Monday, June 23, 2008


I was in London a few ago representing a client at an engineering firm. I had spent several months there working closely with several of their key design people. We got to know each other quite well.

Their Environmental Engineer was a 30 something woman of Indian heritage. She was able to get cheap theater tickets and sometimes arranged for us culturally deprived Americans to see a show. She was the most outgoing of the lot and we enjoyed her company and her access to cheap tickets.

One day, the office conversation turned to guns. I don’t know why or how but that’s how things go sometimes. One topic blends into another and pretty soon you’re talking about guns. Our Environmental Engineer friend turned to me and another American on the team (A Texan) and said, “But you guys don’t own any guns, do you?” I guess she thought because we were both college educated family men who didn’t look like the Brit stereotype of The American Redneck Gun Lover, that we would eschew the ownership of firearms. We then proceeded to list the firearms we had at home. It included long guns, both high powered bolt action rifles and shotguns, several handguns of various calibers: both semi-automatic and revolver, and the odd Evil Black Rifle.

Her mouth hit the floor. She was speechless. Her concept of Genus Americanus Gun Owner was totally shattered. Even more so when I told her that I will sometimes carry a concealed weapon. I don’t think she ever thought about us in the same light ever again. Such is the status of the Hoplophobia epidemic in the UK.

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