Trip to Chicago

Helping to preserve my town as an historic place in Illinois involves considerable research and travel. I will do anything to help advance knowledge and to goad action. I get very nostalgic about an area that our grandparents and even great grandparents built for their progeny. At a very young age, I was completely taken with its history. Now I must go to Chicago to interview a former resident who has some documents and photos to show me. I am a bit concerned about being a small-town guy in a big, dangerous city. Don’t laugh; you know what can happen. Peril lurks around every dark corner. We don’t have nearly the crime rate in our safe, little town. I hope I am not being naïve.

I am not used to thinking about self defense, but I am preparing in advance. I bought a Taser (a brand of stun-gun) that I keep at home for such trips and I have a FOID (Firearm Owner’s ID). I am ready! I studied up on how to use it and what affect it has on the victim. Basically, it delivers high voltage (but low amperage) to the body. It is a short-term shock in spite its power. It is not the deadly charge I expected. It does send signals to the central nervous system that results in considerable pain due to muscle contractions. It is easy for the police to subdue rioters with this weapon. It really packs a punch.

Despite gearing up for the trip with the Taser in hand, I changed my mind at the last minute and elected to carry pepper spray instead after reading Self Defense Guide. I was worried that it wouldn’t be legal to take on a plane. It is also used by the police as a viable alternative. This is a simple but very effective form of self defense made up of chilis. Image that! A harmless vegetable turned into a chemical weapon. At close range, a few sprays will cause the eyes and nose to burn, followed by coughing and choking. It is temporary like a stun-gun and immobilizes the victim for some time, allowing you (the real victim) to run away from a mugger and get to safety, where you can call the police and post a warning on Facebook. It sounds less intense than a stun-gun, safe, and totally impressive.

Despite all my worry and concern, I didn’t have to pull out the pepper spray—not even one time. Not even for a growling stray dog. There was no loose bear from the zoo. Ha! The trip was profitable, fun, and a kind of mini vacation. I learned a lot about my hometown, information I am eager to share with others as soon as I return. I enjoyed the sights and landmarks of this metropolitan center and had time to try some great restaurants. Nevertheless, I am glad that I know about self defense and that I had my preferred tactic along with me just to be sure. Even with a problem-free trip, I still believe in taking caution.