letter Aug 6, 1940 HS to mom

Henry Schnautz NRA card from 1940

This is the second page, or maybe a draft, of a letter from Henry to his mom. It is undated but it looks like he talks about writing it in his Aug 6 journal. Henry meets Chavez, one of the world's greatest pistol shots, on the Mexico City police pistol range, and shows him his National Rifle Association membership card. Chavez is helping train the guards to shoot.

Henry was a strong proponent of gun rights all his life. He was probably a member of the NRA for about 70 years or more. He told me that if each holocaust victim had a gun and shot one S.S. officer, there would have been no holocaust. That is rather a grim thought, but not so grim as the reality. He wrote in one of his notebooks, "For the founding fathers, the second amendment right to bear arms was a primary not a secondary right. If the average American had not been armed, we would still be British subjects." And also, "Every primitive man, from the Eskimo to the Indian, carries a weapon. He does not depend on the police to protect him." Obviously the right of the individual to bear arms has to be balanced against the harm an insane man can do.

...last Monday night too. This time I took another friend. This afternoon when I was at the police pistol range I met Chavez one of the world's greatest pistol shots. He is a member of the Natl. Rifle Association and when I showed my membership card we were Old friends. He is on the Mex. City police force. He has been very helpful to our guards because most of them could shoot very poorly when they started. He has been coaching them until now they're doing very well. I'm writing this while on duty in the tower operating the gates I want to finish so I can send it in with some of the boys going in this evening.

I'm getting along as well as could be expected. I haven't had diarrhea, most everyone gets it, three of our boys had it Monday. I'm helping to build this place into a real fortress - steel doors in the house too. I haven't time to be lonesome. I'm always busy and never alone - except when on guard duty at night. We have two men on guard day and night. The night shifts run from 7 PM to 1 AM, 1:00 AM to 4:00 AM, 4 AM to 9 AM.

This is the third time I'm starting on this letter something always interrupts. Tell Alvin that last night when I was on the 4 AM to 9 AM shift I thought of him in Hawaii and of the boat. The early morning hours are truly beautiful, the sky is blue black, the stars seem much larger. Mahogany colored clouds and beautiful willow trees 150 ft high lining the very small river that runs along one side of this place, made me think of boatrides on the Ohio. The weather here is like late autumn, wool underwear at night would be comfortable. My feet were cold all night under 2 blankets night before last, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc - also etc.

P.S. That money order you sent on the 10th of July hasn't arrived yet. Try to get it back because it will probably never be delivered, stub no. 21789. If you should later send any money make it certified check or cash in registered letter.

Henry S.

Tell Walter and Ed I'll write them a long letter some time. I just addressed 35 envelopes to people I must write to soon.