It started with a normal exchange at a common check-in counter before a typical flight at Fort Lauderdale’s airport:
“I have an unloaded firearm in a locked case to declare,” I said.
The ticket agent matter-of-factly asked for identification and typed on her computer.
“To Chicago,” she said.
And so began a trip to five cities on five airlines using five one-way tickets. It ended three days and 4,274 miles later with the same padlocked case, containing the same unloaded handgun, sitting on a stopped luggage carousel at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. And sitting. With no one around. For anyone to take.