Guest post by tf

I often hear people in France expressing fascination with guns in the United States. Michael Moore’s film Bowling for Columbine was a big hit here, and Moore was on magazine covers across the country:

L'Amérique Qu'On Aime

With all this talk, a person can get nervous heading back to the States. Especially when, traveling on French government business, I received a sheet of advice from the Foreign Ministry stating, in bold face letters:

In many states, the bearing of arms is authorized and common. Visitors must, therefore, in all circumstances, maintain their calm and their sang-froid.

However, when I arrived in Minneapolis, I found that all this worry was really blown out of proportion…

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I was relieved to find, for instance, that there is no right to bear arms in The Gap:

No Guns at The Gap

Similarly for the Banana Republic, and the YMCA:

Banana Republic Bans Guns

The YMCA Bans Guns

Kramarczuk’s Ukranian deli forbids guns:

No Guns at Kramarczuk's

I was at the deli for the North East Accordion Festival 2003, and I can testify that the right to bear accordions, a right much respected in France, was not infringed, whereas there was not a gun in sight.

Guns are not even allowed in the Walker Art Center:

No Guns at the Walker Art Center

However, it is not clear that this protection extends to the Walker Center’s outdoor sculpture garden:

Spoonbridge and Cherry

While viewing Oldenburg and van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry, therefore, I made sure to maintain my sang-froid.