What is Hoplorati? The base word for it is "hoplon", which is the Greek word for the shields used by ancient Greek soldiers. These soldiers became known as "hoplites", the meaning of which is usually interpreted as "men of arms" or "armed men".
In modern times, the word "hoplophobe" has been used to describe a person with a fear of firearms. (Hoplophobia is not a recognized psychiatric disorder.) So...
hop-lo-ra-ti [ hop-loh-rah-tee ]
plural noun, singular -to [ toh ]
- persons possessing, or claiming to possess, superior firearms and modern self-defense enlightenment.
- a name given to different pundits or bloggers because of their claim to superior firearms and modern self-defense enlightenment.
The term "gunnie" is similar to hoplorato but has a couple of problems, the biggest being that it is easily confused with the nickname "Gunny" often given to Gunnery Sergeants in the U.S. Marine Corps. Gunnies also incorporate groups with a pure interest in hunting firearms or expensive, collectible, engraved shotguns, etc... whereas hoplorati is more geared toward self-defense, concealed carry, tactical weapons, training, the use of edged weapons and other combat disciplines, and associated political rights. The two are definitely intersecting terms but not identical.
So there you go. Meme explained.
Come and Take Them Meme Mashup
It doesn't take much searching to find Molon Labe and pictures of guns. It is supposedly the response given by King Leonidas to the Persian king Xerxes in response to a request to surrender their weapons at Thermopylae, the place of battle in the popular movie 300. (If you click through to the Wikipedia article on it, you'll see it has more than just that popular meaning.)
So here are a couple of hoplon badge graphics using the likeness of the words Molon Labe as can currently be found at the moment at Thermopylae.
The Legion of the Old Dominion
CTone piled on the original meme by mixing in the name Old Dominion, given to the Commonwealth of Virginia by King Charles II for staying loyal to the crown during the English Civil War.
The first graphics I whipped up, the tombstones, were just an exercise to play with Vector Designer, a $30 vector drawing program for the Mac. They centered on the hoplite helmet.
The second set are circular graphics. Since the hoplite's shields were also round, I refer to these as hoplon badges.
These are fairly specific to hoplorati in Virginia. Sic Semper Tyrannis is the Virginia motto and means "Thus Always to Tyrants".