Is John Hunter dumb, a sociopath, or what? (Water Stations, border, immigration, Escondido)

To help you answer the titular question for yourself, take a look at this (bolding added):

The number of deaths in Arizona [of those trying to illegally cross the border] have attracted the attention of John Hunter of Escondido, the brother of former Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, and founder of the Water Stations project, an organization that places water in the California desert near Ocotillo to help prevent migrant deaths along that stretch of the border with Mexico.

With the number of deaths dwindling in California, due in part to a shift in migrant traffic east to Arizona, Hunter said he hopes to wind down the Water Stations in California.

Late last month, Hunter, a physicist who helps design weapons for the military, traveled to Arizona as part of an effort to come up with an idea to help reduce the number of deaths there. Hunter said improving cellphone reception along the border might help...

..."I'm trying to figure things out so that I can inject a little bit of logic into this situation," [Hunter] said.

How would a rocket scientist who's interested in a solution approach this issue? That scientist would apply logic to the problem and would come up with a simple formula: fewer people attempting to cross illegally equals fewer deaths. Fewer people attempting to cross in California has led to fewer deaths; more die in Arizona because more attempt to cross.

That rocket scientist would realize that putting out water encourages people to cross, but encouraging people to cross leads to more deaths. So, the scientist would realize that the solution is to discourage people from crossing, not to put out water.

That scientist would then look at why fewer try to cross in California and would realize it's because there's more enforcement there, including a major border fence in San Diego (ironically, built by legislation pushed by Duncan Hunter). The formula would then become: discouraging people from crossing leads to fewer people crossing leads to fewer people dying while trying to cross.

That scientist would then realize that the way to reduce the number of border deaths is to increase border enforcement, and would also realize other forms of discouragement would also be effective. That scientist would realize that "pro-migrant" organizations encourage people to cross, with some not making it. Instead of pushing for stronger enforcement to reduce the numbers of crossers and thus the number of deaths, those organization go in the opposite direction.

Is John Hunter - "a physicist who helps design weapons for the military" - encouraging or discouraging people from trying to cross the desert? Unlike the scientist above, Hunter is in effect encouraging people to cross by putting out water. Instead of working to solve the problem, Hunter is making it worse.

The exact answer to the titular question isn't clear, but whatever it is, it isn't good.

For more on this topic, see the 2010 post about John Hunter, and the entries on the false compassion page.