A pro-gun organization in Connecticut held a simulated school shooting just 30 miles north of Newtown, where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults earlier this month, in what was one of the worst shooting massacres in U.S. history.
The Southington, Connecticut-based company, titled Kings33, which provides firearms training to citizens, companies and other institutions, held the simulation at its headquarters.
Founder and chief instructor of the group, Chris Fields, said the aim of the exercise was to illustrate how having armed teachers or security staff in schools across the nation might help minimize casualties in events like the Dec. 14 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“There is a bigger picture at work here and we’re going to continue to have more scenarios and train more people,” Fields told Fox News. “These are going to continue happening on a continual basis.”
Fields said Kings33, which was launched 18 months ago, aims to prepare citizens for “what to do” during a mass shooting before the first responders arrive.
“Nobody’s saying anything bad,” Fields, 34, said when asked if he’s received complaints in connection to the exercise. “They are ready for more.”
Fields, who has reportedly trained more than 100 people in firearm defense, said that about twelve volunteers took part in Sunday’s exercise, adding that he understands the disapproval of his opponents.
“The criticism is valid, I don’t discredit anyone for saying what they said,” Fields told Fox News. “They are right for having an opinion and voicing that opinion as an American citizen. The only thing that I struggle with criticism-wise is the timing. We should have been training like this decades ago for the public.
“Some people say it’s too soon. I say we’re too late. And to the people who say it was inconsiderate, they need to consider the bigger picture.”
Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said teachers groups have made clear they do not want educators armed.
“That’s unfortunate,” Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told Fox. “The people who are advocating the arming of teachers are the people who are responsible, at least in part, for weakening our gun laws to the point where homicidal maniacs can easily stockpile firearms – often legally.”