The meaning behind Fourth of July may get caught up between red, white and blue bikinis, backyard barbeques and fireworks, but when you come to Las Vegas this weekend to celebrate your independence, you should remember what our country was built on:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The words that stand out in that passage from the Declaration of Independence are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” all things that make Las Vegas one of the most attractive vacation destinations in the world.
And while the term “certain unalienable Rights,” didn’t refer directly to our Bill of Rights, it certainly set the table for it. With that in mind, we break down the Bill of Rights and what it means to your Vegas vacation.
1st: Freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion
Without freedom of speech no one would know the horrific sounds of your baritone voice trying to reach Prince-esque levels. And while some of us would like to forget the ear-splitting pain you caused, it’s your right to jump on the mic at a karaoke bar like The Piano Bar at Harrah’s or Imperial Palace Karaoke Club and do your rendition of “Little Red Corvette.”
Assembling in Vegas is pretty easy, just aim for the Las Vegas Strip or downtown. Nearly every bar, nightclub, day club, restaurant or store is packed with people and as long they assemble peacefully Metro won’t bust up the celebration. Be sure to assemble at Fremont East District for First Friday, Tao Nightclub, Haze Nightclub, Rain Nightclub, Bare and Encore Beach Club.
2nd: Right to keep and bear arms
Democrats and Republicans may bicker about gun control, but your right to bear arms is undeniable. Gun control in Vegas has a different meaning, like how to control an Uzi, AK-47 or any other fully-automatic (or otherwise) gun in the arsenal of indoor shooting ranges like The Gun Store, located just east of the Strip.
3rd: Protection from quartering of troops
This was a useful protection in the 1700s, but it’s out of date today. Basically, this means the troops you’ll need to quarter in your hotel room are the ones that come with to Vegas — or the ones you pick up while here. We recommend quartering your troops at hotels like Planet Hollywood, Bellagio and Encore.
4th: Unreasonable search and seizure
As long as you stay on the right side of the law during your trip you shouldn’t have to worry about this one much. On the other hand, some could argue that handing over your last week’s worth of pay to that stripper you fell in love with could be considered unreasonable. But you also have the right to not visit a Vegas strip club, but what’s the point of that? Visit the biggest and best strip clubs in the world like the Spearmint Rhino, Treasures and Sapphire.
5th: Due process, self-incrimination, eminent domain
A familiar phrase should help clear the Fifth Amendment: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. No matter what you did during your Vegas vacation, you don’t have to admit to any of it — as long as you keep it off of Facebook and Twitter.
As for eminent domain, don’t think of it as you lost your money at the tables and that your private property was taken for public use without just compensation, but more like you’re funding the education of the leaders of tomorrow. Gaming revenue helps fund our school system as one third of the state’s tax revenue comes from gaming taxes. Our children thank you.
6th: Trial by jury
7th: Trial by jury in civil cases
We’ve combined the Sixth and Seventh Amendments here because both essentially say that you will be judged by a jury of your peers. Well, in Vegas your peers are emptying bottles an alarming rate, doing things that we can’t even mention with complete strangers and will likely forget everything they did, let alone what you did.
8th: Prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment
Cruel and unusual punishment is pretty vague and it doesn’t state that those things can’t be self-inflicted. For example, leaping off the Stratosphere and making your heart nearly pop out of your chest or eating at one of the many buffets in Las Vegas until your pants burst at the seams. When Australia was used as Britain’s penal colony the prisoners were sometimes tattooed to show their disgrace, but now tattoos are commonplace, which means you can step into King Ink, Starlight Tattoo, Vince Neil Ink or one of the other tattoo shops in Las Vegas.
9th: Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution
Your rights are not limited to what is the first eight amendments. So for this amendment we recommend consulting Nevada state laws to ensure that whatever wild idea you have planned for our Vegas vacation is actually legal. FYI, prostitution is illegal in Clark County.
10th: Powers of States and people
Nevada was the first state to legalize gambling, a power we would not have had if not for our forward-thinking forefathers.
And of course, while it’s outside of the Bill of Rights, Las Vegas wouldn’t be nearly half of what it is if it weren’t for the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment and the ban on liquor.
So, while you’re in Las Vegas for this Fourth of July, recognize that the city is not just Sin City, but a place to exercise your rights in a number of different ways.