Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mike Vanderboegh Explains the Three Percenters

Mike, who publishes the very popular Sipsey Street Irregulars, opines about what is in the mind of god, and other things. Of course the obligatory school-yard threats and bully tactics are there to incite the troops.

Operation Exodus

Talking Points Memo published a fascinating story about what's going on in Louisiana. (via The Gun Guys)

What's your opinion? Is this sorta like a bunch of older white guys preparing to keep them darkies in line next time there's trouble? And what about the "defensive" nature of Operation Exodus? I suppose at some point they could decide pro-active action or, what did they call it in the Iraq War, pre-emptive action would be required.

Is the idea that if more and more of the "good guys" are prepared, we'll all be safer? Is that the direction we're headed in?

Please leave a comment.

John Patrick Bedell - Left or Right

The Examiner posted an article addressing the very question that has been raised by a number of commenters on my yesterday's post: was the Pentagon shooter another example of the right wing gone wrong or was he really a deranged lefty?

My main point in bringing Mudrake's post over here was about the gun. This is a guy who had no business with a gun, regarldess of his political leanings. And, interestingly, it turns out he had more in common with the radical right than the left, in spite of that 9/11, Bush-hating theory.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pentagon Shooting

Man with a Muckrake is the blog I go to for the latest.

ABC News reports:

The gunman who charged into one of the Pentagon’s main entrances and opened fire has died from gunshot wounds to the head and authorities are looking into his recent rants against the government as a potential motive.

The attack seems to be another suicide mission aimed at the government. While police have said they are not certain of a motive, they are investigating Internet postings in which Bedell wrote and recorded audio expressing his anger towards the government.


Here’s what I’m wondering about this morning as I read this: do those who foment this type of anger- Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck- have any pangs of guilt today? Do they suspect that it may have been their rhetoric, their fear-mongering that pushed this man over the edge?

Had I been a key agitator in this hate campaign, I would be sleepless and terribly distraught thinking that what I had said led a man to suicide.

I've asked the same questions myself. In fact I go further. The shared responsibility for this kind of incident does not stop with the prominent right-wing celebrities.

What's your opinion? Are these incidents still an aberration? Are they anecdotal? Or do they reflect an increasingly visible sector of America?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

SPLC Describes its Hate Report

Home Protection of the Future

Since laws restricting firearms ownership are in violation of the Constitution, I suggest our pro-gun friends pick up one of these. Illegal laws don't have to be obeyed, right? That's how the lawful gun owners all claim to never have broken laws. The reason you need one of these is you never can tell when that little bit of extra firepower will make the difference.

Virginia Senate Votes Against Gun Rights

The Washington Post reports on the good news in Virginia, a state which needs some good news when it comes to gun laws.

A Virginia Senate panel designed to eliminate House gun rights proposals went about its work efficiently Thursday, killing an attempted repeal of the state's 17-year-old ban on buying more than one handgun a month and several other bills.

The Senate Courts of Justice special subcommittee, which was composed of four Democrats and one Republican, voted 4 to 1 along party lines to table the gun-a-month repeal sponsored by Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William).

"I think that the NRA's agenda of any gun, anywhere, anytime has been dealt a blow," said Lori Haas, a gun-control activist whose daughter survived two superficial gunshot wounds in the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

I guess Zorro was right that this one was far from a foregone conclusion. In fact, with a subcommittee like that, it was quite the opposite.

Gun-control advocates said that repealing the law would make it easier for people to buy many guns -- or to recruit straw purchasers to do so -- and ship them to urban areas on the East Coast. They reminded the senators that Virginia's rank as a supplier of illicit weapons dropped from first to sixth after the law's passage in 1993.

What could the pro-gun response to that possibly be? I've heard the excuse that all crime when down at that time, but that doesn't explain the comparative ranking of Virginia as supplier of illicit weapons after the one-gun-a-month law went into effect.

Another thing I often hear is why would there be so many reports about Virginia guns ending up in New York and New Jersey if the law was working. My response is the obvious one, if not for the laws restricting guns, the results would be that much worse

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Woman Kills Man with .22 Rifle

The Des Moines Register reports on the fairly rare occurrence of a female shooter and a male victim.

