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    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    Enter at Own Risk: Tourists to Florida are being warned that their lives may be in danger as they get off the airplane:

    A national gun-control group is riling Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida's mighty tourism industry by warning visitors that arguing with locals here could get them shot.

    The group, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, based in Washington, began handing out fliers at Miami International Airport on Monday, cautioning visitors to take 'sensible precautions' and to be aware that altercations on highways, in nightclubs or on the beach could provoke a shooting.

    They've been Independent Online Edition >running warning ads in England, too, but I think the English already think of us as gun crazy, thanks to Hollywood.

    It calls to mind an experience I once had with four Irish youths. It was the late 1980's, the age of Rambo and Arnold. My husband and I were making a tour of Ireland, when our rental car broke down. My husband went to look for a phone and I stayed behind with the car. He didn't go far, just across the street to what looked to be a train station, but while he was gone, four boys who looked to be in their late teens or early twenties sauntered up to admire the car (It was a Honda. Wouldn't have gotten a second glance here in the States.) As they formed a semicircle around me, I suddenly realized the vulnerability of my position. I was out of the line of site of the train station, there was no other building or person in site, and the car was near what looked to be a junk yard. To top it off, before leaving for Ireland, I had read The Whore Mother, a novel of the IRA which portrayed every Irish male as a violent, heartless thug, and a short story in which the main character was raped while visiting Ireland. While my imagination was running amuk, the boys (they really were boys), asked where I was from.

    "New York."

    They must have jumped back four feet, while they all said at once - "New York! They shoot people there!" And off they went, leaving me alone and unharmed.

    They never knew I meant Syracuse.

    posted by Sydney on 10/04/2005 05:00:00 PM 0 comments


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