When you travel to a new place, directions can be confusing and even disorienting depending on where you’re going or how tired you are. Heck, there have been times when I wasn’t even tired and still made mistakes like taking the wrong rental car TWICE from my hotel valets or jumping in a car that I thought was my Uber but was just a regular driver picking up a friend or family member at the train station. I even got in the wrong car service once and didn’t figure it out until halfway to my hotel.

Once, my elderly father went into a gas station to use the bathroom and when he came back out, he sat in the passenger side of a total strangers car, thinking it was mine. Fortunately, in all of those cases, we all got a good laugh but I’m sorry to say, times are changing with the rise in people carrying firearms.

In the last few days, there have been some high-profile incidents of people getting shot for either going to the wrong house or getting into the wrong car.

According to CNN: “A White, 84-year-old homeowner who allegedly shot and wounded Ralph Yarl after the Black teen went to the wrong address (In Kansas City) to pick up his siblings will face two felony charges, officials announced Monday. Homeowner Andrew Lester told police he fired immediately after answering the doorbell when he saw the 16-year-old pulling on an exterior door handle.”

According to Lester’s grandson, “The man accused of shooting Ralph Yarl had been immersed in “a 24-hour news cycle of fear and paranoia” and bought into “the Fox News, OAN kind of line.”

In a similar story reported by CNN, an even more disturbing incident occurred in upstate New York. “A 20-year-old woman was shot and killed Saturday after she and three others accidentally turned into the wrong driveway while looking for a friend’s house in rural upstate New York, authorities said.”

According to one of the kids in the car who was looking for the party told NBC News: “We thought we were at the right address.” He went on to say, “We didn’t have any cell service to figure it out. As soon as we figured it out that we were at the wrong location, we started to leave, and that’s when everything happened.”

In yet another incident, two Texas cheerleaders were shot after one tried to get into the wrong car after practice. NPR reports, “A suspect is in custody after two elite high-school cheerleaders were shot — one of whom was critically injured — in a Texas supermarket parking lot after one of them mistakenly tried to get into the wrong car after a late-night practice.”

Geraldo Rivera tweeted yesterday: “Black teen shot going to wrong door, looking for his brother. 20-year old woman shot pulling in wrong driveway. 2 Texas cheerleaders shot getting in wrong car in a parking lot. Beware: Would-be, armed vigilantes, feeling emboldened by current orgy of gun love are on patrol.”

Geraldo’s right. In this day and age in America, you have to be absolutely sure where you are going and which car you’re getting into because chances are, the homeowner or driver is carrying a gun. It’s even more unsettling for travelers who are in a new area and aren’t exactly sure where they’re going.

Whenever I’ve rented a house from AirBnB or Vrbo, I’ve always found it unsettling going up to the house or apartment and trying to find the keys. My advice is to do your homework in advance. Look online to see what the house looks like and make sure the area you’re in has cell service. If not, drive to a place that does (or carry a satellite phone) and confirm where you’re going.

These three incidents in the past few days across the country are a warning to travelers to make sure you know where you’re going as many Americans are on edge and packing heat.


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1 Comment On "Make Sure You Don't Go to the Wrong House Rental or Jump in the Wrong Car"
  1. Jim Suss|

    I was at a hotel in Auckland, NZ a few years ago, called for a Lyft, the app said it was going to be a white Kia Sorrento or something like that, anyway, a white Kia, matching the description of the car pulls up, we walk out, I open the rear door of the car and was abruptly yelled at by the driver, who reassured me in no uncertain terms I had the wrong car. Anyway, no one was shot, now I absolutely check the plates to be certain I am getting in the correct car. Would that happen today? Would I be here to tell the story? In New Zealand, absolutely., but maybe not anywhere in the US

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