Personal desire to help led local man to pay for training

Former Israeli special forces member Alon Stivi’s lessons are as valuable in the remote hamlets of western Colorado as they might be in Grand Junction, or Aurora, or Littleton, said Chris Marx, who lives in De Beque, where he owns DIA Construction. He paid about $20,000 for teachers from De Beque and Collbran to attend Stivi’s recent daylong class.

Marx learned of Stivi and the class when he took a class from Linn Armstrong of Grand Junction, an associate of Stivi.

Though he was born and raised in De Beque, the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School hit Marx particularly hard.

“My superintendent’s wife went to that school, she knew a lot of people and had family there,” Marx said. “It’s the same kind of community that probably 90 percent of the country has.”

For Marx, a photo of the bullet-shattered glass wall through which Adam Lanza blasted to gain entry to the interior of the school was a stark highlight to one of Stivi’s observations: Had the glass been sheathed in a cheap, clear plastic covering, it wouldn’t have shattered, yielding easy entry for the killer.

That made Marx think twice as he drove past the school, he said, noticing that similar “easy, cheap, prevention maintenance” should be used in places such as schools or large institutions.

“If we can’t arm them, teachers need to know how to protect themselves,” Marx said. “I think they hit the nail right on the head.”

To be sure, said Stivi, teachers can’t carry firearms in class. But they can have baseball bats in their rooms, he noted.

And they can be ready to deal with the worst, he said.


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