime, including City Hall. Heck, even our Municipal Judge is behind that, especially since he carries at least 2 at all times.

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        And then there are chiefs like Baca (LA County Sheriff), Beck (LA City Police), McCarthy (Chicago) Kelly (New York) and every police chief in the state of New Jersey (yes I exaggerate) who believe that crime will only be decreased when all citizens are barred the ownership of handguns.

        1. avatar JP says:

          These people are not Police Chiefs, They are politicians in a different clothes.

  6. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

    I wonder at how Hoplophobia is not recognized as an actual phobia, but so many inane phobias are. At least weapons can actually cause harm, unlike many other things that have related phobias that are recognized in the medical community.

    1. avatar Sivartius says:

      It’s actually BECAUSE firearms can be so very deadly that it is taking so long for the phobia to be recognized. If someone is terrified of the color blue, for example, or the number 99, it’s very easy to see that there is something disproportionate involved. I’m not afraid of ladders or anything like that. On the other hand, if I am near the edge of a 45 foot drop into a pool who’s depth I do not know, and people are urging me to jump it makes me nervous. Does that mean I have a phobia? I don’t think so. It’s a lot easier to rationalize a fear of something if there is in fact a rational basis for being scared, at least under some circumstances. My personal phobia is hypnotists, psychiatrists, and other forms of mental manipulation. You start coming towards me with a watch swinging on a chain and saying things like “you are getting very sleepy”, and I start wanting to get out the napalm.

      1. avatar Model 31 says:

        How does “We’re from the Government and we’re here to help” strike y’all?

        1. avatar Rick says:

          Would that make me a Fedaphobe?

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Phobias are recognized by the medical community because they are categorized by psychologists and psychiatrists who are nominally members of that community. Psychiatrists, at least, need to have an MD before they can become psychiatrists. This gives their opinions status amongst the medical community even though so many of their theories have been shown to be wrong.

      That said, many doctors and psychiatrists and psychologists are anti-gun, for one reason or another. They would tend to consider this position as normal and rational, so what would be their interest or motivation in even considering listing “hoplophobia” as a recognized mental disorder? Oxymoron, with the emphasis on the “moron”.

      1. avatar 505markf says:

        I think it would be hard for anyone who actually worked in an ER to not dislike guns. They see – very intimately – the impact of lead and copper on bodies, organs, and people. All they see is some 16 year old bleeding to death and they are sometimes powerless to save them. They don’t see that it was a gangbanger trying to kill some innocent person to steal or gain renown and they – at least arguably – got what they deserve. All they know is that it’s a person dying in front of them and their family wailing when they are told of the death.

        To be fair, it would be hard for anyone to remain objective in that situation. It doesn’t make their perspective right, but it should be understandable.

        1. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

          True, but the people writing the DSM are not in the ER. Academic clinical psychologists, for the most part.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          And do they also hate automobiles and water (swimming pools)?

          Who is more nuts that the typical shrink?

      2. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

        There’s some truth in this.

      3. avatar Robert Farago says:

        It’s true enough that social norms determine what is and is not an “appropriate” survival response (a.k.a., phobia). Would we call someone who lived in a war-torn African village hoplophobic if they had a fight, flight or freeze response whenever they saw a gun—if the only people they encountered with guns were ruthless killers? What if they (then) had the same reaction to any gun-shaped object, even in a completely safe environment?

        Quick digression . . .

        I wanted to know why phobias exist. From an evolutionary standpoint a phobia has to serve some sort of useful purpose, confer some kind of genetic advantage, otherwise it wouldn’t exist.

        I was watching a documentary about baboon troops. The “scout” baboon is a smaller animal that goes out in front of the moving troop. It screams whenever it sees something dangerous, alerting the troop. I wondered, what if the scout baboon was phobic? What if it screamed at something that wasn’t dangerous, like arachnophobes scream at harmless spiders?

