I have to eat, so I have to work, so I have to travel for my work.
Almost always I have to go alone.
I go to places that are well off and I go to places that look like war zones, with deserted, crumbling buildings, and to places where the local "town halls" are the barred and gated windows and doors of liqueur stores, with a bunch of guys hanging there who I can promise you do not want to be my BFF.
To get to these places I have to fly and drive and otherwise make my way to the meeting, whether it next to Bloomingdale's Department Store or a Cheap Price Liqueur. I drive at night and I drive during the day. I stop at places to piss and I stop at places to eat, during the day and during the night.
This is the US travel only, for reference to the title.
Leaving Illinois, I travel all around the Midwest, small town and big city.
Because all 49 states have allowed concealed carry laws for firearms -the exception being Illinois, with Chicago the murder capital of the US-- I am more than likely standing next to women and men who are armed but not dangerous.
Many businesses and organizations have put up signs in concealed carry states saying that their place is a "No Gun Zone", including stores, restaurants, bars, offices and schools. Whereas once I worried about people with guns inside these places, now I worry that all of the law abiding citizens are unarmed and defenseless. As I would be. I'd be a sitting damned duck eating my burger and fries.
When I finish lunch or an appointment and walk out onto the street, I am often approached by people who want money. Sometimes they get right in my face. I sidestep and walk away, sometimes being called a mother fucking asshole, or something like that. Then, at night, at the hotel, if you step out the door for a walk breath of fresh air, and there are a bunch of people hanging on the corner, muttering to themselves or waving their arms about, or standing there just daring you to what? You have to either stare them down or avoid eye contact. It's a a hard call sometimes which to do.
Most of the comments I've read so for on this Chicagonow have been attacking the gun. My sincere bet is most of these people are north of Chicago's Mason-Dixon Line, Madison Avenue, and are smug and safe in their upper-crust worlds. A jaunt around downtown Detroit or its inner ring of a war zone is something they have never done and would never do. Hell, I wouldn't do it unless I had to.
The thing is, it is the muttering, waving street people and the thugs waiting for the Booze Fountain to open at nine in the morning, that are the threats, not the business suited young woman with the .22.
This is a failure of society: family, church, community, government, because many of these institutions have no moral compass and there are no longer any absolutes in their worlds or teachings, most. Good and bad, as definitions, are so.... pre-progressive.
We have come a long way, and a have a long, sad way to go.