In fact, many of the most infamous violent attacks have been acts committed by individuals, not by groups. Think the Oklahoma City bombing, the first World Trade Center attack, the underwear bomber who was thwarted, and the countless campus and school shootings that have claimed the lives of many. All of these acts were plotted, planned and carried out by individuals, not by well-funded, politicized groups.
“Most hate crimes are perpetuated by youngsters who operate alone,” said Jack Levin, Ph.D., a professor at the Irving and Betty Brudnick school of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University in the documentary Puzzles: When Hate Came to Town, which is now making its way through the country via screenings.
When 18-year-old Jacob Robida walked into a gay bar in New Bedford, Mass., with a gun and a hatchet, he acted alone. Several LGBT patrons were seriously injured by the violent acts of an angry, homophobic, sorely misguided teenager, in addition to the deaths of a police officer and a female companion, after which Robida took his own, young life.