SHOT Show Recce: Only In Las Vegas

Decades ago, I got stranded overnight at Las Vegas’s McCarron International Airport. I had a night to kill in Sin City, and didn’t even have the brass in my pocket for a cab ride to the Strip and back. In the middle of a nearly-sleepless night listening to Steve Lawrence and some jackhole named Bernaducci reminding me to ‘Walk on the Left, Stand on the Right’ on the airport’s many moving walkways, I found myself wishing that a fully loaded KC-135 from nearby Nellis AFB would crash into the terminal and put me out of my misery . . .

I found myself in Vegas again this past Tuesday, when a job interview trip left me a few spare hours to walk the Strip and recce the Sands Expo Center, home of the SHOT Show. The Sands Expo Center was crawling with video-game developers, but their confab was a pretty closed-door affair and they didn’t even have any betas of Halo 4 on public display, so I wandered away.

I looked for signs of the possibly-soon-to-be-opened Beretta boutique shop in the swanky Shoppes At The Palazzo retail concours d’elegance, but I looked in vain. Word on the Strip is that some backroom deal is in the works where Steve Wynn will drop his objection (and lawsuit) in return for some ammo and vouchers for free breadsticks with his next Domino’s pizza order. But I could be mistaken; we’ll know for sure in January when we’re all there for the SHOT Show again.

But times have changed since my early 20’s, and when McCarron’s same moving walkways carried me past the above 8-foot tall sign advertising machine gun rentals, I knew we’d finally made our peace. I almost hate to give The Gun Store any free press because they run such an unsafe cattle-call operation (Foghorn got muzzled three times with loaded guns during his one visit there). There are so many better options, including Machine Guns Vegas and (Nick’s favorite) Discount Firearms + Ammo. In fact, my local contacts tell me that Clark County, Nevada is bursting at the seams with new indoor and outdoor firing ranges.

TTAG might not be fans of The Gun Store, but it’s pretty cool that the Sin City airport so joyously thumbs its nose at both Political Correctness and at the Constitution-shredding TSA. I’m almost surprised that the nervous crotch-fondlers and iPad-pilferers in the blue gloves haven’t mistaken the sign for a real live Security Breach and put a few rounds through it, just to be sure.