Rock Rapids, Ia. — A man who was shot in the head at his home in Rock Rapids has died, authorities said Wednesday.

Levi Hofer died Tuesday at a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Hofer was shot with a .22-caliber rifle on Sunday, Lyon County Sheriff Blythe Bloemendall said. His girlfriend, Laura Lowe, was charged Monday with attempted murder.

Hofer and Lowe had been drinking, and started fighting, Bloemendall said.

What kind of drinking and fighting would it have to be to end like this? These people must have qualified for the 10% theory under several categories. What do you think?

Doesn't it seem like the proportion of female criminal shooters is far less than the proportion of female gun owners? Why is that?

Is a .22 to the head usually lethal? Does it depend on how it enters? Does it differ from a pistol to a rifle?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

More on Virginia's One-Gun-Per-Month law

News Busters posted an article in rebuttal to the recent Washington Post editorial in support of the one-gun-a-month law.

At the heart of the renewed debate is whether the gun-a-month law works.

Supporters and opponents agree that the cap reduced the number of Virginia firearms recovered and traced by law enforcement officials in cities along the East Coast.

Special Agent Michael Campbell of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives added, "Anecdotally, we've heard people we've arrested for firearms trafficking say that it was more difficult to find people to do straw purchases because they had to find more people."

Beyond anecdotes, however, it's not clear that the law reduced crime or gun-related violence, largely because there's no way to determine whether criminals simply found another way to buy guns. Tracing data, collected by ATF, offer only a limited view of the flow of firearms.

"I would say that there's suggestive evidence that the Virginia gun-a-month law did some good, but it's not determinative evidence," said Jens Ludwig, a professor at the University of Chicago.

That's the way they debate, the pro-gun crowd. If it's only "suggestive evidence," forget about it. It must be "determinative evidence." We need proof before we can accept something as crazy as the idea that a straw purchaser might be hindered and limited by the one-gun-a-month rule.

Of course, when Prof. Kleck or Eugene Volokh say that most DGUs are only brandishings of the gun, but they count towards the 2.5 million instances every year, suggestive evidence is OK.

Does it sometimes seem like the gun rights folks have a double standard?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Corazon Espinado

I don't know what kind of music kaveman likes, but since he suggested I stick to music posts, here's one that came to mind.

Can you believe this is from Santana's 30th album. I saw him in concert in 1969 when I was just a young 'un.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

NRA Instructor Shoots Student

Ohh Shoot has the incredible story.

NRA instructor unintentionally shoots student

An Orlando, Florida NRA gun instructor unintentionally shot one of his students in the foot during a class on carrying a concealed weapon. The bullet went through the table before hitting the 50-year-old student in the foot.
The class, intended to help qualify students to receive a concealed weapons permit, was held at a local church. It was the first class of its kind there.
"We won't be having anything like that in our church in the future," said the church's communications director.
This is not the first time a gun demonstration gone wrong has made the news in Orlando. In 2004, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration shot himself in the foot with a .40-caliber Glock handgun while talking to schoolchildren about gun safety.
Ohh shoot.
Ya can't make up stuff like that.


Mudrake wrote a great post about patriotism.

When I was a kid, the word ‘patriot’ brought with it a rush of warm, proud feelings. Stories of the Revolution and those Patriots flooded my brain and lifted my spirits. All of the kids wanted to be patriots like our heroes in the history books.

When I hear that word today, no such feelings arise; rather, my brain signals danger. They have corrupted that perfectly good word. The extreme right wing here in America. They have hijacked ‘patriotism’ and twisted it into a code word for hate of ’the other.’

The Southern Poverty Law center just released a study documenting a 244 percent increase in the number of conspiracy-minded, anti-government “Patriot” groups in a single year. Militias — the paramilitary arm of the “Patriot” movement — were a major part of the increase. Like other extremists, “Patriot” groups have been fueled by anger over immigration, the troubled economy and an array of initiatives by President Obama.

What's your opinion? Do you think it's silly for people to dress up like 18th century Minutemen and go to demonstrations? Are these people misguided or just passionate?

Please leave a comment.

Eugene Volokh on Reason TV

From Reason TV, the very reasonable Eugene Volokh.

