Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Come on it's not that bad.  Everyone should be able to bring along their guns and knives! After all, in some places just about everyone has at least one of the above. Not in the UK or Canada?  Oh well.

The truth is that the average client spends very little time inside a consulate on business. In many places the visa lines are long and there is just no time to do security checks on everyone's backpack, etc.  You wouldn't believe what turns up in some places when searches of bags do take place.  I've seen loaded guns, knives, brass knuckles, and you name it, turned over for "safe keeping." In some places they just hauled out their gun and said here you are, hold this for me. Kind of like a Wild West saloon. Some US consulates (at least in the past) politely stored each of these items until the client exited the building and then returned the item to him/her.  But really, should a consulate do this? As you may know, most US consulate personnel only do business at arms length these days. Like bankers they are protected from potentially dangerous clients by hardened barriers, but ones fellow travellers in the waiting area have no such protection.  Do you really want a violent person (terrorist - well, not all that frequently but don't rule out the possibility) with a knife or gun setting next to you when he/she is denied a visa.  I think not.  Maybe you think everyone entering a consulate on business is (1) polite and harmless, and (2) in their right mind.  I know you would be correct almost all of the time.

The ban on liquids, sodas, etc. may relate in reasoning to the airline ban on liquids.  You can be as good a judge as I about that one.  I understand the risk really isn't that great, but don't know for certain.  I've never fully understood the logic of why I can buy a bottle of drinking water inside the "secure" area of an air terminal but can't take that same bottle on board the aircraft.

Electronic items are banned from certain areas of US diplomatic buildings and that ban applies to employees, the public and diplomats alike. Other than the fact that any object can be a hiding place for a weapon/dangerous chemical and needs to be searched, I'm not sure why they couldn't be taken inside once X-rayed, but again the problem is work load.  Who has the time and staff to check all that crap for hundreds of 15-20 minute visitors?  

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Jul 1st, 2008 at 11:23:50 PM EST
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