It's Sunday night. October 1st. It's the final night of a country music festival. You're sitting outside listening to the music. The last thing on your mind is that the venue is about to be peppered with gun shots. The last thing on your mind is that more than five hundred of your fellow concert goers will be injured tonight. The last thing on your mind is that more than fifty of your fellow concert goers will die tonight.
Las Vegas is as touristy a city as you can get. Everything revolves around people coming in from out of town to have a good time. Fancy hotels, restaurants, gambling, pools, stage shows, concerts. That's what people think about when they come to Vegas. It never crosses their mind that they may be a victim of gun violence....until now.
I was in Las Vegas for four days last February. Gun violence never crossed my mind. Walking down the strip or in the downtown area, I felt perfectly safe. The only time I thought of murder or guns was when we went to the Mob Museum.
Whenever an event like last Sunday's occurs, people rethink their lives and decisions they make. It can't be helped. It's human nature. After 9/11, think of the people you know who stopped flying, at least for a short time. I cancelled a trip to San Diego because I wasn't ready to get on an airplane. I knew it was ridiculous to do that, but I did it anyway.
You know the same thing will happen in Las Vegas. You know that people are thinking about this and trying to decide whether to go or stay home where they think they'll be safe. The funny thing about this is they're much safer in Vegas than in most of their home towns. There's massive amounts of security in every hotel/casino. There's a dedicated anti-terrorist team at the Wynn Hotel.
Plus, if I'm thinking about this, you can imagine what the leaders of Las Vegas are thinking. You know that the casino owners, the mayor, Nevada's Governor and everyone else with an interest have already met up and tried to figure out a solution. They probably did this before Sunday night turned into Monday. Did they talk about violence, gun control and safety? Probably only in passing and how it affects their bottom line. Did they talk about what they should do so they can keep people coming to town and keep those cash registers ringing. Absolutely!! Did they also talk about how to do this without pissing off the NRA or gun manufacturers? Absolutely!!!
It will be interesting to see what will happen in the weeks to come. In the next week or so, we'll move on. That's what we always do after one of these shootings. I'm sure people will still be coming to Las Vegas and probably in the same numbers. It's one of those, let's not let this affect our life things. In fact, I'm going there in November, too. Flying in on a Sunday morning and leaving late Monday night. I'll be going to a show. I'm even staying at the Luxor, which is across from where the shooting took place. It'll be hard to look at the Mandalay Bay without thinking about last Sunday night. I'm positive that I'll be thinking about it.
I hope there will be people on the street with me.
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