Words Cannot Describe the Murders at Allen Premium Outlets

The tragic events in Allen, Texas incited me to explore words that were used in reports and comments about the murderous attack. My daughter-in-law was at Allen Premium Outlets and escaped harm. It was a terrifying experience that will take days, if not weeks, for all of us touched by this terrible violence.


This word was used by police about the killing of the shooter.

Merriam-Webster says “neutralize” is to counteract the activity or effect of or make ineffective; kill; or destroy.

Neutralize can mean captured, wounded, surrounded, as well as killed. Plain language would have helped here.


Political figures used condolences to describe their response to the shooting.

Merriam-Webster says “condolence and condolences” means sympathy with another in sorrow or an expression of sympathy.

Senator John Cornyn: “I am grieving with the Allen community tonight, and I send my gratitude to the brave officers, Collin County first responders, and all of those involved in responding to this afternoon’s horrific incident.” The senator’s comments focus on the “first responders” (25 words) and not “grieving with the community (8 words).

Senator Ted Cruz: “Heidi and I are praying for the families of the victims of the horrific mall shooting in Allen, Texas. We pray also for the broader Collin County community that’s in shock from this tragedy.” Senator Cruz’s comments are more specific. He categorizes the shooting as “horrific” and tragic.

President Joe Biden said the Allen shooting is “too shocking to be so familiar.” Biden urges an assault weapon ban. President Joe Biden on Sunday urged Congress to send him a bill that bans assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Biden said in a statement that the gunman who killed eight people at the Allen Premium Outlets used an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle.

Keith Self, the United States representative for Texas’ third congressional district, made a statement shortly after the tragic shooting. The third congressional district encompasses areas north and northeast of Dallas, including Allen.

We are devastated by the tragic news of the shootings that took place at the Allen Premium Outlets today. Our prayers are with the victims and their families and all law enforcement on the scene. This is an ongoing situation, but Allen PD has full control of the scene. A shooter is down and there are multiple casualties. They are continuing to work to ensure the scene is safe. The public is being asked to stay away from that area while this investigation continues.

Representative Self’s comments focus on “law enforcement” (56 words) and not “tragic news” and “prayers” (28 words).

State Rep. Jeff Leach (R-McKinney) said, “There are many, many people in our community tonight who are hurting, whose lives have been shattered and who need and deserve our collected prayers.”

State Sen. Angela Paxton, who also represents the city of Allen, tweeted a statement that said in part, “We will never get over something like this, but we will get through it by being there for each other.”

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement saying, “I have been in contact with Mayor Fulk and DPS Director McCraw as well as other state and local leaders and offered the full support of the State of Texas to local officials.”

Our hearts are with the people of Allen, Texas tonight during this unspeakable tragedy. I have been in contact with Mayor Fulk and DPS Director McCraw as well as other state and local leaders and offered the full support of the State of Texas to local officials to ensure all needed assistance and resources are swiftly deployed, including DPS officers, Texas Rangers, and investigative resources.

Governor Abbott’s comments focus on law enforcement (51 words) and not “unspeakable tragedy” (14 words).

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said in a statement, “Please join me in mourning the victims of the unspeakable tragedy in Allen. We are grateful for our brave first responders who were deployed to stop the shooter.”

Please join Jan and me in mourning the victims of the unspeakable tragedy in Allen. Please also join us in prayer for the victims’ families and friends along with the residents of Allen. We are grateful for our brave first responders who were deployed to stop the shooter and investigate this hideous crime. We are thankful for their bravery and courage.

Lt. Governor Patrick’s comments are more balanced.

State Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Garland), issued a statement that said in part, “It must be said that these tragedies will continue to occur so long as Texas fails to enact common sense gun safety reforms and invests in mental healthcare and the social safety net.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom urged Congress to pass gun control legislation, writing, “We have become a nation that is more focused on the right to kill than the right to live.”

Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes the site of the Robb Elementary School Shooting, also called for more gun control, writing, “There is a special place in hell for people who watch all this happen and choose to do nothing.”


Merriam-Webster defines representative as serving to represent, standing, or acting for another, especially through delegated authority, and of, based on, or constituting a government in which the many are represented by persons chosen from among them usually by election.


I believe that it is time to change the description of politicians as representatives of the people, but rather as accessories. Merriam-Webster defines accessory as a person not actually or constructively present but contributing as an assistant or instigator to the commission of an offense (also called accessory before the fact) and a person who knowing that a crime has been committed aids or shelters the offender with intent to defeat justice (also called accessory after the fact).


The public has condemned the statements made by Texas politicians. This seems an appropriate response because Merriam-Webster defines condemning to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation.

Please pray for the families affected and for all who have been touched by this monstrous killing.

I hope you will consider these words as you try to understand these murders and the failure of the accessories to take measures to decrease these tragic events.

If you like this post, please follow me at http://www.allenmesch.com

About Allen Mesch

Allen is an author, educator, and historian. He has written six books: The Analyst; Teacher of Civil War Generals; Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith; Charles A. Marvin - "One Year. Six Months, and Eleven Days", Preparing for Disunion, and Ebenezer Allen - Statesman, Entrepreneur, and Spy. He taught classes on the American Civil War at Collin College. He has visited more than 130 Civil War sites and given presentations at Civil War Roundtables.
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