Soldiers Teach Them to Handle Firearms; Carry Automatics in Handbags
The picture shows members of the guard being taught to shoot at Camp Cotton, where United States soldiers are stationed, by Lieut. F. C. Hecox. U.S.A. He was detailed by Col. T. W. Moore to teach the women. The photo shows, left to right. Miss Jane Knight. Miss Lucy Smith, Lieut. Hecox, Miss Doris Blake, captain of the Brazos guards; Miss Lila Blot, Miss Velma Chenowet and Miss Armine Mercer.
Mrs. D. Ezell.
Special Correspondent on Mexican Border for The Star
EL PASO, Texas. March 28 —
The women it El Paso are armed for the fray, with little toy pistols that slip into hand-bags, with .38 and .45 automatics, and with small bore repeating rifles.
Every kitchen is an arsenal in this border city, and most of the housewives keep their gats as handy as their pans and spiders.
They can shoot. too, for many of them have lived long years on remote ranches, where ability to use a pistol or rifle is a woman's only safeguard.
Business women — stenographers, clerks, waitresses —carry little automatics in their hand-bags when they go to and from their homes by day or night.
Even debutantes carry little shootsticks in their vanity bags when they go to parties at the Toltec club.
Mothers instruct their daughters in the use of firearms.
The local suffrage organization took up the question of organized "home guards," and planned to have militia officers drill the members at regular meeting places at set dates.
Capt. Walter Jenkins, Co. K, T.N.G., was to serve as drill-master.
But Sheriff Peyton Edwards put the kibosh on this scheme, because he feared its effect on the Mexican population, which comprises more than half the town.
He advised the substitute plan of having each woman drilled separately in the use of arms by men or women skilled in the art.
This plan was adopted.
El Paso, by the way, fears trouble caused by wild-eyed Texans from the outlying ranches more than by Mexicans, whose activities are confined to desultory petty thieving and occasional tequilla-crazed insults to "gringoes" in the Mexican section of town.
But every now and then some tin-star deputy sheriff from down the Rio Grande "starts something" in a Mexican store or "cantina" (saloon) which results in several men of both persuasions being filled with lead.
[The Seattle Star, Seattle, Wash., Tuesday, March 28, 1916. Night Edition. Volume 18 Pg. 1]