Do Aspies span the full range of morality?

Most people with Aspergers, or with any form of autism, don't shoot up elementary schools the way Adam Lanza did. In fact, most Aspies are harmless dweebs.

So the immediate temptation is to conclude that Adam was not only autistic, he was a sociopath as well.

But most Aspies are so socially inept that they couldn't be manipulative and backstabbing and skillfully dishonest even if they wanted to be. The ones I've known have been sort of pathetic and child-like. They don't understand what makes others tick, have no idea how to banter or joke around, and certainly can't bend others to their will. Most seem almost incapable of lying. And they tend to be the targets of bullies. All of which, in a way, seems to preclude sociopathy.

But it's hard to imagine anything more evil than mowing down a bunch of five and six year olds with an assault rifle. How could you do that without being utterly lacking in conscience? Has any sociopath ever done worse?

One thing Aspies do have in common with narcissists (sociopaths are a subset of narcissists) is that they don't take criticism well: nothing is ever their fault. But whereas sociopaths are adept at coming up with glib excuses, Aspies come up with lame ones. Aspies also have little self-control, and get upset easily. Thus, they are the opposite of cool -- which would also seem to preclude sociopathy.

Lanza also had that weird medical condition where he couldn't feel pain. Given that Aspies always seem to have a hard time imagining people being different from themselves, maybe he had no concept of the pain that he was inflicting on others.

And who knows, maybe you don't even have to be on the autistic spectrum not to be able to imagine what you can't feel. Maybe it's a little like understanding colors when you're blind.

Which puts Lanza a little less in the evil camp, and more in the crazy camp.

From what we've heard so far, it sounds as if Lanza's parents genuinely loved him, which also generally means a child will not be sociopathic. (That's a hard one to measure, though: there are plenty of families which look good from the outside but which produce sociopaths because the parents were only going through the motions.)

It's a bit of a quandary. I's impossible to imagine someone with Aspergers as a functioning sociopath. Yet it's hard to imagine someone with a conscience killing those innocent children.

I just don't know.