What if the police had shot a tranquilizer gun at the adult mountain lion in the tree and missed? Would they have had a chance to get off a second shot at a swiftly moving target before he pounced on one of the hundreds of children that were soon to be leaving school near him?
Moral exhibitionists never make allowance for the police missing, whether with tranquilizers shot at mountain lions or bullets fired at a criminal. The perpetually indignant are forever wondering why it took so many shots.
It would never occur to people with academic degrees and professorships that they are both ignorant and incompetent in vast areas of human life, much less that they should keep that in mind before they vent their emotions and wax self-righteous.
Degrees show that you have knowledge in some special area. Too often they embolden people to pontificate on a wide range of other subjects where they don't know what they are talking about.
The fact that academics are overwhelmingly of the political left is perfectly consistent with their assumption that third parties -- especially third parties like themselves -- should be controlling the decisions of other people who have first-hand knowledge and experience.
The cops probably haven't read Chaucer and don't know what existentialism is. But they may know what danger is.
Some Palo Alto parents of small children living near where the mountain lion was killed said that the police did the right thing. There are still some pockets of sanity, even in Palo Alto.