October 9, 2019
ON TODAY’S “TAMRON HALL,” SANDY HOOK PARENTS NICOLE HOCKLEY AND MARK BARDEN DISCUSS THE EMOTIONAL PSA THAT CREATED NATIONAL DEBATE AND THEIR CONTINUED FIGHT TO PREVENT SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
Plus, Almost School Shooter Aaron Stark Sits Down with Tamron to Discuss How
He Turned His Life Around
Tamron Hall with Nicole Hockley & Mark Barden Tamron Hall with Aaron Stark
(Walt Disney Television/Jenny Anderson) (Walt Disney Television/Jenny Anderson)
On today’s edition of “Tamron Hall,” (www.TamronHallShow.com for listings) Tamron sat down with Sandy Hook parents Nicole Hockley (Newtown, CT) and Mark Barden (Newtown, CT) for an emotional conversation about the grief of losing their children, the powerful back-to-school PSA and their continued fight for gun rights and preventing more school shootings. Nicole discussed the viral PSA by nonprofit organization Sandy Hook Promise that shed light on the unfortunate realities children now have to face while in school. On the approach to the PSA, Nicole said: “It was really important for us to shock parents into thinking about what kids are really afraid of in school today and to really spark conversation because we want parents to be talking about this with their kids...to really break through the noise and to get people thinking and talking.”
Nicole later shared the emotional reality of losing her son, Dylan, and her fear of one day forgetting him as he’s been gone longer than he was alive, saying: “That was a real fear for me. He was six when he was killed and thinking ‘would I remember what his laugh sounded like, what his hair smelled like, how it felt to have his hand in mine,’ it terrified me and I don't think any parent wants to be in that situation where they’re thinking about ‘am I going to forget my child?’”
Mark also discussed the success of the training program created by Sandy Hook Promise that has already reached over 7 million people across the country, and shared the signs children should be looking out for: “We train students and that’s the beauty of it. The students really take this up and they lead this. We trained them to look for change in behavior, isolated behavior, being bullied in their peers, anything that might indicate this person is a potential risk of self-harm or harming others and to tell a trusted adult.”
On whether or not schools are more prepared and respond faster due to active shooter trainings, Nicole said: “I think schools in general have focused more on bricks and mortar -- what are security systems that we can put in place, how do we teach our kids to run and hide or even fight sometimes in an active shooter situation -- rather than focusing on what can we do to recognize those signs, so that we never get to that place in the first place.”
Later in the show, Tamron was joined by Aaron Stark (Denver, Colorado) who claims he was almost a school shooter himself. Stark shared his story and what made him change his mind: “I just had to do a full revelation and open up my heart and share it all to the world. The day after the Parkland shooting I was watching tv with my wife and oldest daughter and they were having a discussion about “how could someone ever get to that point and how can you feel like you want to hurt that many people?” and I sadly do know that feeling, so I decided to come out with my story.”
During the poignant one on one with Tamron, Aaron held back tears detailing the abuse and depression he went through growing up and how feeling alone contributed to his thoughts of planning a mass shooting, sharing: “When you hate yourself, you’re going to do everything again to make the world agree with you and that’s exactly what I was doing.”
On whether he was the embodiment of the saying “hurt people, hurt people,” Aaron added: “I wasn't about attacking the people, they were just incidental, the goal was to attack my own family by making them have to deal with creating a monster.”
Towards the end of the conversation, Aaron held back tears as he discussed what stopped him from going through with his plan of a mass shooting, saying: “The only thing that stopped me, was that I was not as alone as I thought in that darkness. I had one friend Mike , that didn't actually leave my side. He was my home base, so when I was in that dark spot I went to his house and he took me in and said you’re okay you’re not a monster. He treated my like a person who deserved respect and when don't feel human, being treated like a person will change your entire life.”
“Tamron Hall” Upcoming Listings:
Thursday, October 10: Ghosting – when friends suddenly cut off communication without explanation. And: poet and activist Yung Pueblo gives a “Tam Talk.”
Friday, October 11: Fashion Friday.
“Tamron Hall” Show Description:
“Tamron Hall” (tamronhallshow.com), broadcasting from New York City, features a dynamic mix of live and taped shows. From the deeply moving to the purely fun, the nationally syndicated show is a daily destination for all things topical and a platform for viewers to connect with the people who are shaping our world through meaningful, engaging and entertaining conversations. As a new mom, a newlywed and a new force in Daytime, proving you can accomplish anything at any age, Tamron Hall brings a refreshing, relatable, unpredictable and unstoppable voice to television. “Tamron Hall” is executive produced by Bill Geddie and Tamron Hall. Talia Parkinson-Jones is co-executive producer.
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