“Waco” and militias are two completely different subjects, but since Leonard Peikoff confuses them, and we will be quoting him about what he considers a unity, we treat both subjects in one article.
The federal raid on the Mt. Carmel building complex outside Waco, Texas, began February 28, 1993 and ended 50 days later with the massacre of practically everyone inside, including 16 children two to eight years of age. It would be impossible to do the story justice in only a few paragraphs, yet we want to keep some of the facts in mind as background for the remarks Mr. Peikoff made a few years later. We cite articles you can read on the Internet – see footnote  – and make the following observations:
“Waco” is one among a number of other less well known abuses of government power. It dramatically revealed the growing militarization of police functions in America, the existence of a standing army directed inward, domestically, and the gangster-like corruption within its leadership.
If you expect the official Objectivists to agree with that assessment, read on.
Leonard Peikoff hosted a talk radio show from 1995 to 1999. It was mostly a good show, but cracks here and there hinted at the rot that became evident after 9-11 when “everything changed,” especially the face presented by ARI. During one show Mr. Peikoff was reading aloud an email from a listener and comes to (paraphrasing) “what the FBI did at Waco was an abuse of government power,” at which point Mr. Peikoff briefly interrupts his reading and mutters “I disagree.” This vignette is key to understanding the official Objectivists.
Did Mr. Peikoff know what had happened at Waco? If not, we might hope that if he had researched the subject he would have been appalled at the conduct of his government. Good books had been published about Waco before he began broadcasting his radio show. His ignorance would be another example where the official Objectivists cannot be bothered with investigating concrete details and facts or apparently even caring about them.
However enough facts about Waco were in the news at the time of the raid that he must have known a little, and the abuse at Waco was so great a little was enough. 
Mr. Peikoff’s comment was no fluke. Earlier at a Ford Hall Forum lecture he elaborated at greater length (Q&A of “What To Do About Crime” April 23, 1995.) He confuses the Davidians with a militia, and says – apparently ignorant of the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers, and the history of FBI agents provocateur – that the FBI ought to infiltrate every militia in America.  The text below is a transcript of Mr. Peikoff’s statement. Italics indicate vocal emphasis, comments in brackets are by ARI Watch. Since Mr. Peikoff confuses the Davidians with a militia, and their guns with a military arsenal, while you read you will need to separate his specific remarks about Koresh from his general remarks about militias. 
“[Private] military formations ... should be entirely illegal in this country. No one, no matter what your view is on gun ownership, should be able to [that is, can legitimately] defend the idea that you are allowed to start your own army. There is nothing whatever in the Second Amendment or in the right to own a gun, there is nothing in the issue of personal self defense or hobby or target practice or animal shooting, that would have justified you in having an arsenal such as they had in Waco, or a military formation. When it gets to the point that citizens have their own armies and arsenals, that is the end of a free country. ... Now, why these people aren’t arrested, one and all, for this— [Sentence left incomplete. In other words, these people should be arrested, one and all, for this.] I’ve also heard the FBI say that they’re not allowed to infiltrate these paramilitary organizations until they commit a crime I think it should be a crime to start these formations. That [i.e. starting a militia group] is an objective recourse to physical force which any rational person has to take as a threat to the possibility of existing in peace. They should be infiltrated from top to bottom, we [that is, the FBI] should know every one of their names, their weapons should be confiscated and they should be treated as killers, which is what they are.”Actually, a proper militia is not criminal until it commits a real crime (and the crime would be a local, not a federal, matter). They do not “compete” with the government. They are legal per the U.S. Constitution’s 1st, 2nd and 10th amendments in the Bill of Rights,  which Mr. Peikoff evidently would repudiate.
Going along with Mr. Peikoff’s confusion of the Waco Davidians with a militia, evidently he believes that the federal agents at Waco were not killers. To the official Objectivists freedom is a floating abstraction. Government corruption is simply not on their radar. The FBI are the good guys, automatically and always.
During our ellipses in the above quote, after “the end of a free country,” Mr. Peikoff compares all American militia groups to the German Nazis. American militias hold up the U.S. Constitution as their inspiration (sincerely, with exceptions), the brownshirts held up Mein Kampf as theirs. Mr. Peikoff sees no difference between the two:
“That’s exactly what happened in the Weimar Republic. Every party and group had their own armies and you happen to know which ones became most famous. ... the SA and the SS started as paramilitary formations in the Weimar Republic.”It is true the Nazis used their SA brownshirts during elections to beat up would be voters in areas more likely to vote against them than other areas. But Mr. Peikoff’s argument is like saying that since a holdup was committed using a gun, guns ought to be outlawed. Of course it is not the gun that committed the holdup, and it is not an arsenal or a militia per se that is a crime or a threat
A militia is capable of threatening someone, and the question is who and why? John Dillinger and any number of American Revolutionary War militias and guerrillas both used violence, yet possessed vastly different reasons for doing so. Private militias are the precursor to organized revolt against just such tyranny as the Nazis imposed on Germany. Of course it is far too soon, if ever, for that kind of revolt in America – many of our rights are still recognized and could be used to turn things around peacefully if enough people, even a substantial minority, come to their senses in time. But as the components of a totalitarian apparatus drop into place we should at least defend the existence of peaceful militias, if only because outlawing them violates yet another of our rights and is part and parcel of gun control. 
