By MIKE HANCOCK
Special to the PRESS
Effective six months upon signing into law: all citizens owning or purchasing a centerfire semiautomatic pistol, rifle, or shotgun must be in possession of a valid Federal Firearms License. The fine for non-compliance is $5000 and/or jail time.
In order to obtain an FFL, one must fill out an application with a $200 fee, pass an extensive background check, get fingerprinted and be on file with the local PD, and undergo an in-person interview with an inspection of your firearm’s storage unit for safety.
Exempt: all rimfire pistols and rifles, revolvers, and single shot, bolt, and pump action rifles and shotguns.
Current owners of firearms that fall under the bill’s guidelines unwilling to obtain an FFL will have the option to sell to an FFL holder or exchange the firearm with law enforcement for a $150 gift card to a locally-owned business.
Excess funds derived from this national legislation will support public schools throughout the country, with those in low income areas receiving priority, and will provide scholarships to those who have lost parents or children to gun violence.
After a beta-test of this proposal via social media, a conclusion was made: many gun owners have their head in the sand. We don’t have more video games than the rest of the world or mentally unstable people. We don’t even have a disproportionate amount of racism relative to outside countries.
So what’s different? Why does the rest of the civilized world have a minuscule number of mass killings by firearms, and we have had 255 this year?
And it’s either this or that.
This: let’s sweep the firearm issue under the rug with thoughts and prayers.
That: do something about it, and vote the appropriate charlatans and leeches out of office.
Because this is not a country I’m proud of, nor one in which I feel secure knowing our young people can enjoy a lifetime of security and peace.
Editor’s Note: Mike Hancock taught dual credit English courses at Port Isabel High School from 2013-2019. He abandoned his beloved tacos for a university post in China, where he’s working on a second novel, due out from Force Poseidon Books in 2021.