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Hi everyone, I’m hoping you got through the week on a good note. I know so many have offered commentary on the Vegas mass shooting, and I won’t be one to offer that to you in such a black and white fashion, because I believe it is a societal problem, not necessarily a governmental issue. On Facebook, I made the comment that now is exactly the time to discuss the lack of mental health care availability issues and the massive weapons grade gun availability issues (for semi automatic weapons) our country faces.

I received 3 private messages telling me either I didn’t know what I was speaking of, that I had no respect for the constitution to my personal favorite, “Delete your Facebook, Oklahoma doesn’t need anyone who believes guns should be banned”. Seriously. At least, this time unlike #ShopEdmond last fall, no one asked me to take my own life. As per the constitution, they all had the first amendment right to say these things. I do, however, question the intent of these comments because they were made in private and I believe only to intimidate and control my public statement. Whatever. Bullies show themselves, bless their hearts.

My boundaries however read that if you are saying these things to stifle my first amendment right to disagree, then you will not ever get a private reply from me. Ever. This is a problem in American society right now. Bullying through intimidating factors is just that and not exercising your rights. I have never thought anyone should be of the same thoughts as myself. Ever. That would make such a boring world.

I think everyone should have the right to own a gun. But over 40? This is normal to you? Ask yourself why.

And, remember, I’m not you. After that, everything should make sense. Your perception of my meaning in making this statement, bad or good, is all up to you, and your bullying is no longer my problem. If you want to discuss this matter with me, on a level that allows understanding despite disagreement, then that is what I will respond to. Every time.

What I will offer commentary on is that we, as on looker’s can find undiscovered courage and resilience after such a traumatic event. It will take the survivors of the Las Vegas attack and the friends and family of those lost years to feel any sense of normalcy if they are ever able to do so. I wish them all eventual joy, or just something that resembles joy if not only courage and resilience in the face of such a hateful act, and hopefully sooner than later, with help from all of the outpouring of love towards them coming from all over the world.

Jason Aldean, who was on stage when the attack started was inspiring and very brave to perform the SNL opening singing Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”. This song embodied what I am hoping for all of these individuals who only gathered to enjoy music on a late summer weekend, is courage, resilience and eventually some semblance of joy. As well as for the rest of us having to watch these events unfold.

I am not sure anyone could have stopped this event from occurring. I will never be of the understanding why any one individual needs more than 40 guns, and this isn’t normal to me. I am hoping we all collectively figure this problem out as a society, because I cannot take as normal these ever increasing violent acts as an accepted part of our civilized society. And for society’s sake, please feel the need to question your motives when you believe everyone should agree with your black and white beliefs, whether they are right or wrong. And if not, please question why your only response is to privately, or publicly, degrade someone else’s perspective. I believe this may be half the problem.

Tom Petty ~ Authenticity & Soul

Tom Petty passing away was just a sad thing to digest. If ever there was a pure musician, it was Tom Petty. He spoke to all on an ordinary and real level, not only to just a small group of fans. His music was on such a real level that every one of us could relate to it at any given point of our lives, and incredibly, regardless of our age demographic, he will remain forever relevant. This is not something that can be coached, taught or learned. It was his gift to the world and it was authentic.

I read an interview Tom Petty did in late September, and then read his very first interview in Rolling Stone magazine. What struck me was that they were almost identical in Tom Petty’s responses to questions. His love of his craft in the creation of the lyrics and the music were the same but each on a separate level and for a separate reason, and Petty stated with clarity that the music was all that mattered to him during his career, in that he continued to connect with his listeners. Can you imagine if everyone conducted themselves this way on a professional and creative/artistic level??? Anyway, this has to be how he survived Hollywood, the music scene over decades and stayed relevant to all over the years. I am so glad for the body of work he left for all of us to enjoy.

Below is Petty playing “American Girl” at the 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to which he and The Heartbreakers, his band, were inducted.

“Tom Petty made us all believe by singing about ordinary experience in an extraordinary way. His vocals captured our soul with songs that sounded like hits the first time we heard them. He made his mark on music and our lives.” – Greg Harris, Rock Hall CEO

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See you back here Tuesday for a look at what is happening around Edmond.