In 1928 Germany passed a law requiring registration of all gun owners – part of the creeping tyranny during the Weimar Republic (and an “ominous parallel” with the U.S. today). In 1938 the Nazis gave themselves the power to confiscate any German’s guns, thus consolidating that “end of a free country.” The Nazis confiscated private guns in each country they occupied, made easier by a country’s gun registration laws.
Gun control really is the subject here. As a practical matter a government cannot outlaw the peaceable assembly of gun owners who leave their guns at home, without either outlawing peaceable assembly or outlawing gun ownership. What Mr. Peikoff advocates ultimately leads to gun confiscation (his protests to the contrary notwithstanding), unless it is ending the right of assembly and even association.
Elsewhere Mr. Peikoff promotes illegal immigration. Per his “entirely” and “one and all” comments above one wonders if he would arrest and jail members of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps for trying to help the U.S. Border Patrol. 
The essential error in Mr. Peikoff’s Weimar – America analogy is that per Weimar the marginal good guys were in the government and the bad guys were in the streets, per America the bad guys are already in the government. [7 again]
The essential error in Mr. Peikoff’s method of acquiring knowledge is his willingness to uncritically accept ATF / FBI testimony. 
Mr. Peikoff concludes:
“Notice also that they [the militia groups] don’t make any bones about having any reasonable case for this [i.e. organizing]. They admire this Koresh outfit, they call it a church, they are complete admirers of cultists.”A complete fabrication. Theirs was not admiration for Karesh’s nutball Adventist church (it was not a militia) but disgust at what the ATF, FBI, and U.S. military did to it 1993 February 28th to April 19th.
Mr. Peikoff, however – as we began by noting – approves of the Waco tank-and-gas raid. He mentioned Waco again on his radio show. The theme for the show was “ ‘Rightist’ Militias” (Mr. Peikoff’s emphasis, comments in brackets by ARI Watch): 
“I don’t think that the – actually – the FBI even started the fire. They simply wanted to come and break down the walls, which they had every right in the world to do. ... half the country is committed to the idea that this is an atrocity, and half to the idea, as I am, that this was valid reaction against armed maniacs. ... The question is the philosophy, and that’s what we want to talk about in this program.” [The ATF were not the armed maniacs?]For all their talk about freedom and individualism, when it comes right down to it the people at ARI are statists. They talk Objectivist generalities but what you get is silence and complicity in the face of actual statist particulars. Oh, not all the time, they have spoken out – and well – against some particulars, but the other particulars concern many of the most important issues of the day. “Waco” is but one example (see our main-page index for more). Their treatment of these issues undermines whatever else they do from the bad company it keeps.
“There are many individual rights that you lose when you team up with others in a gang.” [“Gang” is an emotional word for “group” with the connotation of criminal.]
“I don’t want to start on the details of Waco. I – at the time, and to this day – they got what they asked for ...”
“Now, as far as Waco was concerned, I think what was done at Waco is correct. ... The fact that these people got together with a massive armament in my opinion strips them of all their rights. Of all.”
Their statism is not overt like that of Marx and Hegel (who together eventually led to Lenin, Trotsky, Hitler, and Stalin.  ) They don’t seem to know what they are doing. Call them sleepwalking statists, slouching towards a Soviet-style dictatorship.
They can be called something else too. Mr. Peikoff and everyone at ARI are pacifists, pacifists in the face of burgeoning totalitarianism. They make excuses for it again and again. We will withdraw the charge when they repudiate those excuses and write Op-Eds praising fighters like Rodney Stich instead of frauds like Paul Wolfowitz and Daniel Pipes.  ARI simply is not serious about an American renaissance. They abuse Ayn Rand the way the Nazis abused Nietzsche. 
On April 21, 2008 during his biweekly podcast, Mr. Peikoff was asked if there was a particular level of intelligence required in order to understand Objectivism. He replied:
“... intelligence ... is the capacity to deal with wide abstractions that do not float, with wide abstractions tied to reality. And that is what a philosophical intelligence can do. So all you have to do is be intelligent. There’s no way of saying intelligence seven degrees versus five degrees. You have to be on the top level, but of abstractions, not of technicalities. You have to be able to say: when I [that is, a hypothetical person] talk about justice, when I talk about concepts, when I talk about the law of identity, I’m able to grasp that clearly while keeping in mind enough instances so it’s not floating. If you’re on that [level] that’s all the intelligence you need. And that is very very hard for people to do ... because the more abstract a concept becomes the farther it’s removed from direct perception. And at a certain point people tend to break that connection and then they just have floating, platonic archetypes.”As when people have no problem with bizarre federal raids yet claim to love “freedom” and advocate “laissez-faire capitalism.”
Mr. Peikoff’s answer is all very well, but to him it is a floating abstraction.