59 people dead in Las Vegas. So far. We won't know the final toll until the 515 injured are in the clear.
It's not like anybody can find words to make this situation better. There just aren't any. Though the fact that everybody seems to increasingly accept mass-shootings as "the cost of freedom" in this country is a horrific ideal to subscribe to. No matter which side of the "gun debate" you're on, it's insane that one person should be able to lay waste to 574 human souls like this.
But that's America for you.
Back when I could handle firearms... back when I was a member of the NRA... back when Ronald Regan was President... attitudes towards gun ownership were very different than they are today. The NRA advocated reasonable restrictions. President Regan advocated reasonable restriction? But now? The NRA is a psychotic organization that advocates unlimited access to whatever weapons their munition company backers want to sell. And the president... well... the president is just plain psychotic.
As are the people who think that starting a discussion on curbing this madness is "exploiting a tragedy." It's when tragedy strikes that you devote time and resources towards finding a way to make sure it doesn't happen again. That's when you do it.
Except when government lobbyists are dictating the actions of the government, of course.
In other tragic news... Tom Petty died today.
The first song I ever recall hearing by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers was You Got Lucky, which was on non-stop rotation on MTV. Back when MTV played music videos...
I hated that song. Stupid Tom Petty and his stupid hat. And this reaction insured that I wouldn't give any Tom Petty music a listen for years.
Until the Traveling Wilburys super-group happened.
My love of Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and George Harrison canceled out my loathing of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan enough that I became a fan of the group...
It was then that I decided I was too quick to judge Tom Petty. I liked his contribution to the Wilbury's, and decided to see if I was missing anything.
Of course I was.
Including my all-time favorite Tom Petty track... Learning to Fly...
When it came to music videos of the day, few could compare to Petty's creativity in the medium...
Then, of course, there's one of Petty's most well-known tracks... American Girl, made infamous(?) by the movie Silence of the Lambs...
So Tom Petty.
A musical artist that was quintessentially American, he will be missed.