Get a new compass

Yesterday a man was driving around Odessa Texas shooting people at random. Seven people have died. One of the wounded is a [seventeen month old girl](https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/death-toll-odessa-shooting-rises-7-17-month-old-child-n1048711), who was shot in the face. Below is an image of “Bump,” our youngest child, who is around seventeen months old. Isn’t he adorable?

“Bump” - about the same age as one of the Odessa shooting victims. THIS IMAGE IS © 2019 Wesley T Allen.
This is “Bump” – he’s about the same age as one of the Odessa shooting victims. I read a description of her wounds and could only see his face.

Someone saw a face that was probably a lot like his, and pulled a trigger.

I don’t like to swear, it’s not the way I speak and in my general observation excessive cussing is often a sign of limited vocabulary 1. Intelligence is a trait I value, and that includes verbal intelligence. But we live in a world where someone sighted a seventeen month old and though it was a good idea to shoot her. Sometimes to get catharsis there’s nothing left to do but scream rage into the wind and hope, desperately, that anyone is listening 2. Right now, I’m screaming into the wind and the words are not all safe for work.

But for a lot of people, it seems wrapping-paper strength morality is more important than honestly processing a world in which a seventeen month old child was shot in the face. Beto O’Rourke, who faced a mass shooting in his home district not four weeks ago and is now processing this latest violence in his home state, dropped an f-bomb in response to this news that a seventeen month old girl was shot in the face, and apparently people went nuts… about the file-system checking swear word. Someone on twitter pointed out that, as he had no chance of staying in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, this was a stunt so he could get his name in front of people.

I’m a jaded and cynical gen-xer, but I have no words to describe the callousness required to come to that conclusion. “Dead inside” is all I can come up with. Or maybe “soul-less.”

So let me be clear. If you’re aghast that someone dropped an f-bomb because the read news of a seventeen month old child being shot in the face, then you need to get yourself a new moral compass. Because yours is broken.

Get these damned assault weapons off our streets.

If you want to show some sort of present support to this little girl, and her family, a GoFundMe has been established. According to the CNN report linked above it is a verified campaign. And, yes, I do believe in prayer. If you’re the praying sort please remember all of those who are suffering, but especially this little one.


  1. Or a profound lack of imagination. 
  2. For the record, I’m a pastor, and my faith tells me Jesus is listening. It also tells me that Jesus is both weeping over this and pissed that it happened at all. 

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