One thing he said made me realize something for the first time. The famous claim that most DGUs are merely brandishing the gun in order to scare away the criminal was mentioned in the video. How can pro-gun folks use that argument when they continually demand proof and statistics for everything proposed by their opponents? Is there a double standard there?

The thing I most liked in his remarks was the fact that it's difficult to say if more guns means less crime. There are conflicting studies.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Concepcion Chile

FishyJay sent me the link to this story, I suppose to illustrate another urgent reason to be armed.

About 3,000 Chilean military troops now have a tight hold on the center of Chile’s second-largest city, located 70 miles from the epicenter of Saturday’s earthquake that devastated much of central Chile.

But food, water and medical supplies are still slow to arrive in Concepcion. And concern about one of the world’s worst earthquakes in a century quickly shifted to an even greater worry about the mass of fellow residents breaking into shops left and right.

Soon after the earthquake, many of the city’s residents began to pour onto the streets. Eventually, hundreds of poor residents in search of food broke into supermarkets on Sunday. But that soon swelled into mobs ransacking whatever they could get their hands on in the city.

On Sunday evening around 6 p.m., a giant Lider supermarket on the corner of Prat and Maipu streets was targeted. The police at first reluctantly let some looters take away food, but when some started lugging out widescreen television sets, even laundry machines, the police stepped in with tear gas and water cannons.

Does it mean that after they loot for food and necessities, they begin on the luxury items, TVs, sterios, etc. Then, the logical progression is breaking into private homes to rape and pillage. Is that the idea?

Angelea Villalobos, 41, witnessed the ransacking of the Lider. As she sits amid the rubble of her 1932 home, which splattered into thousands of pieces, a coffee pot simmers over a small fire. She explains that her family has enough food to hold out for two or three more days.

Villalobos says she and her neighbors on Maipu Street remain vigilant 24 hours a day behind makeshift fences set up on each entrance to their street to keep the looters at bay. Last night, she heard bullets.

“Till yesterday, this was a lawless no man’s land,” said Villalobos.

Jose Gonzalez, 46, chief of a gas distribution service in Concepcion, shares a similar view. He and dozens of neighbors coordinate with hand-held radios and wield guns, knives and thick wooden sticks to protect their middle-class Valle Noble community about 10 minutes outside of town.

The truth is, I suppose if I lived in the suburbs of Concepcion, I'd feel better with a gun. But is this a reason to arm oneself. Even if those looters were to begin going door to door, which is not all that likely, how likely is this to happen to the average American gun owner.

I'd say it's just about as likely as this.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Just a Tool

Mark Alan Schack's "Accident"

Chocolate Cake and Sidebars has the synopsis:

May 17, 2008, police responded to an “accidental shooting” in Fort Meyers Florida. Upon arriving, police found Amy Boscarino on the floor suffering from a gunshot wound to the neck. After an unsuccessful CPR attempt and EMS arrival, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

After further investigation, deputies found that it wasn’t actually an accident. Schack’s claim was that he adjusted the scope on his rifle when the gun went off accidentally as it fell from a dresser. Witnesses and friends state that their relationship had problems and it became clear that this was more than an accident and a resulting warrant was issued for Mark Schack.

He is charged with second-degree murder, which carries a minimum 25 years in prison and a maximum of life.


After deliberating for just an hour, jurors came back with a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder. Sentencing was held Feb 1, 2010 where he was sentenced to life in prison.

Everyone seems to agree the rifle could not have gone off accidentally. But what do you think about that expert witness and his description of the gun? I didn't think he made a very good case for banning guns like this one. I can already hear all the pro-gun responses to his remarks. But, one interesting thing was the fact that it comes from Israel in parts and in assembled in the U.S. Is that a way of skirting some laws?

Another thing I didn't like about his explanation was all that talk about the velocity of the bullet. Why the interviewer didn't ask how that compares to other rifles makes me wonder if he was even listening. The fact that the round travels faster than the speed of sound doesn't strike me like something that should elicit a "wow." In fact it means absolutely nothing unless we know how it compares to other guns. What do you think? Do some bullets travel slower than the speed of sound? Does it really matter? Is that what makes this weapon objectionable?

