Tasha Yar, the character who controls the tractor beam, doesn't consider using the tractor beam. This is the writers making the character act like an idiot so that they can make Picard look good. Unfortunately, as I've said above, Picard is himself an idiot in this scene because while he planned to use the tractor beam the whole time, he doesn't tell ANYONE about it. Not Haven, not Yar, nobody. Tell me, how is Picard not telling anyone, including the planet that's at risk, that he does have a plan to prevent the ship from getting into range beneficial? This isn't a time of war, nobody is listening in, yet Picard doesn't give anyone any sense of reassurance that he's on top of everything. SFDebris said it best. "Well, with no time left Picard orders a tractor beam which easily stops them. So you just decided to keep that info to yourself Picard, huh? Build up all this false tension? You didn't even let Tasha in on it. We all kind of assume with you NOT MENTIONING IT whenever the situation came up that you had no other options but violence, that you were looking for all these different ideas. Riker saying "I'm going to go reflect upon the situation" and all that when the answer was tractor beam the whole time. Just when the administer calls begging you to shoot them to save her, you never told her "Don't worry. My tractor beam will stop them" you kept acting like it was the only solution and that you weren't going to do it so that she and the rest of Haven should start distributing cyanide tablets to avoid a gruesome death that they would otherwise face. You're like Batman having an anti-Joker spray in your utility belt and acting like you're not sure how you're going to stop him before he blows up a skyscraper, only to arrive, spray him once and call it a day."