The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Opinion: Family-friendly places are full of liberty lovers


October 7, 2018

CLOVIS — We need more businesses in town. We need more jobs, with higher pay, and more reasons to spend our entertainment dollars at home instead of traveling to Lubbock or Amarillo.

But a few folks don’t want just any new businesses — they only want family-friendly businesses. And, of course, they want to decide what family-friendly means for all of us.

As best we can tell, they have decided family-friendly businesses sell guns, alcohol, cigarettes, and scratch-off lottery tickets.

At least we have plenty of businesses like that all over eastern New Mexico and nobody is raising a stink about it.

What clearly is not family-friendly, according to this minority that has inexplicably taken a recent moral high ground, is a racino.

Never mind this proposed racino — a combination horserace track/casino with potential for a luxury hotel, maybe a water park and golf course — would be privately funded by individuals planning to invest, and risk, millions of their own dollars to create hundreds of jobs in our community.

Those opposed are willing to look past all that is good because, in their tiny minds, some people might develop gambling addictions.

At least that’s what the RaciNO advocates have said.

They even have statistics — many of them from a 15-year-old University of Illinois study that cites information from the early 1990s.

They have claimed that 20 percent of addicted gamblers will attempt suicide. And those addicted gamblers might bet the house payment, lose it, and become homeless and rely on taxpayers to feed them.

Apparently these poor souls the RaciNO group is worried about have no control over this happening to them.

Some of the RaciNO advocates are elected officials. They are worried, among other things, that crime — especially drugs and domestic violence — will skyrocket if a racino comes to town. These same elected officials assure us they are strong proponents of free enterprise ... except when, in their view, it’s not good for us.

We think these well-meaning people have lost their way. They’re willing to sacrifice others’ freedom out of fear that bad things might happen.

Trust us. Bad things will happen if Clovis gets a racino. Good things will happen, too. That’s life, guys. Don’t be so scared of it.

And how about giving this community a little credit?

Just a few years ago, a couple of guys opened a strip club near Clovis Community College. It caused considerable hand-wringing among the family-friendly crowd, but the business didn’t last long because, it turns out, we actually are a mostly family-friendly place to live and most of us didn’t frequent the strip club.

Nobody has to make us live decent, law-abiding, liberty-loving, faith-based lives.

We just do it.

And if those around us won’t, we’ll try to help them as best we can.

We understand gambling can cause problems. But so can guns, alcohol and cigarettes and a million other things that we’ve learned to control, avoid or embrace responsibly, per our individual tastes.

As a community, we need to have the courage to come down on the side of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as we each define it.

That’s a family-friendly experience we can all enjoy.

Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Clovis Media Inc. editorial board, which includes Editor David Stevens and Publisher Rob Langrell.


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