Man who was almost a school shooter reveals what stopped him
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Featured Image Credit: YouTube/@TEDx
In one of the most open TED Talks you can get, a man who almost became a school shooter has revealed what stopped him.
Unfortunately, mass shootings remain a major problem in the US, with three recorded in the last week alone.
Two in fact happened on the same day (23 April), as one person was killed in the North Beach neighbourhood of San Francisco and 11 injured were at an after-prom party in Jasper, Texas.
Obviously, committing such a crime is terrible and none of us can possibly imagine what is going on inside a school shooter's head to want to commit such a devastating offence.
However, Aaron Stark revealed in a TED Talk four years ago what goes through the mind of someone who wants to become a school shooter and how he stopped himself.
Stark admitted in his talk that he was almost a school shooter, and he spoke openly about his mindset during that period.
But first of all, he opened up about his difficult childhood, where he explained that he was told that he was 'worthless by just about everybody in my life'.
This obviously had a massive impact on Stark, as he ended up self-harming on a regular basis and contemplated suicide.
As a result, Stark called social services, though his mum convinced authorities that nothing was wrong, so they sent the pair back home.
At this point, he was at an all-time low and said that he 'had nothing to live for'.
But Stark added that he had nothing to lose anymore, which he described as a 'terrifying thought'.
He said: "I had decided that my act of doing something was I was going to express my extreme anger and rage by getting a gun. I was going to attack either my school or a mall food court.
"It wasn't about the people, it was about the largest amount of damage in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of security. Both those places were the right targets."
Stark managed to buy a gun, but his friend - someone who he had stole from before - had approached him as he knew something wasn't quite right.
Despite that, Stark said that his friend showed 'me acts of kindness', which involved simple things like asking to go for a meal or watch a movie together.
"When someone treats you like a person when you don't even feel like a human, it'll change your entire world, and it did to me," Stark said.
He concluded: "He stopped me with his acts of kindness from committing that atrocity that day."
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123