Stephen Paddock’s motives may never be known because based on his life, his failed marriages and his solitary habits he was in all likelihood a psychopath. Psychopaths don’t connect to others the way ordinary people do. They make up about one percent of the population and many just go undetected. Psychopaths are not crazy nor are they neurologically demented or cognitively attenuated. In fact many display superior intelligence and leadership qualities. They can be clever, interesting and engaging personalities on a superficial scale but what they lack is empathy. They are the types that define the Golden Rule as “he who has the gold makes the rules”. It’s tempting to compare Paddock to Charles Whitman, the young man who climbed a tower in Texas in 1966 and murdered innocent people in a crowd below. But Paddock is no Charles Whitman-he’s more like a Timothy McVeigh. He wanted to do something big to make the world more to his liking and he was willing to go out in a blaze of glory while doing it. The only reason McVeigh was captured and executed was probably because he wasn’t done yet. The world we live in today may eventually be described as a golden age for psychopaths because psychopaths have the ability to disinhibit themselves in their actions and depersonalize themselves from their victims. A crowd is not seen as a collection of individual human beings, it is viewed as most would see ants on anthill. History is replete with psychopathic behavior from war crimes to serial killings but in our confused, conflicted world they are useful to recruit as quasi Manchurian candidates-a very convenient almost robotic means to an end. Paddock was an independent operator but he was likely tuned in to the chaos permeating our society and at some point made the decision to become a player. It’s possible that a genetic component played a role because Paddock’s biological father was a career criminal on the FBI’s most wanted list. We are never going to prevent these atrocities by taking away guns. Paddock had ammonium nitrate in his car. Obvious, simplistic, feel-good solutions never work-they often compound situations and limit the freedoms of law abiding citizens. If government tries to ride in like the Lone Ranger and protect us from psychopaths we are going to end up in a surveilled society under martial law. You won’t like that.