Michael James will not quit his Happy Place
I am going to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks, domestic terrorism be damned. One lone gunman, who at this point is believed to have acted alone with no confirmed motive, is not going to scare me out of a hard-earned vacation.
Sunday evening’s horrific shooting has been well covered by actual, real-life journalists. It has also been commented on by people of all political persuasions, from the left, right, center, and so far to either side that there is a great risk of falling off. This is not a journalistic nor political article (and any political comments of any nature will be swiftly removed, got that Meaghan?). This article is about me trying to take my vacation back.
For many people, Las Vegas is a “happy place”. Whether you are there for gambling (hand raised), shopping, attending shows, drinking or all of the above, you don’t go there looking for death. You want a good time; making good memories with good friends. But we live in a new era now. The city of Las Vegas and Clark County are already in the process of installing metal bollards along The Strip and at Fremont Street entrances to ward off wayward drivers from (intentionally or not) jumping a curb and plowing down dozens of people enjoying their “happy place”.
There is a legitimate concern about what more can and should be done, however. Where is the line between public safety and security becoming more terrorism? If your favorite casino installs metal detectors at every entrance, will you feel put off about the process? What if it is more than Security Theater (as is done at most professional sporting events) and approaches TSA-level? What if the line to enter a casino approaches 30 minutes because of the process? How much of a “happy place” is it now?
Or is that just a small price to pay for security, allowing you to be even happier once inside? And would you continue to feel that way for each casino you enter, every day?
I have no inside knowledge of any stepped-up security measures, though it may be too early in the process for anything to be implemented. But I can envision a check of your car’s trunk by security prior to entry onto a property (the back-ups on the street would be its own issue) than an area at each casino entrance for a full bag check. It may be the only way to keep weapons out of the casinos and hotels. On the other hand, it is quite impractical.
My point is that some may never be truly safe in that “happy place”, without enduring security screening that will make some less happy.
I know that the Vegas Nerd Society is having their yearly Summit in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks (and many of those attendees will be reading this). You guys, go and have a great time. Blonde4ever is having a meet-up a few weeks after that. Knock yourselves out, take lots of pictures and eat and drink well. Conquer the Buffalo! for me. Many others will also be traveling to Las Vegas for business or pleasure. Have the time of your life. Be happy.
Me? In a little over two weeks, I’ll be playing poker, going to another casino to play poker, eating, playing more poker, then maybe sleeping for a few minutes. I’ll wake up and repeat three more times.
And I can’t wait because I’ll be in my “happy place”.