        So I called the documentary filmmaker and got in touch with the baboon specialist. I asked her if there were phobic baboons. Amazingly, she said there were. So what happens to these monkeys who cry wolf? “The alpha beats the sh*t out of the them,” she said. “And then they’re less sensitive to danger.”

        Violence is a form of subconscious programming. Hypnosis if you will. While I never used physical violence on phobics I made yelling Marine Drill Sergeant style an integral part of the therapy. Applying that to hoplophobes, the gunpowder detonation and the noise of same is a form of violence. Which is why range therapy can be so effective. It overwhelms their rational mind and allows re-programming.

        I’ll write-up my suggestions for being a range hypnotist in a separate post.

        1. avatar RLC2 says:

          Intriguing. I would like to hear from other range instructors on this, too. I would like to bring people to the range, but I can see how it can go well, or not, if you have little experience, and don’t know how to set it up properly.

        2. avatar 505markf says:

          Very interesting thoughts, there. It is certainly true that when I am at the range, the blast, the noise (even muffled), the impact of rounds downrange, and the recoil (though I tend to not shoot big recoiling weapons) tends is almost like some kind of “mind wipe”. I rarely have room for anything else, especially if I am concentrating on safety, precision/accuracy, drills, etc. It just doesn’t leave room for anything else.

          It may also be why – almost without exception – people get this enormous grin on their faces when they shoot. Perhaps because we are all experiencing our inner-Thor, harnessing the power of the lightning in our hands, and we can only attain that when we are undergoing recoil therapy.

          Sounds like a couple of great threads there RF. Good hunting!

        3. avatar aff89 says:

          From an evolutionary perspective it has to have served a purpose or it wouldn’t exist?

          That’s not true at all. Things that are useless or even harmful can occur from evolution. Evolution isn’t a process that refines or builds. It doesn’t seek any type of end game.

        4. avatar SpeleoFool says:

          So what happens to these monkeys who cry wolf? “The alpha beats the sh*t out of the them,” she said. “And then they’re less sensitive to danger.”

          If only it were so easy. 🙂

          Seriously, this is fascinating stuff, and a full article on this topic would be a good read. I’ve recognized the value in range time for people who are uneasy with guns, but always attributed it to taking the mystery away. When you see how much care and order goes in to safe handling of firearms at the range and can dismiss the fear of accidents happening (unless you’re in Russia, I suppose), then all the fun and interesting things about firearms, their history and their role in shaping ours becomes easier to recognize and appreciate.

  7. avatar Dave says:

    Perfect reason to be scared of clowns; they will shoot you in the head.

    http://news.yahoo.com/mexican-ex-drug-lord-shot-dead-100117008.html

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      as usual, Detroit has everyone beat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insane_Clown_Posse

  8. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    Very well done Robert!

  9. avatar Anmut says:

    Nice article – we need to make sure that they many points about the anti’s made by RF are spread to others. This is very useful ammo.

  10. avatar PeterC says:

    When I was working for a large Boston ad agency, I had frequent business and social contact with liberal hoplophobes. In more than a few cases, especially after several drinks, if the subject of guns came up, I’d hear the same thing: “I’d never own a gun. I might get angry and kill someone.” And very likely they were right… if they’re that hostile and out of control, they probably shouldn’t have a gun.

    1. avatar Geoff Meade says:

      Interestingly enough, a psychologist (or maybe she’s a psychiatrist?) has stated that she considers that very underlying fear (of losing it and shooting someone if you had a gun) to be a major reason for Hoplophobia. You can find her paper on the topic on the Buckeye Firearms Association site. I believe it’s calle dsomething like “How to talk to anti-gun rights people or something similar.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Pin-prick pupils. Stilted presentation. Twitchy and paranoid. Is she hoplophobic or just coked up to her eyeballs?

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I thought of that too.
      “Mom’s cold hands, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, dilated pupils, aggression and inability to speak or think clearly would have been a normal, natural response…”
      Yeah, if she’d done a line or three of coke.