What I felt was not made adequately clear in the piece was the question of why would someone what to own a gun like this? I know that question is roundly dismissed by pro-gun folks and even mocked by some, but I think it's a good one. I realize it's difficult to define a military assault weapon in such a way that ordinary hunting guns are not included, but the question remains, why would someone want to own one of these?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Ambassador Antonin Scalia

The Huffington Post published an article by Josh Sugarmann in which he describes Justice Scalia as an "Ambassador" of the gun industry.

Tomorrow "Sport Shooting Ambassador Award" winner Antonin Scalia will hear oral arguments in McDonald v. Chicago, a case that will decide whether the opinion penned by the gun industry "Ambassador" in District of Columbia v. Heller will be applied across the nation.

Tuesday's oral arguments will be a homecoming of sorts for Scalia and Alan Gottlieb, whose Second Amendment Foundation is one of the driving forces behind the McDonald case (Gottlieb himself is an object lesson in the gun lobby's immunity to irony.

The SAF head is a convicted felon -- he was caught cheating on his taxes -- who at one time lost the ability to possess guns. He later regained the ability to own guns through the now-defunct federal "relief from disability" program, a multi-million dollar program that re-armed convicted, often violent, felons, at taxpayer expense. The program was defunded after being exposed by my organization, the Violence Policy Center.

Do you think cheating on your taxes should disqualify a person for owning guns? Isn't the intent of that "felony" law to keep violent people from having guns? What do you think?

When last seen together (at least by me), the two graced the cover of The New Gun Week in an article celebrating the ambassadorship bestowed on Scalia by the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA), an international organization comprised primarily of gunmakers and pro-gun organizations (including the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation) from around the world. The award given to Scalia by the WFSA's "Image Sub-Committee" offers "public recognition of the social contribution made by some of the many public figures who have a longstanding interest in the shooting sports." Scalia was awarded the honor and gave the keynote address during the WFSA's 2007 annual meeting in Nuremberg, Germany. The previous year's winner was Ugo Gussalli Beretta, president of the Italian gun manufacturer Beretta. The award consists of a silver reproduction of a 16th century pistol with powder flask.

So while we in the United States accept that a Supreme Court Justice who's an "Ambassador" for the gun industry can ethically rule on cases that impact the very industry he represents, maybe in Old Europe, where the WFSA is located, they can still feel the sting of a little thing called shame.

Don't you think it's a bit odd that Justice Scalia is presiding over a case in which he himself has a personal interest? Isn't that a conflict of interest or something?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Patriotic People

Thanks to Pandagon, for the video. This guy Hi-Caliber looks awfully familiar. Does anyone else think so?

Laci on the Supreme Court

Laci posted today about the biggest issue in the gun world right now.

The US Supreme Court has another chance to prove that US justice is not the best money can buy in the case of McDonald v. Chicago. Bouyed by its success in DC v. Heller, the Cato institute is yet again posed to prove the US justice runs by the golden rule: those with the gold make the rules. Unlike DC v. Heller, they are much more blatant that they have been plaintiff shopping in their attempt to rewrite the constitution to their interpretation. Added by the stupidity of the American public regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment as a guarantee against the establishment of a standing army now that the military budget has gone out of control (remember that "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public" P.T. Barnum), they may just pull it off.

The rest of the article contains a fascinating description of Patrick Henry's ideas concerning the 2nd amendment. This, according to historian Henry Mayer, perfectly supports the belief held by many that the current understanding of the 2nd amendment is so twisted and distorted from its original sense that it's practically unrecognizable.

What's your opinion? Is Laci right in saying, "[f]ive supreme court justices may again show that my dog has a better understanding of the law than they do?"

Please leave a comment.

Utah is Bad News for Women

Today's the Day

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Gun Makes Me Feel like God

In the spirit of kaveman's satire, The Onion published a wonderful article, capturing perfectly the feelings of gun owners. I think when irony and satire are mixed just right, it's difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Believe me, I am not a gun person. Oh, sure, I played with cap guns and BB guns when I was a kid, but I never thought I would actually own a real one. But let me tell you, when I first felt the cold steel of this gun against my palm, it made me feel as if I had the strength of 10,000 charging centurions, as if I were capable of moving heaven and earth itself. I just hope I never have to fire the thing.

It is my earnest wish that this beautiful, beautiful gun and the godlike powers it bestows on its owner will stay locked away in a drawer forever, only to be used in the most dire of circumstances.

