Top of the morning everyone...
Certain phrases are permanently a part of my vocabulary due to my military training. Every Marine will tell you that you must 'maintain positive control of your weapon.' That means that at all times when one is holding any sort of rifle, a hand must be on it. It shortens response time if there is a need to shoot. As well, it makes it more difficult for a weapon to be removed from the owner's hand.
When we were walking around the streets of Jerusalem, I noticed that both the soldiers and the police did not adhere to this policy. They wore their weapons on their backs. It made me a little uncomfortable.
I asked a couple of policemen. They were very clear that this was how they carried their weapons, and that there was no logic to always having a hand thereupon.
Since then, I have given it some thought. In the US, it is illegal for a government-issued weapon to leave government control. When Marines are in garrison, they do not carry. When they are out in the field, they check out a weapon before leaving. They return the weapon immediately upon return. The same holds for deployment.
For Israelis, the weapon is with them all the time. They take it home. They walk the streets with it. It becomes natural to have it, and keeping a hand on it would be cumbersome and annoying.
I did not get entirely used to it.