Aimie Adam, a survivor of the Dunblane massacre, broke down on national television this morning as she said she "feels sorry" for gunman Thomas Hamilton.
"I sometimes feel a bit sorry for him, but not in a good way," she told Good Morning Britain. "It must have been a horrible life for him to have to feel like he needed to do that."
Just five years old at the time, Aimie was shot twice in the leg and hid in a cupboard to escape being killed by Hamilton.
Describing that day she said: “I don’t actually remember that much of the day. I just sort of remember the outlines, I remember it being really cold and getting ready for PE so I had my tights on underneath my gym shorts and I remember queueing up to go into the PE hall. Then I don’t actually remember him walking in or opening fire or anything it just sort of happened. And then I don’t know, I must have just realised that there wasn’t something quite right. I kind of felt a bit strange, a bit, it was like weird and it was quite smoky in the room.”
Aimie crawled into a cupboard in the PE hall to escape the gunmen. She said: “I must have known there was something wrong because I remember my right leg trailing behind me, so I kind of knew but I obviously didn’t know I had been shot because when you are five you don’t really know what that means.”
Speaking about the effect the shooting has had on her physically, Aimie said: “So I have no movement in my right leg from the knee down or feeling. It damaged the sciatic nerve obviously from the bullet in my spine. I walk with a drop foot because I can’t move it properly. My foot is also quite a bit smaller than the other one just because it hasn’t really grown since the accident, just with the sciatic nerve and things being damaged.”
And on the psychological effect of being involved in Dunblane, she said: “I just feel like it’s just part of my life, so it sort of feels like the normality for me. Everybody is like, ‘wow I can't believe that happened’ but to me it just feels like it’s normal but I suppose it is really quite a surreal thing to have happened to you.”
When asked what her thoughts were about the gunman Thomas Hamilton, Aimie said: “I feel bad for him that he felt his life was so terrible that he had to ruin other people’s lives, because he did. I hate him but he’s gone and he can’t ruin anyone else's life so I suppose that’s a good thing out of it.”
She continued: “I can’t let something like that beat me because if I did I probably wouldn’t be sort of the person I am just now, he’s probably made me the way I am, stronger.”
Aimie is now studying mental health nursing at university. When asked whether her choice of subject was partly to understand the motivation behind Hamilton, she said: “Oh yeah definitely, it’s definitely one of the reasons that I did choose to do it - I think it’s so interesting. I always want to know the reason why people do these horrible things, what they were thinking.”
Eighteen months after Dunblane, Britain banned all handguns, Aimie revealed her message to other countries who haven’t got gun control. She said: “I just don’t understand why history keeps repeating itself, I don’t see the reason why people should carry guns with them or why they should just have them in their handbags. It devastates people's lives, I don’t see why they need to use them.”
Speaking about how she felt when she heard about the Sandy Hook massacre in America which was very similar to Dunblane. She said: “It was a really tough time because I think it was the first time that it had happened to babies as well so it took me by shock. It brought back all those memories from all those years ago, so I was just completely horrified that this wasn’t going to happen in Britain but in America it is still happening.”
Lorraine Kelly who covered Dunblane as a reporter said: “Aimie is incredible, she is so, so brave and she spoke so eloquently and I think it just brings it all back to everyone. I can’t believe it is twenty years and my thoughts obviously are with everyone who has been affected by this.”
She continued: “It’s the worst thing I have ever had to cover, it was absolutely horrific and really difficult for everyone I think. It was one of those stories where it just affected everybody so, so much we all wanted to help, we all wanted to try and do things and as you said at least it led to a change in the law.
"And every single time, and it happens time and time again, you see it happening in America and you just think when are they going to come to their senses, how many children have to die before they actually change the law, it doesn’t make any sense.”