      1. avatar Geoff Meade says:

        No pinprick pupils were mentioned here; he commented on DILATED pupils, along with all the other physiological symptoms assoicated with intense arousal syndrome (fight or flight response). Dilated pupils are NOT associated with drugs that arouse the central nervous system like Coke, but with CNS depressants like the opioids. They are, however, symptomatic of increased general arousal (which could signal fear, anger, or even sexual arousal). That’s been hypothisized as the underlying reason for eye shadow BTW, it makes the pupils LOOK bigger, suggesting sexual arousal in the woman wearing it. Actually, almost ALL make-up appears to be used in a way that simulates such arousal. including lipstick and rouge/blush. Interesting…

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          The “pinprick pupils” comment was an error in the original post that’s since been corrected.

  12. avatar supergrover says:

    we all must bear in mind that phobias, psychologically speaking, are *irrational* fears; although ‘irrational’ is very relative, and, in this case, subjective too.

    let’s take “bugs” (arthropods for biology nerds) for example. fear of bugs is a perfectly normal, healthy and even necessary behavior; as bugs may be poisonous/venomous, disease/parasite vectors, or merely a indicator of uncleanliness. but– screaming, flailing of limbs, crying, and extreme anxiety is not healthy behavior. also, relativity must be taken into account; mild anxiety and uneasiness around bugs would be unhealthy for an insect farmer (yes that’s a real thing)- while still being completely normal and healthy for most.

    as for subjectivity, there is no good analogy. you see, the patient must realize the irrationality of their phobia, at least on some level, for it to be a phobia and not a delusion. however, psychology is subjective in the extreme, therefore, marking a fine line on emotional charged subjects is simply impossible.

    the real question is not whether irrational fear of weapons is present in the patient; but rather, if it is possible for anyone, at all.

    1. avatar Geoff Meade says:

      Which is why “Fedaphobia” will probably never make the greade…it is hardly irrational to fear our govt!

  13. avatar Al says:

    I wonder how she feels when she walks down the hammer isle at Home Depot? Or the power nailer isle? Or when she’s looking at all of those “dangerous” kitchen knives at Willams Sonoma?

    1. avatar JustLeaveLawfulGunOwnersAlone says:

      …or simply walking across the parking lot of any grocery store. In every parking spot there is potentially someone who will intentionally or accidentally take a +ton of metal and kill you without ever having to look you in the eye.

  14. avatar Travis says:

    Best article I’ve read in along time.

    At least from a writing POV. I had a moment of sadness for the antagonist. It allowed me to realize they’re not antagonists, just misguided individuals.

    I think many of us here on TTAG forget that from time to time.

    What happened with her, Robert? Did you offer her a trip? Did she accept? Is she sleeping on it?

    1. avatar Bruce B. says:

      “It allowed me to realize they’re not antagonists, just misguided individuals.

      I think many of us here on TTAG forget that from time to time.”

      They are the enemy. Sympathizing with them is like sympathizing with the robber because he had a terrible childhood, or his Daddy didn’t love him. Once they try to harm me their motives don’t matter to me. And someone trying to dictate the exercise of my Second Amendment rights is trying to harm me.

      Am I saying not to attempt to reach out to these folks in a calm, rational way? No. I second the opinions that urged a trip to the range as the “cure”.I applaud Robert’s attempt to open a discussion with this person; What I am saying is let’s not let sympathy cloud your vision of who these people are. They are dangerous.

      Ever pet a lion? I have. As a dog trainer, had a buddy who was an exotic animal trainer. Got to work with him a little bit. Training lions. Very, very cool. Walking him on a leash. Teaching him commands. Stroking his head. But I never fooled myself that it was a pussy cat.

      This lady is trying to punish me for her fear. And that puts severe limits on my empathy and understanding.

    2. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Just so.

