Opinion

Hoplophobia is like homophobia, but for guns | Firearms Lawyer

The term “maven” became common in political parlance during the 1980s when William Safire, the conservative mantelpiece at the New York Times, began describing himself as “the language maven.”

A maven has a disproportionate influence on his or her network. The role of mavens and psycholinguistics in propagating opinion has been well-documented. Terms like homophobia, for example, have become accepted nomenclature to describe anyone that opposes a political agenda advocated by the mavens of our American media-political complex.

Control of the language ensures cultural dominance. For example, opposing government entitlement programs translates into hate for minorities. And many Americans are convinced that enforcing immigration laws indicates fear of people who don’t speak English.

It may someday become common to read stories in magazines and newspapers about hoplophobia (morbid fear of guns).

The Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation has now moved for a preliminary injunction against Illinois to prevent that state from prohibiting citizens from carrying guns — something allowed in every other state.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to avoid adverse court rulings on two pending federal lawsuits challenging his city’s ban on gun ranges. Chicago is reluctantly taking steps to perpetuate its systematic hoplophobia by finally allowing gun ranges within city limits.

This seems like a move in the right direction. However, the proposed zoning regulations would contain such severe restrictions that the legal expense alone will discourage most business people from even trying to build a gun range.

Ranges in Chicago would be confined to areas zoned for manufacturing. But that’s only the beginning. Gun ranges would be prohibited within 1,000 feet of a school, park, place of worship, day care center, liquor store, library, museum, hospital or residential district.

That doesn’t leave too many viable locations. The Mayor and Chicago’s aldermen are trying to figure out how to make sure that, if any aspiring range operators do obtain the required special use permits (after a prolonged and difficult public hearing process), no one could leave the range with ammunition purchased there.

Did I mention that Illinois is the only state where carrying of firearms by private citizens in public is completely prohibited?

Lawyers and historians are familiar with the unintended consequences that result from any policy choice. There may come a time that citizens of Chicago will look back to when violent crime was rampant in their city’s streets — and wonder how they ever submitted to the tyranny of hoplophobic politicians like Rahm Emanuel.

Illinois also has a huge spending problem, four modern governors convicted of corruption and a river of blood in its streets. The Second Amendment was written by men who had experienced and studied similar times. They called hoplophobia something else: a recipe for tyranny.

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