…I couldn’t do as these Romans, as their laws aren’t very friendly to gun ownership and less friendly to carry. The US laws are no better as far as visitors are concerned. This is the main down side to foreign travel — visitors are treated as third-class humans by governments who treat their own citizens as second-class already.
The tourist areas of Rome had quite a few security theater actors who dressed to impress. Unlike large city cops in the US, they project a friendlier attitude.
Similarly dressed-up men stood guard around embassies and government buildings.
They were backed up by rifle holders with Beretta 70/90 automatic rifles. I didn’t observe additional ammunition, but it may have been stashed out of view.
A block or two away, additional vigilant cops lounged in reserve.
Army was also in evidence, putting on a show of presence.
By contrast, police in Germany were very rarely visible. Same in Switzerland. And in the US, I see more cops in a day than during all of my foreign travels combined. Certain tasks, like speed traps are operated mostly by people in the US but mostly by video camera in Europe. At locations like airports, German, Czech, Swiss, Italian and even Hungarian cops were generally more friendly than either cops or the bluebellies in America. US makes a terrible first impression on visitors these days, both in the intrusiveness of INS and in the extreme incompetency of the airport staff and TSA.