Selfish or just not feel threatened enough by terrorism? - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-27-2006, 10:32 PM   #1
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Selfish or just not feeling threatened enough by terrorism?

I just want to get people’s thought’s on a conversation I had last week with a US border guard while I was on my way into the US. I needed to get my I-94 renewed and the guard couldn’t find his stamp. He eventually found it on one of his colleague’s desks, and was complaining that he should chain it to his belt. He then went on to say if he was going to be losing something he would rather it be his gun than the stamp. I was a bit taken aback, and made a comment about hoping he didn’t lose the gun till I was well out of firing range. The look he gave me made feel like an insect. Angrily, he explained that while the gun only held 6 bullets, the stamp had about 200 stamps left on the inkpad for people to get into his country with. I walked out of there shocked – and with an overwhelming sense of guilt that I had been worried about my personal safety instead of the obvious (he made it seem it should have been obvious) greater risk that would be posed by his stamp getting into the wrong hands.

I guess my question is: In the same situation, what would have been your immediate thought when he made the initial comment about preferring to lose his gun to the stamp. Keep in mind this was a fairly rapid-fire conversation, with no time to consider your initial reaction; it was entirely a gut reaction. I also wonder if geographic location has any impact on your answers (proximity to a border, living in a city likely to be targeted by terrorists, residing in a country that generally would not be a target etc.).
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Old 08-27-2006, 10:34 PM   #2
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My immediate reaction would have been to ask him why that was his concern.
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Old 08-27-2006, 10:50 PM   #3
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As a visitor to the US who had just been fingerprinted & photo'd and was very mindful that entry can be denied with one wrong comment, asking questions wasn't really an option. As it was, I was lucky to to have my 1-94 renewed after I made the comment I made, given his mood. These guys do not take kindly to people asking questions. Emotions are very heightened in that office, and at that particular time there was already a line out the door, with several people already having been denied entry or undergoing questioning.

Not trying to take away from your answer martha, just explaining why I didn't ask that question in case people are wondering.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:17 AM   #4
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While I know that you didn't intend to be rude, the guard was absolutely right in his response.

With one stamp in the wrong hands, visas and permits can be issued to anyone who wanted to cross into the U.S. - or any other country for that matter, and its ultimately HIS responsibility and the responsibility of any of the border guards.

You have no reason to feel guilty - you didn't mean to be rude.
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by AchtungBono
While I know that you didn't intend to be rude,

You have no reason to feel guilty - you didn't mean to be rude.

I actually don't feel that I was rude in any way, I feel that I was unaware, and unthinking, and was guilty of that, not of being rude. As I don't live under a threat of terrorism, I didn't make the connection right away, but I certainly don't feel that made me rude. I was wondering if there are any other people whose immediate reaction would have been to be a little shocked to hear someone say it was less important to lose a fully loaded gun than a stamp. I know the consequences after thinking about it, I'm just wondering about immediate reactions.
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Old 08-28-2006, 10:14 AM   #6
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much ado about nothing

anyone's initial reaction would be to assume a loaded gun would be more dangerous if lost than a stamp, even if, upon further review, the stamp could be more dangerous in the grand scheme of things (although highly unlikely).

the guy probably spilled his coffee on the ride in and had a stick up his butt.
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