So why is second-guessing so often off the mark?
It began almost immediately after a woman drove her car into security barriers and officers at first the White House, then the Capitol, on Thursday before being fatally shot, with her 1-year-old in the back seat.
Early reports afterward indicated a recent history of mental illness and medications.
The second-guessing in this case involved whether officers really had to use deadly force. This was an unarmed mother! There was a child in the car!
First of all, officers didn’t know whether the driver had weapons in the car. And the way the driver seemed insistent on breaching security at both sensitive areas, how did they know there wasn’t a weapon of mass destruction in the trunk? Or just a massive car bomb?
They didn’t know it was a mother, or that there was a child in the back seat, or that the woman allegedly suffered from delusions, according to her boyfriend, or that she reportedly possessed medications for schizophrenia and depression.
They were assigned to protect the halls of power in a country that is a terrorist’s favorite target. And they did it admirably.
Normally, the second-guessing in such incidents involves guns. But, as we’ve now had dramatically demonstrated, guns don’t cause such incidents. The real common denominator among such tragedies is mental illness.
Thank goodness this woman didn’t take anyone with her. But how many of these tragedies must occur before we deal with the real issues?
Maybe we do need glasses for our hindsight.