Second-guessing over guns

Don't let hindsight mask real issue in Capitol fatality

  • Follow Editorials

They say hindsight is 20-20.

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.

Comments (10) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
deestafford
30283
Points
deestafford 10/07/13 - 12:40 am
3
0
The officers acted they way they should have.

Families of law breakers are always going to second guess anytime there loved one is killed or injured by law enforcement. That seems to be human nature.

How many times have we heard the anguish mother say, "My son was a good boy. He just fell in with the wrong crowd." when his son was the wrong crowd.

In this case it appears mental illness may have been the cause; however, as pointed out in the editorial the officers had to protect the public from someone trying to kill people.

Riverman1
90263
Points
Riverman1 10/07/13 - 07:09 am
2
0
Just Wish It Would Have Ended Differently

I support the officers, but I wish it had turned out differently. From the video it appeared at least one officer right at the car window saw who was in the car and refused to fire even though his gun was aimed at her. Communications to other officers could have warned there was a baby in the car before the bullets started to fly. Why didn't the first officer fire? I believe his experience told him this was simply an insane mother. Yep, I know what you are thinking. She may have killed some innocent people and so on. I have to admit all that is true, but I just wish it had ended differently.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 10/07/13 - 08:01 am
4
1
editorial

"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"

I don't see where the police had any other option but to take the kind of action that they did!! She could have very well been a terrorist!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 10/07/13 - 08:10 am
3
1
editorial

"Early reports afterward indicated a recent history of mental illness and medications"

NOW I know the question that HA posed a few days ago is legitimate!! The question was ,"Should we take all of the cars away from the looneies??!!" I don't have a gun, BUT I NEED MY CAR!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 10/07/13 - 12:50 pm
0
2
editorial

"schizophrenia and depression"

Not to the degree of schizophrenia, BUT I have; and continue to have; first hand knowledge of 3 mental disorders. To suggest there MUST ba a way to keep people like me from getting a gun is probably the same as the proverbial "finding a needle in a hay stack"!! The question is, "Realistically, is there truly any way to keep ANYBODY from getting a gun if the individual is hell bent on doing so??!!" Notice, I didn't say "buying a gun"!! With ALL DUE respect to The 2nd Ammendment and the commenters who I view as friends, there are SOOO many guns out there for ANYBODY to get their hands on BECAUSE of ALL of the gun control laws that are NO WHERE NEAR enforced enough!! REALISTICALLY, who can truly argue with me on that point?? I know what the 2nd Ammendment states. I must honor that, BUT I don't have to agree with it!! ONE MAJOR arguement to The 2nd Ammendment IS THE ISSUE of the mentally ill getting guns!! We have seen this happen IN TOO, TOO many case just over the last two years!! In my opinion, the bottom line is that there are just TOO MANY guns out there even for Americans to be truly safe!!

KSL
139571
Points
KSL 10/07/13 - 03:03 pm
2
2
Nope

Too many evil and/or sick people.

Bizkit
34225
Points
Bizkit 10/07/13 - 07:32 pm
2
2
OMG a potential crime was

OMG a potential crime was committed by a car. Ban cars it's the only obvious solution for the progressive mindset. Now we see the real culprit of crime-cars=and it was so obvious. You can't kill people without transportation so why not just double up like this young lady-pretty innovative if you think about it.

nocnoc
46971
Points
nocnoc 10/07/13 - 08:37 pm
2
0
I agree it was a tough call

But no gun was seen, no gun was used by the driver.

The SS and WH guards indicated they knew of the baby before the shooting. It was seen through the window.

But, by then she had already inflicted bodily injury on 2 WH Security personnel. That was the point I would have felt the justification to use deadly force.

"OurFather" will have to clue me in on this one, because each Police
has its own policies on when to draw and use a weapon.

KSL
139571
Points
KSL 10/07/13 - 09:00 pm
0
2
We are all formed by our

We are all formed by our personal experiences and we react accordingly.

Little Lamb
47857
Points
Little Lamb 10/07/13 - 10:09 pm
1
0
Tires

Before the final chase, when the car was stopped and police officers had their pistols pointed at the window, why did not a couple of them shoot out a tire or three? That way, even if she drove away, she would not have been able to drive that fast.

I completely get it that it is unsafe to officers and bystanders to shoot at tires when a car is speeding away. But when a car is stopped and officers are point blank range, why not shoot out tires?

RichmanA2
126
Points
RichmanA2 10/08/13 - 10:25 am
0
0
There is overwhelming
Unpublished

There is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that the vast majority of people with psychiatric disorders do not commit violent acts.That number hovers round 4%. Fact. This is the latest blame factor coming from one of the nations largest lobbies, the NRA. The NRA is opposed to any and all gun control measures, no matter how much sense they make. They have one goal here: sell as many guns as possible to increase profits, regardless of the cost. Let's be clear, I'm for all gun control measures, and for the outright ban of everything but single fire rifles. Cars are required to have registration and insurance, but not guns?

Back to Top

Top headlines

Turkeys taste own medicine

I got up and out of my sickbed so I could write this column because it’s time for the annual Turkey of the Year awards, the highlight of the holiday season.
Search Augusta jobs