DENVER, Colo. – Following another mass shooting that claimed 17 lives in Florida, a Colorado man is speaking out- saying he was almost a school shooter.
In 1996, Aaron Stark says he was an outcast in high school and was constantly bullied by his peers.
“I had a very chaotic and violent childhood, moving from place to place, having the people I was closest to be the ones who hurt me most. I was shy, and sensitive, and smelled bad because I either had dirty clothes on that had not been washed in weeks or because I was filthy from not having a shower also for weeks at a time,” he wrote to KUSA.
Stark says he got tired of the bullying, so he started hiding weapons. However, he says he didn’t have access to a gun.
“I didn’t have access to an assault rifle. I was almost a school shooter. I am not a school shooter because I didn’t have access to guns. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But people with guns kill lots of people,” he wrote.
Stark says he believes mental illness is at the heart of school shootings. While he was in high school, Stark says that he felt like he “had nothing at all in life to look forward to” so he had nothing to lose.
“When someone has nothing to lose, they can do anything, and that thought should be terrifying,” he said.
He says he didn’t have love in his life, and believes that kindness and compassion can go a long way in helping others.
Stark says when he was suicidal, a classmate saved his life through a simple act of kindness.
“I wrote this because my wife and daughter kept saying how they could not understand what could make someone do this. Sadly, I can. This is a hard conversation to have, but we must have it,” he wrote.