I will say, though, that this particular firearm is certainly something to behold. It has a mirror-polished stainless-steel finish and a "Python .357" insignia engraved on the chrome barrel that, to be honest, makes me feel invincible, as if the spirit of a warrior prince were flowing through me, urging me to punish all who lie trembling in my path.

Unlike the satire of kaveman, though, one wonders if the author of this piece might not be on to something. Exaggerated, for sure, but does it not describe the exact feeling and motivation of many a gun owner? What do you think?

Supreme Court to Decide

What will it be? Capital Hill Blue has a wonderful summary of what's at stake.

Lock and load…the Supreme Court will weigh in soon with a gun ruling that could open he door for more gun control by states and localities or it could slam it shut in the faces of advocates for stricter legislation.

The court will soon decide whether or not the Second Amendment — used by gun fanciers as the quid pro quo for packing heat — applies to states as well as the federal government.

Some Constitutional scholars believe it does.

The court is considering a case that could strike down handgun bans in Chicago and suburban Oak Park as part of a decision on whether or not the full Bill of Rights applies as much to state and local law as it does in federal cases.

On the surface, applying the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights to state and local government would appear to be a clear victory for gun advocates but the gun-control crowd thinks a ruling could also allow state and local government to enact tougher laws.

Gun control opponents, of course, argue just the opposite.

At issue is the due process clause of the 14th amendment which says, in part, that no state shall create or enforce any law that curtails “the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” The amendment also states that “no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

The National Rife Association says the 14th Amendment reaffirms the rights of the Second Amendment. Those who disagree says the 14th Amendment also prohibits the states from doing things like legalizing guns that others can use to deprive a person of life or liberty.

Both sides are keeping their powder dry and waiting for the court’s decision.

One thing for sure, it's gonna be an interesting year for the gun debate.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

The Immaculate Inning

I love baseball. The last time I followed it, though, Maury Wills was stealing bases and Sandy Koufax was striking out batters. But, I think what I love about baseball is its serenity and meditative, almost trance-like pace. I know they've had their moments, but compared to football and hockey, for example, baseball is a peaceful sport.

Wikipedia has the story about The Immaculate Inning.

Former California Cop Goes to Trial for Over-reacting reports on the upcoming trial of a former Salinas California police officer who made a big mistake.

MONTEREY, Calif.—A former Salinas police officer will stand trial for shooting at an unarmed couple during a routine traffic stop.

Monterey Superior Court Judge Russell D. Scott says Christopher Swanson grossly overreacted when he and another officer fired 14 shots into a car.

Defense attorney Mike Lawrence says he is confident Swanson will be cleared at trail. He says his 37-year-old client fired after hearing a "pop" and thought he saw a muzzle flash inside the car.

Swanson was relieved of duty after the 2009 incident in East Salinas. He has pleaded not guilty and a jury trial is scheduled to begin March 24.

The city of Salinas last year paid the couple $260,000 as part of a settlement. Neither was injured in the shooting.

He thought he'd heard something and saw something. It can happen to anybody. I mean, let's say a gun owner, any gun owner, hears something and sees something suspicious. If he waits to be sure what it is, it might be too late. Naturally he wants to let his instincts take over, to react instantaneously. It's the survival instinct, after all.

Now let's multiply that by millions. Let's double and triple the number of gun owners and concealed carry guys. What do you think will happen? Certainly there'll be more of this, but I suppose all the thwarting of crime will more than make up for the increase.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Days of our Trailers: Being one with Nature...

kaveman over at Days of our Trailers wrote a wonderfully humorous piece about the opinion of gun control folks .

Monday morning I woke up in a drunken stupor, which is par for the course so a quick trip to Starbucks was in order. Got a mocha with a shot of Hazelnut and some coffee cake for the extra sugar rush I was after. After pissing in the potted plant in the corner next to some guy who smelled just like I had crapped my pants, I whipped open my black trench coat, unholstered my Carbon-15(with the 120 round drum) and started waving it over my head like the American Flag while trying to slur my way the Pledge of Allegiance. I couldn’t remember most of the words so I just replaced them with some impressive cussing, some trademark worthy racial epithets and a few armpit fart noises for emphasis at the good parts.

