Connecticut gun-group founder defends mock school shooting, cites 'bigger picture'
A Connecticut pro-gun organization held a simulated school shooting just 30 miles north of Newtown, where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults earlier this month.
Kings33, a Southington, Conn.-based company that provides firearms training to citizens, companies and government, held the simulation at its headquarters. Lead instructor and Kings33 founder Chris Fields said the idea was to show how having armed teachers or security staff might help minimize casualties in an event 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 FoxNews.com. “These are going to continue happening on a continual basis.”
Fields said his company, 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.”
Twelve volunteers took part in Sunday’s exercise, said Fields, adding that some were former clients returning for more training. He has trained more than 100 people in firearm and home defense since launching the company and understands the criticism that has been lobbed his way online.
“The criticism is valid, I don’t discredit anyone for saying what they said,” Fields said. “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,” said Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “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.”