"We will shed blood again"


January 11th, 2011

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Lincoln, NE – A man who referred to shedding blood in an email to state senators says he didn’t intend to threaten them. NET News’ Fred Knapp reports on the controversy that cropped up in connection with an immigration bill.

Andy Schnatz of Fremont wrote an email to members of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, urging them to support a bill aimed at combating illegal immigration. That proposal, introduced by Fremont Senator Charlie Janssen, would require law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of people they stop, if they suspected the person was in the country illegally. At the end of his email, Schnatz included a number of quotes or slogans, including “We shed blood to build this country and we will shed blood again to take it back.”

Some lawmakers have suggested using metal-detectors during debate of an Arizona-style immigration bill in the Nebraska Legislature, introduced by Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, pictured here (Photo courtesy Nebraska Legislature)

In an interview, Schnatz said he’s been including that in his emails on immigration for about four years, to everyone from the governor of Arizona to the President of the United States. He said no one’s ever taken offense before members of the Judiciary committee did, in the aftermath of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson.

“They took it offensively due to the fact of what happened in Arizona. I sent an email to all of them, apologizing…stating that it was not a threat. I’m a peace-loving guy. I want things done peacefully.”

But Schnatz, a 73-year old veteran, also said he willing to sacrifice personally over the issue.

“We’re in a battle right now with illegals coming across the border, the Muslim terrorists coming into this country… And to protect this country, I will shed my blood again.”

Attempts to discuss an actual situation where that might be necessary were interrupted when Schnatz got a visitor at his door. “You’ll have to excuse me,” he laughed on the phone, “I have the State Patrol here right now.”

Late Tuesday afternoon, State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins said the Patrol had completed its investigation, and concluded there was no threat. Shnatz belongs to the anti-illegal immigration Nebraskans Advisory Group. The group’s founder, Susan Smith of Omaha, said it neither condones nor encourages threatening language or behavior toward those in authority.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports State Senator Brad Ashford, the chairman of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, is considering using metal-detectors during debate of Janssen’s immigration bill, and says he may also change the location of the hearing.

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