Richard Gibson was born in the state of Michigan in the year 1995 to Sandra and Fred Gibson. His childhood was not a tranquil but his parents afforded the necessary comforts of life. They had in a peaceful neighborhood where the community lived harmoniously and were concerned for each other since they knew each other by name. The community was primarily composed of majority white as well as a black minority. From a tender age, Richard witnessed his father’s violent behavior owing to his habitual drunkard-ness and most of the time, his mother ended up being bodily abused, and mistreated.
In 2005, Richard was ten years old, and had been enrolled in Michigan Junior School. On one weekend, he accompanied his father who had opted to take Bobby (their dog) for a walk at a nearby park. Mistakenly, a black immigrant farmer who was bird hunting shot Bobby. Attributable to anger and resentment, Richard's father shot and killed the apologetic farmer in the presence of his son leading to his arrested and was sentenced to fourteen years for manslaughter.
The happening turned Richard, a small boy to take up his father’s position as the breadwinner owing to the fact that his mother was illiterate and consequently unemployed. Without a doubt, the circumstances forced Richard's mom to work long hours so that she could be able to take care of Richard. Accordingly, Richard's mum was largely absent from Richard's life. It took a toll on him psychologically, he became withdrawn, and he had no friends since he was considered a killer’s child. He equally violently victimized and bullied at school. Eventually, his performance in school was on the decline and he was often ridiculed in because of the poor performance. Along with financial constraints, the family was forced to relocate to a smaller town, Tennessee. It was mainly occupied by workers of the Tennessee coffee factory, and it had a reputation of violent murders, drugs peddlers, and many other forms of evil. It was a den for drug lords where young children and youths were recruited to peddle illicit drugs. In this town, Richard could witness someone being murdered in broad daylight, and nothing could be done about it the situation. His only friend Bradley was a chain smoker and a hardened drug peddler but was later murdered. It was an act that Richard witnessed but was warned of dire consequences if he ever revealed what had happened to the law enforcers. However, he went on to report to the sheriff and shock to him, he was told that nothing could be done since the killer was well known but untouchable.
All this occurrences were made Richard resentful of everyone around him. He hated the neighborhood wishing he had the ability to kill everyone. He remembered how they had robbed him of his dad, how they had made him move from his comfortable neighborhood to this dingy of a place. He recalled how the committed murder and other felonies with impunity he had encountered, and how they robbed him of his only friend but nothing could be done. All these factors bled a lot of bitterness in his heart.
Thanks to his mom’s hard work and dedication, Richard was matriculated from Tennessee junior high and joined Stanford senior high. He thought things would be different because Stanford was a respected school and the principal was a strict disciplinarian. He emphasized respect for everyone irrespective of color/race of an individual. It brought hope to him that maybe there still existed some respectable people. That was the notion that he had in his heart until one day he was involved in a fight with other students who terrorized everyone.
When he reported the issue to the principal, he shamelessly told Richard that he was a good for nothing student and was suspended Richard for two weeks. That was the breaking point for Richard who vowed to avenge the atrocities that had been committed against him. The events of his past years cemented the notion that he had been harboring opting to punish his schoolmates as well as his teachers.
Towards the end of the school semester, Richard started to plot a plan on how he would revenge. He was able to acquire several guns that he intended to use. On the fateful day, he dressed in black, carried his guns in his school bag, and headed to school. He arrived at school a bit late and by the time he was wrestled down and disarmed; he had killed several students along with three teachers.
When a professor at the school was asked what must have led Richard's loss of self-control, he held that self-control mechanisms must have been affected (Murnan, 23-26). It is not true that Richard was totally out of control, but rather, he used his self-control to achieve a disturbed goal. Undoubtedly, many factors contributed to such an act. He was exposed to so many scenarios as expounded exceeding and all of them created a notion that killing was the only option that would enable him assert his rights. All avenues of justice had failed and violence, the one he had encountered turned to be the only better option to Richard and he embraced it by killing his fellow students and teachers, a perfect storm certainly.
Murnan, Judy Dake. "Association of Selected Risk Factors with Variation in Child and Adolescent Firearm Mortality by State." Journal of School Health 1 Oct. 2004. Print.