At the wrong end of a gun barrel

I HAVE been residing in Hong Kong for a little over a year now. During this time, I would estimate that I've had a shotgun pointed at me on at least a dozen occasions and have been brushed by the muzzle of one of these weapons on at least three separate occasions.

Ordinarily, I would only expect to receive such attention from a shotgun if I was a member of a special response unit of the Hong Kong Police or living in one of the less savoury areas of New York.

The offending parties in this case are the numerous shotgun wielding security guards who seem to have no regard for firearms, common sense and, indeed, no regard for their own and the public's safety. I am amazed that there are not weekly reports of accidental shootings and can only surmise that these shotguns are actually unloaded.

As I see it, there is no need for would-be robbers to procure a firearm to stage an armed hold-up here. It would be a relatively simple task to arrive on the scene, wrestle a shotgun from a half-asleep guard and ''hey presto'' have a ready made hold-up.

I can only hope that someone takes notice.

C.F.L. CORES Lantau