Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sfentonaphobia

The popular term these days for people with an irrational fear of, or aversion for, guns and other firearms is "hoplophobe," and the word for the condition is "hoplophobia." This is all on the pattern of other phobe/phobia terms, like the established acrophobia or ailurophobia, or the recently coined Islamophobia or homophobia.  It serves, but the problem with it is that the first part comes from the Greek ὅπλον (hóplon, “arms, armor, weapon”), which seems a little too vague and all-inclusive. So I have an alternative suggestion: sfentonaphobia/sfentonaphobe, from the Greek σφεντόνα  (sfentóna), meaning "sling," as in the illustration, and as a thrower of bullet-like stones or pellets, a sling is the closest equivalent to a gun in ancient Greek usage. My reasoning is that those who fear and hate guns mostly don't have a generalized fear/hatred of weaponry in general. I could be wrong. Thoughts?
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Kel-Tec PF9 commented:

Those who fear guns in civilian hands also fear knives and blunt objects. Look at Great Britain or NYC-- carrying a pocket knife can get you in almost as much trouble as carrying a pistol.
And, you know, I think that with few exceptions, he's right. So although it's fun to mess around with Greek roots this, way, I think hoplophobe and hoplophobia are fine.

4 comments:

  1. Those who fear guns in civilian hands also fear knives and blunt objects. Look at Great Britain or NYC-- carrying a pocket knife can get you in almost as much trouble as carrying a pistol.

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  2. It beats the pants off of clumsy terms like "panpherohoplocracy." Seriously, I never liked that word.

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  3. Just remember that hoplophobia is just a form of eleutherophobia, the irrational fear of freedom. They project their fear of being free into a distrust of the freedom of others, including an unwillingness to trust ho nest people with the tools needed to defend liberty.

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  4. Slings are easily made from two pieces of paracord. It takes, however, years of practice to be able to use one. I wouldn't call someone who is scared of guns a sfentonaphobe since a gun is nothing like a sling except in providing a means to achieve the instantaneous demise of an opponent. The term I would use for people frightened of guns is "gaylord."

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