      1. avatar Matt in TX says:

        This has been one of the most sensitive, understanding posts I have ever read on TTAG. I agree that the lady is frightened. I think that she should get help. I think that she seems to want help. However, I agree that:
        “This lady is trying to punish me for her fear. And that puts severe limits on my empathy and understanding.”
        Severe limits. If you are afraid, hide away or face it. Do not put your onus on me.

  15. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    If you believe that hoplophobia is a real thing, and I’m not taking a stand on it either way, then there are some key parallels that need to be acknowledged between it and something like arachnophobia.

    As someone who is mildly arachnophobic, I don’t like spiders being anywhere near me. If there is a spider on the ceiling of my bedroom, I’m killing it, period. Is it rational? Nope, and I know it. Any of the spiders around me aren’t any real threat to my safety, but they still creep me out. But it’s my right to exert some control over my surroundings. I don’t have to go to the spider section at the zoo, leave them alive in my home, or let someone put a tarantula on my head. However, it is NOT my right to have the government go in and kill somebody’s pets in their own home just because I have a phobia (evidence from the euthanasia of “pit bulls” in Denver notwithstanding) because somebody else possession of a spider only effects me in the most abstract sense. Likewise, legal gun ownership only affects the people around you in the most abstract sense. There is no evidence to suggest that legal gun owners are a threat to their communities, and in fact significant evidence to the contrary considering the background checks that gun owners usually must go through to acquire firearms. Just like my fear of spiders, a person has no right to dictate what other people do with their lives unless it has a direct and demonstrably negative effect on them. Any other position is antithetical to a functioning democracy. Perhaps in future encounters with similarly-minded individuals you can point this out. Once you start saying that you have the right to impose your beliefs on another individual, you open the door to someone else doing the same to you. We have learned from history how that story plays out.

  16. avatar DrVino says:

    Q: “The obvious question: how do you cure a hoplophobe?”

    A: Desensitization therapy.

    1. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

      Ah, you show your age. I know this only because some months ago I was lectured by a freshly minted clinical psychologist that the new hotness is “participant modeling” and that the only people that use systematic desensitization were geezers trained decades ago. If I were a clinical psychologist (instead of experimental), I too would be one of those geezers.

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        Desensitization is hypnosis in disguise. There is always a person leading the desensitization process. Listen to their tone of voice, cadence and word choice.

        Desensitization works better than relaxation-based hypnosis because fear is a better hypnotic technique that relaxation. Especially for phobics who are, generally speaking, wound tighter than a Swiss watch.

        1. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

          Very interesting take. I’ve never been entirely sold on the concept of hypnosis, though I admit that I haven’t read the literature on psychophysiological correlates of hypnosis. The fact that I am not personally susceptible (I’ve had several people try)is probably a big contributing factor in my skepticism.

      2. avatar DrVino says:

        And if I were a Psychologist instead of a real doctor, I would get into an argument about this.

        1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

          Arguments are fun, and no reason a clinician shouldn’t get involved. As to clinical psych, I’m probably not much more qualified to get into deep theory than you are. My bag is behavioral neuroscience.

  17. avatar joe says:

    Sigh… dilated pupils… dilated is a sign of fight or flight… not pinprick…. now if you wanted to call me pinprick anus you could:)

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      One of things I knew was wrong when I was writing it but couldn’t think of the right word. The pupils dilate to take in more light to aid predator perception.

      Now that I’m off Ambien I’m hoping that blanking thing happens less often. At least until old age takes over. Oh wait . . .

    2. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

      Or arousal more generally. If you are talking to a women at a party and her pupils dilate, then you may be turning her on. Or standing between her and the light, either way.

  18. avatar John E Foddrill sr says:

    SAPD Chief William McManus is a hoplophobe ….especially when the weapons are in the hands of his fellow Americans. He also fears the Constitution, the law and intelligent law-abiding citizens.

