The lone wolf is the new national nightmare, dramatized and amplified this week by the hostage-taking attack in Sydney, Australia. But there are two kinds of lone wolves — the crazy and the evil — and the distinction is important.
Face it. Vandalism is a crime beyond explanation. Ordinary people with ordinary motives and emotion have difficulty understanding destruction for destruction’s sake. It is much easier to fathom theft, fraud, selling contraband or other forbidden means of personal enrichment. Crimes of addiction, anger or passion at least have some plausible motive. Smashing windows in a high school? Why?