No weapons allowed

In 2019 I was in Las Vegas for an IT Conference and I had half a day to walk the length of the boulevard. I saw much that sparked my brain, including this little sign. In this part of the world ‘no weapons allowed’ is the exception to the rule, and that’s a very alien idea where I’m from.

The first time I ever came close to a gun was when crossing the border near Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in the 80’s.  I was in a car with two British civil servants, an Englishman and a Scot and we were in their car from work. The guy with the gun was doing his job as border patrol. Tensions were high and the British government was not overly popular. This was a couple of months before the bombing in Enniskillen. It had only been a year since I escaped my sheltered Protestant youth in the Netherlands, and I froze when the soldier bent towards the driver to ask where we came from, where were going and why. The gun casually pointed to the back seat where I was, and I frantically thought: “I’m from the wrong side! What if they find out!”

We were never that important, but as you can tell, it all made a big impression on me.