HILLSVILLE, Va. – Residents of Hillsville, a small town in Carroll County, Virginia with a population just shy of 2,700, assembled in the gymnasium at Carroll County Middle School on Sunday to hear a presentation prepared by Army National Guard Brigadier General Franklin P. Marshal. The brigadier general has been appointed by the White House to head a new initiative enacted under a recent executive order by President Obama authorizing the federal government to sequester nearly 300 million firearms from private citizens across the United States.
“It’s about winning hearts and minds,” Brigadier General Marshal told the audience at Carroll County Middle School. In exchange for their compliance, the Obama administration is offering Americans who willingly turn over their weapons a sizable tax credit. “Any American over the age of twenty-one who, by their own accord, turns in five or more firearms, will be exempt from paying federal income taxes in 2017,” Brigadier General Marshal said.
However, the brigadier general stressed that the incentive only applies to Americans who willingly forfeit their right to bear arms. “Any individual -American or otherwise, who exercises deceit or tries in any way, shape, or form to circumvent these laws, will be met with the full force of the United States military,” President Obama warned in a pre-recorded statement to the nation this week.
In accordance with the executive order which President Obama issued to combat rising gun violence in the United States, the White House has ordered a temporary suspension of the Posse Comitatus Act. Passed in 1873 by President Rutherford B. Hayes, the act limits the federal government’s ability to use the military to enforce domestic policies.
“During times of national crisis, it becomes necessary to trade certain liberties for the benefit of added security,” Robert Churchill, an attorney who specializes in constitutional law, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Sunday. “I believe in this case the Obama administration is well within their rights to do so. ”
Regardless of the law’s contested legality, many Americans, including those living in Hillsville, Virginia, support Obama’s decision to unilaterally eliminate firearm ownership in the United States. “It’s silly,” protested Buck Weatherford, a fifty-seven year-old Hillsville native. “Guns in general are just barbaric. Anything you’d need to do with a firearm can just as easily be accomplished using a simple bow and arrow.” Buck, who makes a living designing custom crossbows for hunting and home defense, said he turned over three firearms, including an Uzi submachine gun, to the Virginia National Guard. “It was the right thing to do,” he said.
While the vast majority of confiscated firearms will be melted down under federal supervision, a small portion are to be used to arm various factions of “moderate” rebels fighting Assad’s forces in Syria. “Rather than simply destroy them, we’re getting these weapons to the people who need them the most,” said President Obama, who added the United States has agreed to accept an additional 180,000 Syrian refugees by 2017.