    San Antonio TX Mayor Julian Castro ( Obama campaign co-manager) , city attorney Michael Bernard ( brother of White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard) and SAPD Chief William McManus are being sued in Federal Court for Constitutional violations after they banned a law-abiding citizen from City Hall and public meetings for almost four years in an effort to conceal public/police corruption. Along with Councilman Diego Bernal, Councilman Cris Medina, IT Director Miller, etc .they have been reported to the DOJ, HUD, the FBI, etc. for helping cover-up decades of grant fraud, bond fraud, theft, falsification of government documents, perjury, obstruction, theft/misuse of 911 funds ( 25% failure rate for emergency calls) , Open Meeting violations, two” frauds upon the court” – 2009 and 2013 financed with tax dollars, HUD theft/fraud where city persons submitted false statements to federal investigators in case HL-10-0465, etc…

    The Free-Speech / Freedom of Assembly lawsuit is moving forward and former City Telecommunications Manager John E Foddrill Sr obtained the representation of a Dallas TX law firm. US District Judge Xavier Rodriguez has denied the City’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit …5:13-cv-00051…stating- ” Each day that Plaintiff was allegedly barred from accessing public facilities he suffered a constitutional injury” and “the fact that for close to four years Plaintiff was prohibited from exercising his rights to free speech and assembly”.

  19. avatar Chris says:

    —“Do you understand why I’m frightened?” she asked—

    For the same reason her grandparents were likely scared of African Americans. She is a bigot.

  20. avatar 505markf says:

    Really nice work, RF. Well done.

  21. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    RF, was she hot and if so, did you get her number to make arrangements for a, ahem, “therapy session”??

    I volunteer to cure Shannon Watts.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Dirk!
      As I was reading, I realized something was missing. And you did not fail me Sir.
      Fist bump.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        (Bow). Quite welcome

    2. avatar Jay1987 says:

      Well Dirk I think that’s 4 statements that could lead to a restraining order about Shannon Watts in one day, good job!! BTW if you want to go extra creepy look up clone a willy kits and Shannon Watts’ home address.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        I have her home address. and phone #. Moms Demand Action is registered there. 🙂

        1. avatar Jay1987 says:

          Dirk I’m gonna have to ask you to please furnish windex and papertowels now that you’ve caused me to ruin my smartphone’s screen.

  22. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Excellent article Robert.

  23. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

    It is interesting that the hoplophobes don’t seem to react when a cop comes near them. Shows that the fear response depends on context, not just the firearm itself. Of course, they have a long history of encountering cops with guns, with nothing bad happening during the encounter. This is an excellent argument for open carry. The problem, of course, is that if people call in “man with a gun” reports and the cops come to detain the person carrying, that response reinforces the association between an average person with a gun and a threat.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      True! Open carry is societal desensitization. I’m all in favor.

      1. avatar GH in Boise says:

        “Fear is the mind killer.” And while fear does not always equate phobia, they are levels of the same condition. Just watched Will Smith in After Earth, and though the movie was less than impressive, there was one part that I enjoyed. He talked of how fear is just the minds way of defining a condition. If you have fear, your mind has evaluated a situation to have a level of danger in it. It is a mental response then on how to deal with that fear, with fight or flight being two more understood assessments. So, to counter this, we must either help them overcome their fears by either assimilating them or indoctrinating them. That also seems to be the military’s thinking on certain topics as well. Don’t like the dark, fine, you patrol all night. Can’t sleep with all of the explosions and gun fire, fine, you stay awake, go on patrol and let others sleep. As someone who has been participating in the “take a libby to the range day,” I’ve seen the value that it has in assimilating people. Once they no longer fear something, they can again use rational thought in deciding how to integrate it into their lives.

        1. avatar 505markf says:

          Indeed! I had a therapist friend years ago who told me fear is just an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. I know it can be sort of hype, but it has served me exceedingly well over the years. I think there’s real truth there.

        2. avatar Julian says:

          I thought it was F#*% Everything And Run!

