In my immediate, regularly traveled area, there were regular protest/roadblock type events. Near me (cities within a 30-60 minute drive), there were riots, fires, mass business thrashings, etc. These incidents did not necessarily push me to the point of relocation, but certainly greatly heightened my awareness. I say that they didn’t push me to the point of relocation because I was aware they were more common in the cities I traveled to/through regularly. My wife worked daily in one of those cities, however, so they were a real threat, in my opinion. I had one incident that really opened my eyes to the world I was in the middle of. I grew up in a small town, and worked on properties there almost daily. It is an every day America small town of about 5,500 people. While attempting to cross a 4-way stop intersection, I was intercepted and blocked in the intersection for a couple of minutes by an individual in another vehicle, in the middle of the day on a Wednesday, as I went about my daily activity. It was a race-based incident, no question. It was also the first time that I have ever felt the need to put my weapon at the ready in my vehicle. I chose not to brandish it, which likely allowed the situation to fizzle out, but I was being directly confronted at a time and in a place that this shouldn’t have happened, my opinion. I was literally driving to a property to fix a leaky toilet, 1 block from the police station and 2 blocks from the house I grew up in. This particular incident happened unexpectedly and quickly. I was sitting at the stop sign with the other vehicle approaching his stop sign from my right. The “trigger” for the other driver, apparently, was a group of kids, escorted by a couple of adults, also approaching the intersection on a path that would put them in the crosswalk opposite me, crossing my would-be path. The SUV approaching from my right, looked at me sitting there, rolled through the intersection, crossing toward me to stop across my front bumper, blocking me from any forward movement. He moved his head between direct eye contact with me and the group now crossing the intersection. After they crossed, he remained blocking me a short time longer, then rolled out of my way. While this was going on, I moved my pistol to the ready and checked my mirrors to ensure that I still had the option to reverse direction in the intersection as a means to escape the situation without having to use my pistol, should the incident escalate any further. Thankfully, it didn’t, in part I suspect because I kept a cool head while reviewing all available options in the moment. It took me a while to digest what happened and why I think it happened, a couple hours actually. The most logical explanation for all of this finally came together for me after a lot of thought. This was during all of the George Floyd rioting, cities nearby were still on fire. I’m white, the group of kids were of all races, the other driver was black. In “normal” times, none of the factors would have even meant anything to me. I was already prepared to let the group of kids cross as well as let the SUV cross the intersection while I did so, he wouldn’t have crossed the kids path in his direction of travel. Yet, given outside circumstances, this every day situation could very well have gone way sideways very quickly. To be very frank and honest, as I went over this situation in my head repeatedly trying to figure out what and why it even happened, it wasn’t until I finally paused to even consider race of all involved that it even began to make any sense to me at all. This was not the only reason I chose to leave the area of rural NY where I was born and raised, but it contributed to it. Had the situation escalated in the direction that I would have had to use my pistol to defend myself, I would have been ruined, financially and otherwise, due to the gun laws (I held a Concealed Carry Permit too) there. I am thankful that it ended the way it did, it might not have.