As Las Vegas mourns those lost in the overnight mass shooting across from the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino and the nation turns an eye toward the details surrounding one of this country's worst acts of violence, it is important to keep an eye toward the future.
As a society, these unfortunate incidents often bring us together and teach us valuable lessons about humanity, empathy, and perseverance.
With that comes the need to discuss prevention. Many are wondering how accused shooter, Stephen Paddock, could get into a Las Vegas Strip hotel with multiple guns and large amounts of ammunition — it's because hotels are one of the few places where a large number of people gather without any form of preventative scanning.
Airports, sporting events and other locations that host a lot of people are almost always equipped with some form of scanning device. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to get into a high school sporting event without passing through a metal detector or being wanded. So, why is it that Las Vegas hotels allow guests to roll their luggage into their room and enter the premises without any form of security?
That is one of the most puzzling questions being asked today and it's one without a true answer. Before yesterday, it was hard to point at an event that warranted more than just having a few security guards and officers in yellow shirts patrolling hotels on the Strip. Last night's mass shooting changed that.
Hotels must now focus on quickly restoring people's confidence in their security measures — no matter the cost of doing so.
Would metal detectors take away from the fun-loving atmosphere of Las Vegas hotels? Would luggage scanners slow down the already tedious check-in process? Will added security make tourists feel uncomfortable?
Possibly, but everyone must now ask themselves if the added inconvenience is worth the feeling of safety that would follow?
At the very least, the implementation of luggage scanners would be a step in the right direction. No different than an airport security check, guests would be required to send their luggage through a scanning belt before continuing to the hotel check-in desk.
Inconvenient? Yes. Necessary? Yes.
While in no way comparing last night's mass shooting to the 9-11 attacks in terms of situation, it's important to see how such devastating events can lead to dramatic changes in safety policies. Airports across the United States made drastic changes after the terror attacks to ensure the safety of their customers and Las Vegas hotels could show their commitment to safety by swiftly doing the same.
Sure, some may see this an overreaction to the horrific events that occurred on Las Vegas Boulevard, but that overreaction could lead to a long-lasting and much-needed change in security.