  24. avatar RLC2 says:

    Another great post Robert. Thank you for your intuition, and sharing that story, so “atypical” for what I imagine most ‘Moms’ would expect at a “gun website”.

    I felt great compassion for the woman, and greater understanding for others like her who have been traumatized by their phobia.

    And in response to one poster above, please consider this-
    rather than consider this poor woman, “the enemy” –
    why not instead consider those who would misuse her by abusing those fears- as the “enemy”.

    I’m thinking about the Shannon Watts, Rebecca Bonds, and others who engage in blatant deceit- online sock puppetry- in order to deny the rights of all Americans to defend ourselves and our families.
    ( more info here: http://gunfreezone.net/wordpress/index.php/2013/06/05/moms-demand-action-shannon-watts-the-plastic-gardener/)

    Actually- I think enemy is too simplistic – it implies more honor than they deserve, as if this were a fair fight, by rules of engagement, a Geneva Convention.
    A better term for how they operate is Sociopath- the sort of personality who believes they alone are justified in hiding the truth, and cynically playing upon the fears ordinary citizens, for their ends justify the means.

    Dealing with those sorts of people requires integrity, resolve, and a determination NOT to get taken in, by trolls, or descend into the same immoral tactics, but resolutely stick to the Truth About Guns.

    I see from comments that reasonable and intellectually honest inquiring minds are coming here, and learning. The truth is winning.

  25. avatar JWhite says:

    Man I love this blog! By far my favorite repeat stop on my day to day tour de ‘tube.

  26. avatar Werewolf1021 says:

    Whelp, went to their facebook to try and respectfully rectify some of the errors pertaining to the law and posted non partisan, mostly government links.

    Got banned from the page and my posts were deleted. Guess we cant have anyone questioning the one true belief.

    I still wonder how many people believe the crap they spew vs how many go along so they can profit off others ignorance and get “donations”. Paul Helmke used to make around $200K a year.

  27. avatar Ted says:

    “Circus ordered to take down posters after ONE complaint from a woman who is scared of clowns”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2465972/Circus-ordered-posters-ONE-complaint-woman-scared-clowns.html

    Best quote: “The lady is trying to manage her fear by controlling her environment but she needs to control the irrational fear.”

  28. avatar Skyler says:

    Your best work, Robert.

  29. avatar PavePusher says:

    “Can I talk to you as a person?”

    That seemingly innocuous comment explains much, when you stop to ponder it. They don’t see us as “a person”. They see us as “threat”, when we explicitly are not one. It takes a conscious, determined effort for them to see you as fellow humans and Citizens. You can sometimes work them through this, but often they refuse to relinquish their bigotry, clinging to it like a safety blanket.

    1. avatar Julian says:

      I see it differently, it’s “Can we have a personal conversation, rather than being opponents?”

  30. avatar EagleScout87 says:

    Great post RF! Spot on.

  31. avatar Blue says:

    If we could only get psychiatrists and psychologists to recognize hoplophobia as ‘real’ like they do other phobias. Many of the banners, maybe 1/4 to a 1/3 fall into this category and the Bloomers and Shoomers try to capitalize on it.

  32. avatar TheBear says:

    RF, I believe this is one of the best pieces you’ve ever written. Seriously well done.

  33. avatar Joseph says:

    As long as there are cockroaches and Anti-gunners, I want more spiders and guns. Spiders are cold blooded, brutal killing machines. guess what? have you seen fish or birds or even cats eat? they aren’t delicate, napkin using critters either. But look at it this way, spiders and other animals have to be that way- there’s no negotiating in the animal kingdom. and even us “civilized” folks have to have that kind of mentality when a stranger with bad vibes strolls up on us.

  34. avatar JonM says:

    Now, can we get you on national television a few times, particularly on MSNBC & the like, where you will hypnotize the TV audience and reprogram them to not only like guns, but to be freedom loving, conservative, Americans who will fight to the bitter end to ensure our freedom? That would be great.

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