“Arizona really was a gas…mind-blowing all the way, you know, just out of sight.” Scorpions (1982)
After riding motorcycles in Arizona last week, I returned a couple days ago with a new facial tone (burnt red), miles of motorcycle riding etched into my vertebrae and a bar tab that makes me wonder if my buddies were squatting on my credit card.
Now that I’m home I realize that my trip to the desert gave me more than just sunburn and a hangover. It gave me a broader perspective. Normally that’s an unlikely accomplishment after only a couple hours in the air and four days on the ground, but the Grand Canyon State is unique. Amidst the red peaks and baked desert, Arizona is nothing less than a windblown and broiled version of the wild, wild west.
As I cruised the highways, the burnt wind pulling vapor out of my body without the usual method of sweating, I began to notice the guns. As a cop I consider myself more attuned to the presence of firearms than the average person, but one would have to be extremely dense to miss the ubiquitous presence of individuals who were openly expressing their 2nd Amendment Rights. Wandering around town I scanned the belts of random people and found many whose cell phones on one side were balanced by sidearms on the other. It was just so natural and casual that it didn’t seem to bother anybody except me.