It went on like that, good funny stuff, but what caught my attention was the last line.

"Make no mistake, this is how they view us. Keep that in mind."

I asked over there if he'd been serious when writing that, and I anxiously await his answer. My point is, this kind of exaggerated description of the gun control position is necessary in order for the pro-gun person to fully immerse himself into the role of grandiose victim. By claiming the gun control opinion of gun owners is a wild caricature described so well by kaveman, they can best live in that delicious fantasy of misunderstood patriotic freedom-fighter and intrepid defender of god-given rights who will lay down his life for the cause.

The truth is, gun control folks claim that SOME gun enthusiasts contain SOME of those characteristics.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The New Assault Weapons Ban

ABC News reports on the remarks made by Attorney General Eric Holder concerning gun control.

The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.

"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder told reporters.

I'm not sure if I want to say, "Hooray, it's about time," or "Oh, brother, more empty promises."

Holder declined to offer any time frame for the reimplementation of the assault weapons ban, however.

"It's something, as I said, that the president talked about during the campaign," he said. "There are obviously a number of things that are -- that have been taking up a substantial amount of his time, and so, I'm not sure exactly what the sequencing will be."

During his confirmation hearing, Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee about other gun control measures the Obama administration may consider.

"I think closing the gun show loophole, the banning of cop-killer bullets and I also think that making the assault weapons ban permanent, would be something that would be permitted under Heller,"

Dare I get my hopes up? Could Obama turn out to prove himself worthy of a better report card from the Bradys after all? Would it be possible for the administration to overcome the obstacles, namely for the assault weapons ban, coming up with a proper definition, and for the gun-show loophole, applying it to private sales outside of gun shows?

What's your opinion? Is this the beginning of the end for the pro-gun movement? Are gun and ammo sales going to skyrocket again? Or do you think these are impractical initiatives which will turn out to be more empty promises?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

The Amazing Ayn Rand

The Crone Speaks has a post about the fascination Glenn Beck and others have with Ayn Rand. After describing the attitude as "hate everyone but yourself," the article makes the following conclusion.

It’s not just the former CEO of BB&T that have strings attached to their grants in order to keep the Randian philosophy of selfishness and hate alive. Other CEO’s are doing the same thing, and it has taken hold. We are talking about the ultimate indoctrination of our children, even if some more reasoned folks see the caveat of teaching Rand as a bribe. As these young people enter the business world, they will become the CEO’s and CFO’s that will be fucking with our economy. They don’t need the Glenn Beck’s spouting selfishness or the Dr. Helen’s declaring you should be “Going John Galt!” and who calls liberals and progressives (paraphrasing from a recent post of hers) “parasites that are destroying this country” (a Randian reference to those that refuse to follow her ideas). The Glenn Becks and the Dr Helen’s are the cheerleaders for the next generation of Randian economic leaders.

Which is really quite sad, given Ayn Rand’s “hero” tortured, cut up and threw the body parts of a child he kidnapped at her father for a mere $1500. The me-only-and-only-me philosophy wouldn’t allow a Rand devotee to recognize someone else’s sociopathic traits, simply because someone else, anyone else, doesn’t matter. In other words, Rand devotees are all sociopaths.

That final link goes to an article which describes the length to which Ms. Rand went in her admiration of the Type A real man.

So what, and who, was Ayn Rand for and against? The best way to get to the bottom of it is to take a look at how she developed the superhero of her novel, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt. Back in the late 1920s, as Ayn Rand was working out her philosophy, she became enthralled by a real-life American serial killer, William Edward Hickman, whose gruesome, sadistic dismemberment of 12-year-old girl named Marion Parker in 1927 shocked the nation.

Rand filled her early notebooks with worshipful praise of Hickman. According to biographer Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market, Rand was so smitten by Hickman that she modeled her first literary creation -- Danny Renahan, the protagonist of her unfinished first novel, The Little Street -- on him.

What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: "Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should," she wrote, gushing that Hickman had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people.'"

This echoes almost word for word Rand's later description of her character Howard Roark, the hero of her novel The Fountainhead: "He was born without the ability to consider others."

What's your opinion? Is there a bit of the sociopath in Ayn Rand and her followers?

Please leave a comment.